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Home » Exercises

The Squat- Proper Spotting

Submitted by on December 4, 2008 – 12:47 pmNo Comment

The squat simply is the best exercise you can do at the gym for gaining muscle mass, avoiding it is just not an option. When you’ve reached weights that becomes a risk to your safety, the only way to further your progress is with a spotter. By performing the squat with a spotter will give you the security that the weight is not going to crash down on you and give you the extra edge to finish your last rep when needed. Most of the time the spot for safety reasons but for the one time something does goes wrong you’ll be glad you had a spot.

How to Spot Safely

  • With only one spotter. Stand behind the squatter and watch for the rep you need to help with. When this happens firmly grab them under their chest through their armpits and help them with their natural movement of the squat. It shouldn’t take much to help them finish the rep. Another alternative is to help the movement through the bar rather than their physical body. With this you are in a safer position to get away if the bar does happen to fall. From here you don’t get the leverage as you would from the first method so its your preference as to which method you choose.
  • The preferred method to spot the squat is with 2 spotters. With 2 people you have the security that if the bar drops completely from the squatter, the spotters will be able to safely take the load of the weight. There can be problems with two spotters so it is absolutely necessary that spotters are on the same page. Both spotters should have a sign or single to know when to jump in safely. If one spotter decides to help while the other doesn’t you’ll be in trouble if your stuck under the bar with your balance completely thrown off.
  • How to know which rep to spot? Their is always that one rep when you think they need a spot but you don’t want to help when its not needed. Give a second chance, sometime they’ll get a second wind to finish the rep after they’ve stalled at some point during the rep. Immediately help with the rep if they begin to lose ground on the rep but if they stall wait a second or two before you jump in.
  • How much do you need to help? You can help too much or not enough there is a fine line that you need to find so your not taking to much strain off but enough so they can finish the rep. They should still be doing the majority of the lift but the last 10% you will be helping.

With out a spotter for any exercise you will have a much harder time increasing strength. With out a spot you can not push it to your absolute maximum with out putting yourself at serious risk for an injury. Everyone needs a spot a some point so don’t be stubborn and avoid a spotter when it’s needed. To see and get the most from your workouts get a buddy to not only spot you but point out your faults and help you correct them. Lift safe from Men’s Garage.

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