Different Types of Smith Machines and What to Consider

September 11, 2023 3 min read

smith machine and different types

In the world of fitness equipment, the Smith machine is a very popular and versatile piece of equipment that can help individuals achieve range of their fitness goals. But what exactly is a Smith machine and how does it work? In this article , we will explore the different types of Smith machines and the benefits of using a Smith machine with a counterbalance bar.

What is a Smith Machine?

A Smith machine is a weight training machine that consists of a barbell fixed within steel rails. The barbell is attached to the rails, allowing for vertical movement while providing stability and support. This unique design makes the Smith machine a safer option for individuals who want to lift heavy weights without the need for a spotter.

Different Types of Smith Machines & Examples

There are several different types of Smith machines available on the market today. Each type offers its own set of features and benefits. Here are a few examples:


1. Traditional Smith Machine

The traditional Smith machine features a fixed vertical barbell and allows for vertical movement only. It is a great option for individuals who want to focus on basic weightlifting exercises such as squats, bench presses, and shoulder presses.

As shown above is the popular Smith Machine which is the Watson Plate Loaded Smith Machine


2. Multi-Functional Smith Machine

A multi-functional Smith machine offers additional attachments and accessories that allow for a wider range of exercises. These machines often come with cable pulley systems and pull-up bars, providing users with even more versatility and exercise options.

A popular version is the Inspire FT2 Multi Functional Smith Machine

or recently launched Inspire SF5 Multi Functional Smith Machine


 Watson counter balanced smith machine


3. Smith Machine with Counterbalance Bar

A Smith machine with a counterbalance bar is designed to provide a more balanced and controlled lifting experience. The counterbalance bar helps to offset the weight of the barbell, making it easier to perform exercises with proper form and technique. This type of Smith machine is particularly beneficial for beginners or individuals recovering from injuries.

A popular choice as shown above is the Watson Smith Machine with Counterbalance Bar



4. Smith Machine with  4 way Movement - Lateral & Vertical

It consists of a barbell attached to a fixed vertical track, which provides stability and safety during workouts. The 4 Way Movement feature refers to the ability of the Smith Machine to move both laterally and vertically, offering users a more dynamic and challenging workout experience.

This is available on the hugely versatile Watson Power Gym with 4 way Smith Machine



Benefits of Using a Smith Machine

Using a Smith machine offers several benefits for individuals looking to improve their strength and fitness levels:

1. Safety

The Smith machine provides a built-in safety mechanism that prevents the barbell from falling or tipping over. This makes it a safer option for individuals who are lifting heavy weights without a spotter.

2. Stability

The steel rails of the Smith machine provide stability and support, allowing users to focus on their form and technique without worrying about balance or stability issues.

3. Versatility

With the different types of Smith machines available, users can perform a wide range of exercises targeting various muscle groups. From squats and lunges to bench presses and shoulder presses, the Smith machine offers versatility for a full-body workout.

4. Progression

The Smith machine allows users to easily add or remove weight plates, making it ideal for progressive overload training. This means individuals can gradually increase the weight as they get stronger, helping them achieve their fitness goals more effectively.



The Smith machine is a valuable piece of fitness equipment that offers safety, stability, and versatility. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced lifter, incorporating the Smith machine into your workout routine can help you achieve your fitness goals. Consider trying out different types of Smith machines, such as the Smith machine with a counterbalance bar, to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

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