The Smith Machine: When and When Not To Use It

Throughout most major gyms in the country, you’re likely to find the Smith Machine, a piece of equipment that, if used correctly can be a great addition to your workout. Like any piece of fitness machinery though, if use incorrectly, you could injure yourself, so it’s important to get to know this piece of equipment and see if it’s right for you.


Getting into a solid workout routine can be a fun challenge and adding new equipment and new goals can keep working out fun and interesting, but adding something without knowing what you’re doing can be dangerous, so if you’ve never used the Smith Machine before, take a minute to figure out if it’s right for you.


The Smith Machine is basically an imitation of a power rack. It consists of a vertical frame and barbell, which can be hooked in the slots made on the vertical frame. The frame itself limits the freedom of movement, making this a great piece of equipment for short, partial-range training, but not for other workouts where a linear line of movement can be hard on the body and joints. The Smith Machine was designed to make focusing on partial-range training easier than using free weights, and when used for this purpose, it works great.


The best ways to use the Smith Machine are for partial-range training, calf raises, especially if your gym doesn’t have a calf raise machine, seated overhead press, drag curls, upright row, bent over row, behind the back shrug, close grip bench presses, reverse grip bench presses, and potentially squats.


There is some debate about using the Smith Machine for squats as the machine limits you to linear motion. This is good and bad as the weights are stabilized by the machine itself, allowing you to use more heavy weights that you may not try with a free barbell. Using the Smith Machine can be a great way to increase weight in your workout set, but if you push yourself too hard, too fast you can end up with a serious injury, just like you can using a free weight barbell.


The main thing to remember when using the Smith Machine or any other piece of fitness equipment is to use it properly. If you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment then ask a trainer at your gym. Trainers can help you incorporate new equipment into your workout routine and teach you how to use equipment properly to avoid injury. If you don’t have access to a trainer or are using equipment at a home gym or a small gym, you can find videos online, on various fitness websites and on YouTube that can teach you how to properly use machines such as the Smith Machine. This machine can be a great addition to your work out plan, but make sure you know what you’re doing before you start using it, this way you can improve your body and stay safe while doing so.

Consumer Report: Elliptical Machines and Treadmills

Getting fit can happen in a lot of different ways but nothing beats the standard old method a good run. Running is the gold standard for cardiovascular exercise and running is a great way to get in shape. Based on where you live and lifestyle limitations, going for a run outdoors isn’t always an option, so investing in a treadmill can be a solid move to help your overall health. Since treadmills can be costly, in the thousands of dollar range, getting a good one is important. Thanks to Consumer Reports, you can find the right treadmill for you and get on your way to getting fit.


In the world of treadmills, there are two basic dividing lines, folding and non-folding. If you have the space for a non-folding treadmill than you won’t need to consider the other option, but for those wanting a treadmill in a limited space situation, a folding treadmill is a great alternative to the standard model and is no less functional or worthwhile. In order to find the best folding and non-folding treadmills on the market, Consumer Reports tests ease of use, ergonomics, exercise range, quality and durability of construction, and safety. The most important thing when purchasing a treadmill, or any piece of fitness equipment, is making sure you getting something that will last and you continue to improve your health. One of the best folding treadmills on the market right now is the Spirit XT485 Treadmill. This folding treadmill folds out to a full-sized treadmill but tucks away nicely when not in use. The design makes folding and unfolding the treadmill easy and safe. The Spirit XT485 Treadmill has multiple consoles from where you can adjust your speed, along with other settings. And the main control panel features tri-color with LED fine pitch dot matrix technology and a detailed graph for tracking the heart rate zone. This treadmill is easy to use, easy to store, and rated as one of the top fitness machines according to Consumer Reports.


If running isn’t your thing or if your knees or joints tend to bother you, an elliptical may be a better option than a treadmill. Elliptical machines still provide a great cardiovascular workout, but are much easier on the joints by elimination the high impact of running. If you’re not a runner, you’re recovery for an injury or surgery, or you want to get in shape but don’t want to be too hard your body, elliptical fitness machines are a great alternative to treadmills.


In the world of elliptical fitness machines, the Diamondback 1260Ef Elliptical has been rated by the Consumer Report five years running as one of the top machines on the market. This elliptical comes with the five classic programs, including the Quick Start option: manual, random cross, interval, hill climb, and sprint, a Workout summary displaying the total time of workout, calories, distance, maximum heart rate, minimum heart rate, and average heart rate, and easy-to-select program buttons with LED indicators. This machine is a great way to get in shape if a traditional treadmill is not what you’re looking for.


With one of these great machines, getting in shape can be fun and easy!

Take a look at the Waterrower Natural Series

unnamedAs the WaterRower concept and its WaterFlyWheel continue to redefine the cardio-craze, more and more people are interested in what sets them apart. In this article we’ll take a few minutes to dive into the specifics of the Natural Series, which is considered a good “starter” or “entry level” place for amateur rowers to begin. …read more

Waterrower Workouts


Workout Tips

  • When rowing a pyramid piece, as you increase the stroke rate (SPM), you also want to make sure you’re keeping a steady amount of pressure, or intensity, behind each stroke.
  • If you feel like you’re getting burnt out quickly into the workout, decrease the SPM (i.e. if you’re rowing at a 28, drop it down to a 26 or 24). During the recovery portion of the stroke (point in the stroke where you’re sliding towards the tank), slow it down and take this time to breathe.
  • Don’t forget to keep good form to help avoid injuries!

FitDir Teams Up with Sixty Feet for a Human Cause

childrenHere at FitDir we live and breathe fitness/ human wellness, but we also love to give back in extra special ways to the world that has opened its arms to our business. Have you been exposed to the Sixty Feet story yet? When we heard it we were so moved that we donated a high-end treadmill especially for the efforts of these good Christian people and the Ugandan orphans they’re helping. …read more

When Does Fitness Become an Obsession?

In recent years CrossFit has gotten some bad press due to the injuries and obsession that some of their members experience. In fact, this type of thing is popping up in many other areas of modern fitness; from Zumba and metabolic conditioning classes to the fitness-based obstacle course culture (Mud Runner, Survival Race, etc.).


For many, the safe conventional notion of working out and the gym experience is simply not enough anymore. People can take things too far; without even knowing it just like most other addictions. In this article we’re going to look at four red flags that should cause you to step back a sec. …read more

Embrace Those That Seek to Derail Your Fitness Goals

New age philosophy claims that if you choose to experience wealth, first you must go through a period of destitution. If you choose a robust sex life, then first comes a lonely-streak. Basically, when you decide to change your life or better yourself in some way you must face friction that forces you to demonstrate that choice. What do you think?


In this article we’re going to explore the fitness angle for a fair amount of people out there. As soon as someone chooses to get in-shape and be healthy, people come out of the woodwork to try and counter their decisive actions. Here’s what to expect. …read more

3 Reasons the WaterRower is Better than Air Rowers

Suddenly, WaterRower rowing machines went from more private cardio machines kept in select training centers, rehabilitation clinics and gyms to a trend setter! Has Rowing really become the new Spinning? What’s the deal? If you don’t have one or haven’t used one yet you may be thinking, “Pfft, it’s all hype.” Well, in this article we’re going to explore the 3 reasons that the WaterRower is increasingly preferred over traditional air models.
…read more

WaterRower Gets Featured on House of Cards: Starts a Rowing Craze

The numbers are in folks, a functional fitness revolution is now sweeping the modern world. I mean let’s be honest, rowers used to be few and far between. Many popular gyms had a couple stuffed off to the side of elliptical trainers. Now, rowing classes are taking off and becoming a phenomenon all by themselves. People dig rowing. Contemporary models like the WaterRower make it a much less daunting indoor activity to master. …read more

How to Determine the Best WaterRower for You

rs172_s_waterrower_23251Awesome, you’ve made the monumental choice to invest in a WaterRower and now just need to figure out which of their models best suits you. In this article we’re going to go over each and help you find the one that’s got your name written all over it. As you’ll see, making the decision isn’t going to be hard at all.


When all is said and done it comes down to these components: your budget, the aesthetics that speak to you and how many extra features you’re after. First, let’s take a gander at each of the seven models currently available.
…read more