Workout Tips

How to Be a Good Spotter

The technique behind spotting can be tricky. Here's a detailed guide to help you through.

How to Be a Good Spotter

Regardless of which lift you are spotting, there are a few rules that hold universally true when spotting a training partner. Do not grab the bar until necessary. Always prioritize the lifter’s safety. And yell out “You got this, bro!” as loud as possible during the sticking point (okay, maybe that one is optional).

Spotting the Barbell Bench Press

When spotting the barbell bench press, always place yourself in a high enough position over the bar that you can grab it during any phase of the lift. And speaking of grabbing the bar, always do so with a double-overhand grip to help you avoid injuring yourself. And, unless you are using a special technique such as forced reps, you should not have to spot multiple reps. If you have to touch the bar, the set should end with that rep. Remember, his bench press should not turn into you repeatedly deadlifting the bar off your training partner’s chest.

Spotting Dumbbell Movements

When spotting dumbbell movements always do so from the wrist. Don’t fall into the trap of pushing on his elbows to help him finish his chest press as this can easily result in the weight crashing on his forehead (which, last I checked, is not good). Similarly, when spotting the squat, always do so from behind your training partner putting your arms underneath his arm pits, grabbing his chest and helping him stand up. Do not spot the squat by trying to grab the bar (unless you have two spotters, each positioned at either end of the barbell).

When Not to Spot

Finally, there are certain lifts such as the deadlift, clean, snatch and overhead press that should never be spotted. The risks are too high for the both of you. There are established techniques on how to properly and safely miss these lifts that should be learned before attempting them.

Now, can I get a spot, bro?

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