Spotting

Spotting with free weights

Spotting is the act of assisting someone with a weight lifting exercise.

Read on to discover more about spotting, how to lit with a spotter and how to spot others with good techique.

What is a spotter?

A spotter is a person who assists the weight lifter during the exercise.

Why use a spotter for free weights?

Spotting is an important part of exercising and strength training with free weights.

When using free weights, there is much greater potential for injury or accidents, so it is very important to use a spotter where necessary.

Exercises should always be spotted if they require a weight to be passed over the head (such as the bench press) or if they require a weight to be placed at the neck or shoulder (such as the squat).

Spotting technique for bench press

There is a set process for spotting during free weight exercises, though this can be modified depending on the exercise and exercisers.

spotting bench press
Here is the process for performing a spotted bench press using a barbell:

Spotting the bench press

  • The lifter will order the spotter to ‘deadlift the bar’. The spotter lifts the bar.
  • The lifter then takes hold of the bar along with the spotter and the lifter says ‘bar in’. The spotter then helps the lifter to move the barbell over the lifter’s head and into position.
  • When the lifter has a good grip and is ready to take the bar alone and begin the exercise, the lifter says ‘my bar’ and the spotter lets go.
  • After the exercise is completed, the lifter calls ‘spotter in’ and the spotter moves in to help the lifter.
  • With both lifter and spotter now holding the barbell, the lifter calls ‘bar out’ and both lifter and spotter move the bar carefully back over the head of the lifter.
  • Once the barbell is clear and the spotter has a full grip, the spotter calls ‘my bar’ and the lifter releases the bar for the spotter to place it back on the floor.

Do you have any advice for training with a spotter? Do you use a different spotting technique? Share your thoughts in the comments,.

Read more about weight lifting safety

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