Why: The versatility of the Smith Machine allows you to train your progression for many exercises whether that be improvement in body weight exercises or progression from machines to free weights. The Olympic lifting bar is set on a vertical slide, with hooks to rest the bar on.
How: There are so many ways you can use a Smith Machine! Concentric, eccentric, body weight, plate weight, bench, incline. Traditionally, you can use this machine to perform weighted squats. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, take the bar across your shoulders. Keep your chest elevated and bend at the knees in a squat until thighs are parallel to the floor. Return, slowly, to starting position.
Alternatively, Munro notes, you can work on pushup development, which requires core strength to hold the plank and shoulder stability while lowering and raising. Start your progression with the bar set level with the bottom of your ribs. Take your push up raised start position with hands wider than shoulders. Smoothly lower your chest to the bar, maintaining your body plank and having your elbows bend to a 90-degree angle. Your upper arms stay in line with the bar, not down to your sides. If this is easy with good form, lower the bar one position until the body angle and movement becomes challenging. You will progress over time to full pushups on the floor.
Level: Aim for 3 sets of 12 full range push ups, with it slightly hard towards the end of your last set.
Trainer tip: Ensure your progressions maintain good form! Only change your body angle when you can hold the position and complete the full range of the move.