Why it's on the list: While some gym rats consider the Smith machine taboo, you shouldn't. The fixed plane of the movement allows you to pull heavy with lots of stability, making for a humbling exercise.
Treat it like a cross between a dumbbell row and a machine row, utilizing benefits of each. The single-arm version, with the elbows pulling back close to your sides, is especially effective at targeting the lower portion of the lats.
Smith Machine row variations for back growth:
- Single-arm Smith machine row (sideways to machine)
- Smith machine bent-over row
- Smith machine bodyweight inverted row
In your workout: Do it about midway through your workout, after your heavy overhand pulls. And don't be afraid to throw on some wrist straps! Your goal is to hammer your back, not be constantly limited by your grip strength.