Smith Machine Bench Press

The machine bench press is exactly the same as a regular bench press except you're using a machine. The bench press machine, or sometimes called a "smith press", is a multi purpose machine used for a variety of exercises. You can move the bench around, or take it out so it can be used for shoulder press, squats etc. The machine bench press allows you to lift more weight because there is no weight in the bar (it's counterweighted) and instead of worrying about dropping the weights on your chest, you can just twist the bar to lock it off when your muscles give way.

How to perform the machine bench press

With the machine bench press it's very important that you have the bench in the right position. You want it to be centered, and you don't want to lay to high or low. You want the bar to come down to the middle of your chest, just above your nipples. Lay down and test the bench first, before putting any weight on the bar.

machine bench press start
Bench press using smith machine

Lie on the bench face up, with your feet firmly placed on the floor. Grip the bar just outside shoulder width. You will need to take the weight up slightly, and twist the bar to unlock the weight. Slowly lower the weight down to the middle of your chest, pause, and push up to the starting position. Don't lock your elbows. Once you have finished your set, twist the bar to lock back the weight.

machine bench press finish

Incline Bench press tips and safety advice

  1. The machine banch press is a great way to lift heavier weights without the fear of dropping the weight of your chest. However, it's still useful to use a spotter. A spotter can help you get those last few reps out!
  2. When positioning the bench underneath the machine, make sure you have it in the right place. By this I mean, when you execute the bench you want to bar to come down to about the middle of the chest, not to high, not to low. Also make sure it's in the center of the machine, you don't want to put too much pressure on one side of your body.