3 reasons why I hate smith machine squats!

For the past 30 years or so, gyms have become equipped with a number of different machines that are all set out to get your attention and help you reach your goal.  There is no denying that some of this equipment is helpful for attaining your fitness goals however, there is also a lot of garbage that simply takes up too much space and can actually hinder your progress.  One of the machines that I would throw in a trash can is the smith machine.  Here are 3 reasons why I hate the smith machine for a squat replacement.
1)It is biomechanically impossible to do a proper squat in the smith machine. There is a natural lean forward that should happen when you do a squat. Ideally you want your spine to line up with your shins to create the best position possible in a squat. Because of the way the bar tracks on the smith machine, it does not allow you to position yourself for success in this squat. You cannot track on a good back during a smith machine squat.
2)It shuts off muscles in the trunk that should be working. The squat is not just a leg exercise. This compound powerhouse packs so much more punch than just what we feel in the quads. You see, your entire body needs to engage during the squat. Your lower back, upper back, shoulders, gluten and hamstrings are all involved in this squat. When you take away the need to hold yourself upright as you go down and up in this movement, you are taking away the need to engage so many of the muscles in the trunk and core. When you shut off more muscles, calorie burn goes down along with overall effectiveness.
3)You end up pushing back on the bar. When you are doing a free weight squat you really have no choice other than to push the bar straight up. If you tried to push back on the bar during a free weight squat you would fall backwards and create a youtube worthy scene in your local gym. Also, when you push back on the bar in the smith machine rack you are taking so much of the pressure off of your gluten and hamstrings. Who in hell would ever want to limit glute and hamstring gains???
  So what do you do then?  You get under a heavy free weight squat bar, you drop it low, and you stand back up.  That is your formula for success!