Should I squat using the smith machine or free weights? The issue at hand is that I have a herniated disk, I haven’t had issues with it in years, but I am concern about doing free weight squats. Also, when I do smith machine squats my quads don’t get sore, like when I do leg-presses. So, I am wondering whether I should change to free weight squats, to get the kind of feel I get when I do leg-presses. I am 6 2, 211 pounds and growing. I train heavy duty training, one set to failure. In regard to my herniated disk, I don’t have an issue when doing dead lifts. Thanks for your input in advance.