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Power Rack vs. Smith Machine

You can choose to do squat exercise in a power rack instead of a Smith machine. However, this may seem inconsequential because they appear to be the same piece of workout equipment. Both have large weightlifting racks that can hold a huge Olymic barbell. Even though these are designed to give you a similar workout, both machines have their own distinct functions and features. Each will give you a different workout and you should consider which one you will want to use and for what benefit. Sometimes you won’t see the benefits you want, so to help you decide the best option, we’ll tell you which one you should pick.


Both of these machines make great home gym equipment pieces. The design of the Smith machine consists of two vertical posts. One of them is smaller than the other, and at the base is a rectangular shape. The barbell will attach to two guidepost rods which are parallel to the support of the posts. These holes give the main posts at even intervals, allowing you to lock the barbell when you see fit.

A power rack has a large metal cage which has horizontal bars at each end. You can adjust the height of these bars to various heights, and unlike the smith machine, its barbells are not attached to the unit. You can easily perform a standard free weight exercise by using the Olympic barbell located inside of the cage. The horizontal bars do limit how far the barbell can descend, however, this features makes it much safer than if it was a freeform weight machine.


A standard Olympic barbell weights around 45 pounds. If you can’t safely bench press this weight, you should not attempt to use the power rack. The bar on the Smith machine is counterbalance, which makes it lighter compared to the power rack. This can be beneficial for people who can’t pick up the 45-pound weight. The Smith machine will allow you to do all the barbell exercises even if the Olympic barbell is too heavy for a weight for you to pick up. Remember as you’re considering these machines, you can always switch out when you feel like you’re ready for a better challenge.


The Smith machine and power rack are not designed to be used with one single exercise. You can vary your movements and exercises with each piece of equipment. The power rack is much better suited for large, compound exercises. So, think of using it with either squats, bunch presses, and overhead shoulder presses. The smith machine can be used to do triceps presses, lunges, inverted rows, and other dumbbell sets. Choose the machine that best suits your physical workout needs, and you can always switch it up from time to time. More details in this post:

In Conclusion

Each machine has its own uses, and each one can be used for different workouts. Make sure that you research carefully on which one will best suit your standards and weightlifting limits. You never want to use a machine if you can’t properly lift the minimum amount of weight required, as this can lead to a lethal injury on your part. To come to a simple conclusion, the smith machine is best for people who want a machine that doesn’t have a weight limit and want to do bent over rows. The power rack is better suited for people who want a more challenging workout which includes overt exercises.