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Best Smith Machines – For the Home Gym

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

In this article you will discover a range of superb Smith Machines for the home gym.

woman performing squats on a smith machine

The Smith Machine makes for a great training tool for a number of reasons. Firstly, for those trainers who want to go heavy, but don’t have the luxury of a training partner, a Smith Machine will enable them to do so without the fear of being crushed under the weight.

Of course, when performing certain strength exercises – such as bench press and squats – going heavy does pose a risk (this is especially so with bench press) if you are training without a spotter. For if, when benching, say, your strength deserts you before you have time to rack up the bar, you could quite easily guillotine yourself.

Thanks to the safety stoppers – a feature that all good Smith Machines have – this unpleasant eventuality can be forever avoided (as long as you set them before you start your lift of course!).

Another benefit of training on a Smith Machine is the ability to push the poundage with confidence. Courtesy of those features identified above – stoppers and multiple racking positions – the bar can be rested at any moment. Meaning that in the comfort of your ma’s basement and without a single sole in sight, other than that picture of Arnold hoisting high his 7th Mr Olympia trophy, you can explore the very limits of you physicality.

And lastly, by deciding to partner up with Mr Smith you'll inadvertently invite some serious variety into you training. Smith Machines, if you didn't know, have moved on. Gone are the days when all they offered was a sturdy platform on which you could bench, row, squat and dead. As you'll see with the examples below, modern machines are as multifaceted as a Rubik's cube and they offer a rich array of possible exercise options.

But to give you an idea of what you can do on a standard Smith:


Buyer’s Guide

Tapered rails

The old-style Smith Machines sported vertical rails. But as designers of gym equipment eventually came to realise, from a biomechanical perspective, the human body doesn’t move lineally or on fixed planes.

Pretty much all movement – whether it’s running or bench pressing – follows a curved path. If you watch a runner you might think that they are travelling along a straight line, but from an aerial view you’ll clearly see that the runner’s upper body rotates left to right with each stride. The same can be said for bench press: yes the bar appears to move in a straight line but it actually curves out and back in.

And because vertical rails do not accommodate the cyclical trajectory along which human movement follows, they increase injury susceptibility and can, over prolonged use, negatively affect posture alignment. It’s for this reason why the rails of most modern Smith Machines are tapered.

However, as this is not the case with all Smith Machines, it is a feature that you would be wise to look out for prior to making a purchase.

Added features

Some Smith Machines offer more than a couple of rails along which a bar can slide. Nowadays they come with all manner of exercise appendages which enable the trainer to engage and target a wider range of muscles.

Also, multiple features makes for a more diverse training tool thus broadening the scope of exercise variability.

Build quality

Of course, for a piece of equipment that is specifically designed for strength training, the answer to the question of build quality should be a no brainer. But unfortunately some manufacturers skimp on quality and focus more on quantity. Consequently there are a lot of substandard Smith Machines on the market and you must be mindful of this before making a purchase.

But how do you know if the build quality is up to scratch if you’re buying online? In truth you can’t know. However, there are a couple of simple ways to get an idea of the quality of a Smith Machine before you go through the agro of putting it together.

1: Make sure that it has received plenty of customer feedback and still retains 4 or more stars.

2: Choose a heavy Smith Machine. Usually the heavier the equipment – such as power cages and pull-up and dip stations – the more metal has gone into its manufacturing making it more durable and capable of withstanding greater loads.


1: Marcy SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine Home Gym with Weight Bench

Product Specifications (click image for availability)

  • Smith press bar: ultra-glide bushings and nine hook-in points; high and low pulley systems: Take any gym attachment; pec dec system.

  • Stand-alone bench: Upright, incline, flat and decline with commercial grade adjustment; free weight barbell pegs: holds 7 feet barbells.

  • Arm and leg curl on bench; exercise chart included; Smith attachments: lat bar, short bar, triceps rope, d-handle, v-bar and ankle strap.

  • Maximum weight load on rack and pegs: 135 kg/300 lbs; maximum user load on bench: 135 kg/300 lbs/21.5 stone; frame: 14 gauge solid steel.

  • Assembled dimensions (bench and cage): Height: 210 cm/82.5 inch x width (includes Smith press): 198 cm/80 inch x depth (includes bench): 254 cm/100 inch

The SM4000 Deluxe Smith Machine from Marcy is a bit of a beast. Its imposing size and frame can comfortably withstand the weight of vigorous workouts whilst maintaining a safe strength training environment.

This is a premium quality product built from industrial grade materials meaning that you can go heavy without worrying that’ll crumple like a tin can. Thus you’ll be able to focus your attention on advancing strength with the confidence that this Smith won’t let you down.

The SM4000 encompasses all aspects of strength training – such as: an integrated cable system featuring high and low pulley stations and a pec dec. In addition, gym attachments can be used on either station to add to expand the variation of possible exercise options.

The fully adjustable bench is a stand out component, manufactured to commercial grade, it uses a chrome track adjustment with quick release for fast angle changes, from upright all the way to decline in seconds.


2: Marcy MD 5191 Smith Machine Home Gym & Weight Bench

Product Specifications (click image for availability)

  • Dims: H:210cm (82.5") x W:198cm (80") x D:254cm (100")

  • Boxed Dims: H:17cm (7.01”) x W: 48cm (19.26”) x L: 130cm (51.51”)

  • Maximum User Weight: 136kg / 300 lbs / 21 Stone

  • Maximum Load on Rack: 130kg / 286 lbs

The Marcy 5191 home gym is the overall gym system that provides an almost limitless range of exercise options without sacrificing it's high quality construction.

It boasts an assortment of features including dual cable crossovers, pec dec, lower pulley system and an independent bench with adjustable seat and backrest allowing the user to perform multiple exercises.

The 7ft smith press bar allows you to safely perform intense chest press workouts with the knowledge the safety stops are there to help you push your reps to the limit.


3: Marcy MD-9010G Home Gym Smith Machine with Weight Bench

Product Specifications (click image for availability)

  • Sealed linear ball bearings provide ultra-smooth pressing motion.

  • Low pulley with foot plate | Adjustable bar catches | Cables are aircraft rated at 2000 lb. tensile strength.

  • Independent weight bench adjusts from military, inclines, flat and decline angles | Removable preacher pad & leg developer included

  • Maximum user's weight: 300 lbs. / 136kg / 21 Stone | Maximum weights on the rack: 600 lbs. / 272kg / 42 Stone

  • Dimensions: Height: 216cm (85'') x Width: 203cm (80'') x Length ink Bench: 254cm (100'') - Manufacturers Warranty: Lifetime frame, 3 Year Parts, Pulleys & Cables,1 Year Upholstery

The Marcy MD-9010G Home Gym Smith Machine is the overall gym system. It is the flagship model – as its price suggests (£1100). But you get a lot for your money with this multifaceted training tool.

It provides an almost limitless exercise range without sacrificing it's high quality construction. Commercial grade linear ball bearings have been installed in the smith press bar. These offer a smooth gliding action as oppose to home smith machines that use plastic bushings.

Other stand-out features include an independent weight bench with quick pin angle adjustment for military, inclines, flat and decline variations. Dual high swivel pulleys and a low pulley system with foot plate, heavy gauge steel frame work ensures the MD-9010G is solid and durable.


4: inSPORTline Power Rack Cable Column with 18 Different Positions Versatile Cable Workout

Product Specifications (click image for availability)

  • The stable base and heavy frame allow you to put everything into your chin-ups and dips.

  • The impressive cable system and variety of grip options allow for a versatile workout.

  • Counterweight guide bars with top-class bearings allow for a smooth movement and a safe workout.

  • The CC400 Power Rack uses Olympic weight plates to adjust resistance, allowing you to exercise with the equipment you already own.

  • This training machine is made with a commercial-grade solid frame to ensure years of use, making it a versatile machine that gives you the ability to exercise in the comfort of your home or office.

The Power Rack inSPORTline Cable Column is an impressive smith machine designed for home workout. I’ll apologise in advance for using a rather hackneyed simile, but this thing is nothing short of a Swiss Army Knife. Seriously. It ‘houses’ 18 different exercise positions making this Smith Machine devilishly versatile.

The guide bars allow you to go heavy without the need of a spotting partner and the premium quality rail and guide system will ensure that nothing other than your own physicality will impede lifting performance.

Thanks to the plethora of racking positions you can rest the bar anytime throughout your lift. This feature offers piece of mind as we know that, when our strength is about to fail us, the bar can be rested at any point.


5: Gorilla Sports Multifunction Smith Machine

Product Specifications (click image for availability)

  • Gorilla Sports Multistation is the perfect multifunctional fitness station for your home training.

  • Enables varied strength training due to the large variety of additional equipment: pull-up bar, guided barbell bar, lower cable pull and biceps/triceps handles.

  • Highlights include: solid tubular steel construction and multi pull-up bar and guided barbell.

  • Dimensions - 219 x 127.5 x 218.5 cm; Net weight: 195 kg; Weight of dumbbell: 10.6 kg; Max. Load capacity: pull-up bar: 150 kg, dumbbell bar: 200 kg, per disc mount: 100 kg, weight slide: 200 kg, thickness of steel: 1.5 - 2.0 mm.

  • Multipress Full-Smith Machine with 1 x Triceps Nylontau, 2 x single-handed cable handles, 1 x bicep / triceps handle, 1 x guided barbell bar with 50/51 mm attachment, 1 x barbell handle, 1 x pull-up bar with various grip options and 14 x spring locks.

Gorilla Sport’s Multistation Smith machine is a commercial quality fitness tool designed to endure the constant daily abuse of a public gym. Thus the comparative minor use it’ll receive in the home gym means it will literally last a lifetime.

The super-strong steel tube construction is tested to withstand loads of up to 200kg. Meaning that it is highly unlikely to limit or impede your ascension to the apotheosis of Mt. Olympus where, with rippling biceps, shredded chest and suspect vasodilation, you can stand tall amongst the Titans of strength.

In addition, Gorilla Sport’s Smith Machine doesn’t only boast brawn but brains too. Thanks to the multifunction appendages you’ll be kept busy for hours figuring out different exercises and training combinations.


To Conclude

Smith Machines are synonymous with strength and size. He or she who steps up to a Smith wants one or the other – or both. And if used properly and regularly a Smith machine can deliver the goods.

But thankfully they have evolved somewhat. No longer are Smith Machines two rails supporting an Olympic bar. As the examples above show, they are highly versatile training tools that can accommodate a multitude of fitness aspirations: strength, muscular endurance, circuit training, functional training.

It is for this reason and a number of others not mentioned why when building a home gym you should start by laying solid foundations with a Smith Machine.


(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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