4 Golden Rules of Spotting in the Gym
First off, we apologize for the lack of posts recently. As you can see, the website has gotten a makeover and will continue to be tweaked and such since we’ve moved to a new platform. Thank you for your patience and loyalty!! Alrighty, on to the post.
This applies to everyone. Whether you workout alone, with others, at home, or in a gym, you should know how to properly “spot” others. What does “spotting” mean? It means helping and guiding a friend, a workout buddy, a stranger in need. When they’re lifting weight that’s heavy for them and they need that extra push or that extra set of hands to make sure that dumbbell doesn’t fall on their face (from experience, this doesn’t feel good). Let’s look over a few tips that can help:
1. Take out at least one earphone. You need to be able to listen to your workout buddy. They may not be able to talk well, they may be under some stress from heavy weights. They may be grunting something to you that’s hard to hear. You need to give them your undivided attention so that if they need that quick help, you’re there to give it to them.
2. Keep eye contact on your buddy at all times. And I mean at all times. It could be that split second you look over at a new person doing who-knows-what that your buddy drops the dumbbell on his face. Not okay. Put in the patience and dedication to helping your partner or stranger friend and focus for the maybe 30 seconds that they are doing their set.
3. Maintain proper form. This is not only important for the person doing the exercise, but also the spotter! If I’m in the wrong position to help Chris with bench press, I might throw out my back. If I am in the wrong form for helping him in chest press, there goes my knees or my groin! It’s important to be ready before they start the exercise, to have ample control and safety over your body–whether that means crouching or kneeling down on the floor. Be ready!
4. Do an honest evaluation. Are you sure you can deadlift the amount of weight your friend is benching? Because that’s what it comes down to. If they completely fail, you have to be ready to deadlift that weight. This goes for everything. Is your friend putting up too much weight for you to be able to properly spot? Be honest. There should be no pride in this evaluation because it could cost both you and your friend an injury if you are foolish about this one. If I don’t think I can handle spotting some of Chris’ sets, I tell him we could find someone stronger. Do the right thing.
There are others that we could mention, but they don’t come near the importance of these four. Learn these four and you will eventually become a master spotter and a popular gal or guy at the gym. Everyone loves a good spotter! “Just one more” depends on it and, often too, so does injury prevention. Use these rules to stay hungry and fit!
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