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Thread: Muscle activation during Squat, need some help here

  1. #1
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Muscle activation during Squat, need some help here

    I know just from experience and logic alone that barbell squats are king and smith squats are peasant, and I'm trying to get my brother-in-law to do Starting Strength but he keeps insisting that the smith machine will give him just as much growth. I'm trying to explain to him that the smith bar is bound in a certain environment only traveling up and down and so does not require you to stabilize it with your back/core, but he is asking me for "research" or hard evidence or something that the barbell squat is that much better to do. I'm not educated enough in the subject to just bust out some scientific talk, the best I can say is what I just said above, that smith squats basically remove half of the workout due to not requiring lower back stabilization. I really just want him to benefit from this great exercise but he's being stubborn =/

    Anyone here that can help me out, perhaps some scientific sources?

    The best I found was here:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/78...ne-vs.-weight/
    A study in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research illustrated that when compared with the Smith machine squat, a free-weight squat activated muscles an average of 43 percent more. The study used elctromyography to measure muscle activation in six healthy people.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 04-30-2010 at 10:11 PM.
    Lifting Journal
    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    I would give it up if I were you.

    What does your brother-in-law want to accomplish?

    If his goals are primarily cosmetic, then I can't say that squats are essential.

    If his goals are athletic, then there are plenty of starting points for discussion, but I don't know that he's going to listen anyway. Research comparing exercises and training approaches are really difficult to draw hard conclusions from and he's going to believe what he wants to believe - most of us do.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
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  3. #3
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Well, he wants to "get ripped." I'm dietarily advising him for a cut right now, and once he drops enough body fat I'll have him start bulking. He is also a basketball player and probably wouldn't mind having any functional crossover there.

    I see your point though, and from my past experience with you you are usually right XD
    Lifting Journal
    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  4. #4
    Wannabebig Member
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    this may not talk much about the smith machine but you probably won't find a better article about what happens in your body when you lift weights.

    Science of building muscle

  5. #5
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    That article was definitely interesting and worth the read. Thanks!
    Lifting Journal
    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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