Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.

Multifunction Bench Exercises

The multifunction bench, or even "smith machine" or "multi power" is a tool present in most gyms.

This tool it can become very useful if you focus on exploiting the benefits it offers. The main benefit is that the load is guided and consequently you can focus more on the contraction of the muscles you want to train.

This feature comes in very handy if you plan to do so a body building style training session.

You can do multi-joint exercises using even high loads without having to worry about stability in movement.

On the one hand this is a virtue while under another aspect it is a lack. In fact, with the multifunction bench it is the subject who must adapt to movement and the work by the stabilizing muscles is almost nil. Furthermore, since the movement is necessarily vertical, the only exercises that can be performed are multi-joint.

Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

A single joint exercise can almost always be traced back to a variation in the angle subtended by a joint.

For example, in the scott bench curl the movement is basically a flexion of the forearm over the arm.

Analyzing the path described by the barbell, it is evident how this can be traced back to a curved trajectory resulting from the variation of the angle subtended by the elbow joint. If, on the other hand, multi-joint exercises are taken into consideration, it is almost always noted that the path of the bar (or weight in general) is a straight line.

For example, in tractions, if the torso is taken as a reference point, it is evident that it runs (at least it should if the execution is correct) a straight line. This feature is comparable to all multi-joint exercises.

The multifunction bench can therefore be compared to an “isolation” exercise for multi-joint movements. The two adjectives have opposite meanings but from what has been explained I believe that the combination is understandable.

1. Front Squat

The front squat is a fantastic bodyweight exercise. There is an advantage however in its execution to the multi-function bench. This benefit consists of more focused work on the legs, especially the quadriceps. The weak link in the front squat is often the shoulder and upper back muscles. This gives way before the legs and movement becomes impossible.

With the help of the smith machine you can concentrate as much as possible on the upper part of the body and simply place the barbell in the rack position on the anterior delts. In this way you do not have to worry about keeping the barbell in position and the movement moves completely at the expense of the lower part of the body. this is a significant advantage as you don't have to worry about your balance and consequently you can freely handle the position of the legs.

You can keep your feet tighter, lean them slightly back from the bar or a little further back. In this way you can easily manipulate the contribution of the buttocks in the movement  favoring them by bringing the feet slightly further back than the bar. A greater flexion in the pelvis due to a forward tilt of the torso (keeping the spine straight) means more work by the buttocks. On the contrary, placing the feet directly under the barbell means maximizing the flexion in the knee and therefore maximizing the quadriceps.

Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

Spacing or bringing the feet together moves the emphasis on the various bundles of the quadriceps. In particular, keeping the feet closer together can make the vastus lateral (external quadriceps) work more, or with more distant feet, the vastus medialis works more. Also the angle of rotation of the feet is a variable to consider but in general it is better to keep an inclination that is more comfortable.

The orientation of the foot also dictates the path of the knee and an unnatural orientation could lead to a lot of stress on the knee joint. One thing to keep in mind when experimenting with all of these variables is that of always keep your foot fixed on the ground. You should always feel the weight in the center of the foot and never lift your heels or toes off the ground.

Lifting your toes leads to a loss of balance that immediately compromises lumbar alignment.

Raising the heels greatly increases the shear forces on the knee. The knee can go beyond the vertical of the toes as long as the foot remains fixed on the ground and the weight in its center.

2. Remate

The benefit of running the oarsman with barbell to the smith machine is to be able to focus fully on the contraction of the lats rather than worrying about maintaining the position of the legs and lumbar alignment. this does not mean that it is right to flex the lumbar area, this just means that once positioned correctly you do not have to worry about any loss of balance caused by the movement of the bar.

This is fixed and only moves in a straight line and therefore it is easier to maintain proper lumbar alignment. The torso can then assume a more parallel position to the floor without putting the joints at excessive risk. To perform the exercise correctly, you need to imagine that you are doing the movement with your elbows and not with your arms.

Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

It is important to focus on the contraction of the lats while minimizing the contribution of the arm flexors. The advantages of the rematore alla smith machine they are numerous. Since the movement is fixed, that is horizontal, it is possible to best stimulate the function of the great dorsal extension of the shoulder. In any bodyweight rowing machine the barbell does not necessarily make a straight line and therefore the work can be carried out by other muscles. In this variant the trajectory is obligatory.

The barbell should be brought to the central part of the abdomen, just above the navel. You can also use reduced loads and forcefully contract the muscle in the phase of maximum contraction by maintaining the position for a couple of seconds.

Another advantage is that of place the blocks on the rails of the multi-function bench and with each repetition, adjust your position and perform an explosive movement. It is a bit like in the deadlift movement in which at each repetition the barbell is left on the ground and then immediately repositioned and perform an explosive movement. Finally, the smith machine allows you to easily remove the weight, making any drop sets more effective.

3. Narrow Reverse Grip Bench

 La reverse outlet lever it is an exercise that allows you to work more the triceps and the upper pectoral. The reverse grip allows for greater isolation from the triceps from the chest while the extra rotated arm position favors the work of the clavicular portion of the chest.

Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

This exercise would be very difficult to perform with a normal barbell as the tight and reverse grip would be very uncomfortable if not impossible. Since the barbell is fixed to the guides, you can concentrate only on the contraction of the affected muscles without worrying about having a firm grip on the bar. This convenience applies to any variant of the horizontal pushing movements. We therefore speak of both a medium-grip flat bench and a narrow-grip flat bench.

4. Semi-Straight Leg Deadlifts

The advantage of doing the deadlifts with semi-stretched legs at the smith machine is not to compromise the lumbar area too much. the principle is always that the barbell is obliged to travel a vertical trajectory and therefore a correct alignment in the back can be more easily maintained. Consequently, you can focus more on the contraction of hamstrings and buttocks.

An important preparation is to position yourself with the shins close to the bar. From here, align your entire back, bring your chest out and contract your hamstrings by extending your pelvis. The legs must be kept slightly flexed otherwise mobility would become an obstacle during the execution of the exercise.

Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!

Another advantage is to position the stops at the point where you want the eccentric phase to end, that is the maximum lengthening that our personal mobility allows us to reach. So there is no risk of compromising your back and to use high loads.


The multi-function bench offers numerous advantages. Knowing how to use it and with which exercises to use it allows you to train in an intelligent and safe way, making the most of the advantages of this tool. However, it is not something essential, especially if your training goal is not that of body building.

The multi-function bench offers variations of some exercises allowing for greater muscle isolation but the disadvantage is that the position is obligatory and the muscles that stabilize the movement are almost ignored. All these exercises are useful but are not essential and can be replaced with bodyweight exercises while maintaining correct execution.

add a comment of Multifunction Bench Exercises | Here are the ones to practice!
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.