Like working with Windows Vista, machines may be curbing your productivity. You’ll use 43% more muscle fibres in your legs if you take your squats out of the Smith machine cage according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
“The Smith machine stabilises the barbell, requiring your muscles to work less,” says study author Dr Phil Chilibeck. “Barbells or dumb-bells create a better overall training effect by stressing more muscle fibres in your body.”
So lose the stabilisers – you owe your quads their squatters’ rights.