History Of The Smith Machine

Monday, 2 February 2015  |  Admin

Francois Henri "Jack" LaLanne is considered by many as the " Godfather Of Fitness".  He is the creator of the Smith Machine as well as many other exercise machines including the leg extension ( and other pulley devices).

Jack set up some sliding apparatus in his gym durJack_Lalanneing the 1950's with aim to introduce free weights benefits to a wider audience with additional additional safety measures.

The early incarnation of the machine was spotted by men's bath house manager Rudy Smith, who commissioned a machinist Paul Martin to improve it so it could be mass produced. Smith then installed the modified model in a gym he was managing at the time, Vic Tanny's gym in Los Angeles. By the end of the 1950s, Rudy Smith was an executive in Tanny's chain of gyms, and the Smith machine was being manufactured and sold more widely.

The demand was overwhelming and the basic design of the Smith Machine is still used to this very day.

Today's Smith Machines are available in two versions -traditional or angled.

The traditional version is the simplest and still uses the vertical bar path of the original, and may or may not have a counter - weight mechanism. This version is best for strict vertical motions,such as dead lifts, rows and squats.

Angled versions are can be either counter-weighted or use a viscous resistance for smooth operation, and are usuallyset at a 7 - 10 degree incline, allowing a more natural movement for presses, upright rows and shrugs, expanding the available sandbox of movements over the traditional version.