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As you gear up for your workout sessions, hoping to reach new heights in your fitness level, it’s important that safety is always in the back of your mind. As the total weight you lift goes up, so does your need for a gym partner.
Having a spotter with you when you attempt heavy lifts such as the bench press, the shoulder press, and in some cases, even squats, is essential for success.
Not only does it protect you from what could be, a devastating injury, but simply knowing they are there to help out if you need them can give you the mental drive and determination to do an additional few reps – reps that you otherwise wouldn’t have completed.
It’s these reps that, at the end of the day, often mean progress is made. Whether you’re the one having someone spot you or you are acting as the spotter for your gym partner, it helps to know how to do it correctly.
Here are some quick tips to remember.
Spot With An Overhand Double-Hand Grip During The Bench Press
First, when spotting someone doing the bench press, make sure that you are using an overhand, double hand grip pattern on the bar. This will be critical to provide the stabilization both you and they need.
Don’t try and spot this exercise with just one hand. Not only could the spot be ineffective, but you may actually injure yourself in the process.
Spot From The Wrists During Dumbbell Shoulder Or Bench Press
Next, whenever you are spotting a dumbbell based exercise, be it a bench press, incline bench press, or shoulder press, always spot from the wrists. This will be the best way to give a little assistance if needed and to avoid interrupting their natural position and flow of movement pattern as they complete the last few reps.
Grab the dumbbell and it’ll throw their form off completely, rending those last few reps ineffective.
Avoid Assisting The Move Too Soon
It’s also vital that you don’t assist them too soon. Don’t actually place your hands on the bar or their wrists until they need it. Some spotters will rest them on the bar as they go about the exercise but this can really throw off the individual doing the workout.
You’ll either apply pressure as you do this or take some of the tension off their muscles, both of which aren’t ideal for a successful set.
Grab on when you first see them struggle.
Discuss The Rep Range Beforehand
Speaking of this, always talk about the rep range they plan to use prior to the doing the set. This will help them better understand when they should come into play, giving you the spot you need.
If you know they’re only doing 5 reps, you’ll be paying close attention right around rep 3. If they’re going for 10, they aren’t going to need your help until they likely get to 7 or 8.
So keep these quick points in mind and you can ensure you are being the best spotter for your partner.