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The Smith Machine, a popular weight-training device found in gyms across the country, may have design flaws that promote poor form, restrict natural movement and increase the risk of injury. Injuries have also reportedly been caused by improper maintenance or supervision (facility operations error) of Smith Press Machines. 
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Free Confidential Lawsuit Information: If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury while using a Smith Machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the Smith Press Machine and we can help.

Update: Cybex Recalls Smith Machines Over Serious Injury Hazard

Cybex is recalling about 15,000 Smith Press Machines over concerns the weight bar can fall during use, posing serious injury hazards to people using the equipment and those nearby, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced on Wednesday. Affected products include the Cybex Smith Press model 5340 (model # printed on base of frame), which was sold from 1989 to 1993, and model 5341, sold from 1993 to 2009 [1].

The Smith Machine: Weight-Lifting Equipment You Can Do Without

The Smith Machine, which is basically a squat rack with a built-in bar that runs on guides, is promoted as giving users all the benefits of traditional free-weight exercises without the risks that come with holding a heavy barbell across your back or chest. This is because the bar can easily be secured at any point during the exercise.

However, you can become severely injured using a Smith Machine for the following reasons:

  • False Sense of Security – Many people take more risks and put heavier weights on the device because the barbell is fixed. This can result in catastrophic injuries, such as that suffered by Harold Leon Bostick. While performing squats at a Gold’s Gym in Venice, CA, in 2003, Bostick’s spine was crushed because the “dead stop” on the Smith Machine he was using was set too low. Bostick, now a quadriplegic, was awarded $14.4 million for his injuries.
  • Unnatural Movements – When you squat with free weights, your body goes down in an arched path. Smith Press Machines require the body to travel in a fixed, unnatural pattern. This can cause severe injury, especially with heavier weights.
  • Knee Injuries – Knee pain is commonly reported in users of the Smith Machine. The device forces the body into fixed movement patterns and places shearing loads on the knees. It’s also difficult to position yourself correctly under the weight bar.
  • Lower Back Injuries – The fixed weight bar makes you rest against it and the machine forces you to move in an unnatural pattern. You push your spinal erectors and neck muscles more against the bar, which causes increased back stress, especially at heavier weights.
  • No Balance – Since the bar is fixed, the weight is balanced and stabilized for you. Exercising on a Smith Machine won’t help strengthen your stabilizing muscles or improve balance and coordination, things you need for sports and routine physical activities.
  • Muscle Imbalances – You only build strength in one plane since the weight bar is fixed. This causes muscle imbalances and increases the risk of injury in the undeveloped planes of movements.

Smith Machine Manufacturers

  • Flex Equipment Co.
  • Valor Athletics Inc.
  • PowerLine
  • Marcy
  • Body Solid
  • Yukon Fitness
  • Atlas
  • Weider
  • And others

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The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Smith Press Machine lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an injury while using a Smith Press Machine, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Smith Machine Suit and we can help.

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