By Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS (via MuscleMag.com)
The Smith Version The Smith-machine bench press is a multijoint exercise that allows for an increased level of confidence because of its safety points along the path of the bar, which are especially important if you don’t have a spotter.
Once you find your ideal body position on the bench as it relates to the bar, the Smith bench press is an excellent tool for continued pec growth. Of course, the primary reason you’d want to incorporate this great exercise is that you can completely focus all of your attention on pressing the weight. Because your stabilizers aren’t tirelessly at work to support stability, they can assist the major movers to their fullest, meaning you can load up on the plates.
Make This Change
With the free-weight bench press the ideal path of the bar is an arc. When the bar reaches your lower pecs, you explode it upward as it travels back to a point directly over your face. However, that arcing motion is impossible with the Smith machine. When you’re using the Smith for chest, the fixed path forces you to work within a single plane of movement. You can still use that aspect to your advantage based on the grip you take and the width of your hands along the bar.
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