I’ll start this one off from a video by Elliott Hulse.
– Training with the smith machine builds the prime movers and can create an impressive physique.
– Stabilizing muscles aren’t trained adequately when using machines like the Smith Machine. This can lead to injuries.
– If you’re a bodybuilder, it might make sense to use machines a good bit. If you’re training for strength, athleticism, etc., it probably doesn’t make much sense.
– Balance out your body using various other exercises (this might include stretching and body weight exercises) to avoid injuries.
I agree with Elliott. I don’t think most people should train using the smith machine primarily, if they can avoid it. If they can’t avoid it, they should find a way to activate the stabilizing muscles with other means. The same goes for just about any machine you might find at a gym. I think they can be beneficial at times to use for assistance exercises, but your primary exercises should be done with free weights.
As always, I’m not a personal trainer or doctor. I just like to lift and educate myself about training. Do whatever you think is best!