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How a Woman Died Doing A Smith Machine Squat

  • Thread starter MuscleMecca Crew
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MuscleMecca Crew

MuscleMecca Crew

MuscleMecca Crew
May 11, 2012
As a gym rat or a casual gym goer, you must have tried your hands on almost all the equipment in the gym. Because as you know, if you remain in the very position you were in as a beginner, then you're not making progress. You know that in the gym, if it's too easy, then you're not doing it right. You're also aware that without pain, there's no gain, right?

These reasons are enough for a gym rat to try out every piece of equipment and lift every weight to make sure they're always pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. Now, that's a good spirit, but it only becomes bad when you get hurt or killed in the process. Accidents happen all the time in the gym. Even the most professional bodybuilders get injured in the gym. So, the injuries are some of the stories you have to tell as a gym rat, but losing one's life? That's too extreme and it'll be wise to avoid any form of exercise that can take your life.

Recently, a video of a woman who died while doing a Smith Machine Squat was trending online. The incident was a tragic one and the image was too graphic to look at twice.

In this article, you'll find out more about what happened and how she died. You'll also find out how safe it is to use the Smith Machine and the advantages and disadvantages of the machine. Read on.

Why is The Topic Being Discussed?​

The death of the Mexican woman who tragically lost her life at the gym trended on the internet for a while. Her death caused a spark of different reactions. While some expressed their fear of the machine and vowed never to use it, others criticized the woman for exceeding her capabilities.

You must be wondering, how exactly did she die by using the Smith Machine Squat?

Woman Dies Smith Machine Squat Video Analysis​

In subsequent paragraphs, you'll get a detailed explanation of what happened in the video. You may need to brace yourself because the image is still graphic even in text.

In the video, a woman was seen roaming about in the gym. She walked around the Smith Machine and after some time, she moved closer to the machine, mounted it, and tried to lift the 405 pounds barbells.

As soon as she raised the barbell, she discovered how heavy the weight was, and before she could say jack, she had crashed on the bench under the heavyweight of the barbell which crushed her neck in the process.

There was a girl in a yellow jacket right behind her. Some sources say that was her daughter; it must have been a tragic experience for the daughter to watch her mother die.

After she collapsed on the bench under the weight of the barbell, some people tried to rescue her. At first, the guy nearest to her tried to pull off the weight from her body but it was too heavy for him. But several others came to join him and they successfully pulled off the weight. After the weight was lifted, her lifeless body fell to the ground. No human body can bear the weight of a 405-pound barbell on its body without it crushing its bones, and when it lands on the neck, that's execution.

Her daughter who was right behind her was in so much shock just like the others in the video too. The woman who was said to be between 35-40 years died a tragic death in the gym.

How Are Web Surfers Reacting?​

The video tended across different social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit and for sure people have a lot to say. Most viewers expressed their condolences and sent their best wishes to the daughter. Some viewers vowed and swore to never approach the Smith Machine in their life. While others just went ahead to explain the benefits of the Smith machine and the need to use the equipment with caution.

The only best way to use the Smith Machine is to follow instructions and only lift what you can carry.

Because obviously, the woman must have seen other people lift that barbell even effortlessly. But she failed to realize that you must have gotten to a certain stage of experience and practice before you can lift that much weight.

About Smith Machine Squat​

There are a dozen types of squat variations. Out of the many squat variations, there is the Smith Machine squat, and this squat method can be great for you if you're just beginning your strength training. It is great for improving your squat technique.

The Smith Machine looks the same as the traditional sweat rack, the only difference being that the machine assists with weight movement. Instead of a 45-pound barbell, the Smith Machine is around 15 pounds, which allows you to focus on building your form first, instead of focusing on how much weight you're lifting.

The Smith machine is a good place to start if you're looking to get comfortable squatting with a load on your back.

How to Do a Smith Machine Squat​

  • You have to first position the bar to be the same height as your shoulders. The height will not be the same for everyone, so when you get under it, you may need to raise or lower the bar.

  • You can begin with a loaded bar; a great starting point is loading the bar on each side with a 10-pound plate. But for beginners, it's safer to start with just a bar so you can understand the movement.

  • You should also position your hands shoulder-width on the bar, and grip the bar lightly.

  • Stand in front of the rack and place the bar on your trapezoid muscles( the muscles near your neck/upper back).

  • Separate your feet about hip distance apart, then unlock the bar by lifting it up and then forward.

  • Allow your weight to rest on your heels. Brace your abs as you begin to descend into a squat, while still maintaining your head and spine in a neutral position. Your knees should be bent at around 90 degrees, then hold that position for a second.

  • While still bracing your core, push through your heels to a standing position. Ensure you squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat.

Smith Machine Advantages​

In the gym, machines are much easier to use than free weights. This is because the bar moves in a fixated motion along guide rods also called runners or tracks. They help to stabilize the movement and remove the need for balance. This helps you focus on going back up with your quads without bothering about falling backward or forward.

The Smith machine squat also helps you work out without the need for a spotter since the machine is equipped with safety catches both at the top and bottom with a booking system. You can adjust the bar easily at any point if you start to feel discomfort.

According to research, people do more squats with the Smith machine than when they try to squat on their own. This is probably because the need for balance has been eliminated.

With a Smith machine, you can try out different squat methods. You can try squatting with your feet forward and with different body positions that you can't do with the traditional way of squatting. This gives you the chance to switch muscles recruitment patterns to put pressure on specific muscles and decrease the pressure on other joints.

Many professional bodybuilders feel that Smith machine squats with struct form are a more effective quad builder than the normal free-weight squats. Or the two could be alternated for better results.

Smith Machine Disadvantages​

The ability to change squat biomechanics on a Smith machine can either be advantageous or detrimental depending on what you want to achieve, your body structure, and whether you have any injuries or have sustained any from the form you use.

When doing a free-weight squat, you must stay on a path according to the laws of gravity if not you'd topple over. Should the barbell slip out of the groove, you'll immediately feel it and that's a sign to adjust your form. But with the Smith machine, the equipment will accommodate your excesses and allow you to move unnaturally. You might not notice until weeks or months later when something starts to hurt.

Although most bodybuilders often use the Smith Machine to achieve their bodybuilding goals, free-weight barbell squats are still preferred and they're often used for sports training and powerlifting.

Also, according to the Electromyographical(EMG) study, it was discovered that the Smith machine squats activate the quadriceps less than the free-weight barbell squats. So while the Smith machine may look to be the best method for squats, there's still a chance that the traditional free weight method still outperforms it.
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Mecca V.I.P.
Apr 10, 2014

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Mecca V.I.P.
Feb 9, 2018
Great article. Very sad occurrence. Definitely we have to know our limits. I realize that in bodybuilding we always push our limits but with experience we learn to do it incrementally. I wouldn’t even TRU to squat 400lbs. I use a smith every week some2-3 times a week and I love it. If she would have employed the “Oh Shit” softy stops this wouldn’t have happened.
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