This Full-Body Workout Uses Just One Gym Machine And It’s Ideal For Beginners

Woman uses Smith machine to squat with a barbell
(Image credit: Enes Evren / Getty Images)

With so many different machines, weights and workout styles to choose between, it can be hard to know where to start at the gym—especially as a beginner.

Plus, if you’re trying to get in and out as quickly as possible, having a workout that can be done entirely from one machine is one worth saving.

NASM-certified fitness instructor Laura Lino recently shared a workout on Instagram that uses just one piece of equipment, the Smith Machine, which consists of a barbell between rails. The moves Lino chooses make up a full-body workout which can help beginners gain confidence with weighted moves.

The Smith machine is a great piece of kit for beginners as the barbell only travels between the vertical rails so you don’t have to worry about stabilizing it. There are also safety catches at regular intervals along the rails so you can twist the bar to rerack it at any point during the movement if you get stuck midway through a lift. 

“The Smith machine makes the exercise more stable which can be beneficial for hypertrophy training as well as for beginners,” says personal trainer Pippa Sealey. “The Smith machine is also good if you’re recovering from injury or you struggle with balance.”

Take a look at Lino’s Instagram Reel where she demonstrates each exercise.

This workout is split into three supersets, which means you do two exercises back-to-back followed by a rest. Coach’s guide to superset workouts goes into more detail if you want to find out more.

Each superset is made up of one upper-body and one lower-body exercise so you target a wide range of muscles in one session, a hallmark of a good beginner gym workout.

For alternatives to this workout, if you have free rein in the gym and want to stick to the machines, try this progressive weights machine workout plan. Or if the Smith machine is taken and the gym is heaving, turn to one of these easy one-kit workouts, instead.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.