In Part I of this series, we discussed the perfect general technique for spotting. Here, we take a closer look at how to spot three specific upper body exercises—the Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench and Skullcrushers—that are often spotted incorrectly.
Never spot the Bench Press with both hands under the bar. To avoid slippage, hold the center of the bar with an alternating grip. Assume an athletic stance with a tight core, and be ready to catch the bar in the event of a sudden failure. Follow the bar through the full range of motion and monitor the lifter's status. Be ready to provide assistance when needed.
Contrary to popular belief, never guide or press against the lifter's elbows to assist this lift. Although it may help complete the movement, it does not lessen the risk of the lifter dropping a dumbbell on his face, neck or chest in the event of a failure. Instead, hold the lifter's wrists through the full range of motion, using the same technique cues as for the Bench Press.
Although Skullcrushers typically use less weight than the Bench Press, the weight moves directly over the lifter's face—necessitating a spot. Use an alternating grip (same as when spotting the Bench Press), assume a ready position and follow the bar through the full range of motion. Be particularly attentive when the bar is directly over the lifter's head, making sure to prevent accidental bumps against the forehead, which can disorient the lifter and cause a failure.
Source: Training & Conditioning
Photos: Danny Vega
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock