Nothing ruins a good workout like poor positioning.The wrong positioning can disrupt your build, rob you of the strength you need to trigger gains, and even lead to injury.Conversely, good positioning can help turn a good workout into a great one.
Most lifters will be required to find out at some point.For example, it could be your regular training partner or a complete stranger saying something like “Hey, find me, bro!”
According to the old American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) left over from my studies, spots can be defined as:
“Using someone such as a coach or personal trainer to assist in performing the exercise to help protect the athlete from injury.”
For example, let’s say you’re doing the bench press and you decide to hit a few more boards to really push yourself.
Ask someone to watch you while you lift because you know the risk of being crushed under a heavy bar.That way, if you can’t complete a rep, they can help you with your setup and then readjust the bars.
A well-timed spot can save you from serious injury.Any sport that is at risk of being crushed by heavy objects will benefit from discovery.
However, while discovery can save you from accidents and injuries, there are several other reasons you may wish or be required to discover.these are:
Even if you train to failure, you haven’t used up all your muscle fibers.Instead, you simply cannot generate enough force to lift the weight you are using.Forced reps are a way for your partner to help through discovery so you can continue to train beyond failure.
You can do one or several mandatory reps.Either way, forced reps can significantly increase the intensity level of your workout.
In the negative training method, the observer actually does most of the lift, while the person exercising lowers the weight without assistance, focusing almost entirely on the off-center or negative portion of each rep.This is an intense training method best left to experienced exercisers.
Many exercises have sticking points.These occur at the longest angle of the lever, where the weight is furthest from the fulcrum or moving joint.
A suitable timing can help you overcome this difficulty so that you can a) use more weights and/or b) do more reps without resorting to cheating.For example, having the elbows at 90 degrees during barbell biceps curls helps a little.
Whether you’re lifting more weight than usual or trying to do more reps, having a watcher on hand may be just what you need to boost your confidence and push past your previous limits.
Even if your observer isn’t giving you any practical help, just knowing that someone is watching is enough to get you to try that “maybe” rep you wouldn’t try alone.
Many lifters train harder with observers than without.Lifting weights in front of an audience creates a certain amount of mental stress that may improve your performance.
And, if you tell your observers you’re going to do it ten times, you probably will.Also, the person offering the location can help verbally encourage you.
A good watcher can help you fix poor weightlifting technique.In some exercises, they even guide your limbs to make sure you’re doing the exercise of your choice correctly, such as during dumbbell flys or lateral raises.The observer can also control your rhythm and ensure you are using the full, correct range of motion.
While accidents can happen at any point in a group, the part that takes apart/reshelves is arguably the most dangerous.Both involve taking the weight off the J-hook and putting it back in, and with just one small mistake, the bar will fall.Observers can more safely remove and reload a loaded bar.
There is a right place and a wrong place to represent the observation.The right place is safe and effective (for both parties), and the wrong place puts one or both of you at risk.Make sure the observer is out of the way, but they are also in a position where they can lift safely, even without rounding their lower back.
Unless you’re negatively training, the observer should provide the least amount of help needed to complete the desired reps.After all, the whole point of strength training is to push yourself!If the observer is overweight, it may make the exercise less effective.
So, if you feel like you’re doing more work than the people you find, it’s possible that they’re overestimating their strength and that they need to take the weight off the bar.Observers are not the only training!
Unless you’re finding very heavy weights, you should only need to find the last few reps of a set.Get close and ready, but don’t start helping too soon.You probably don’t need it at all!
If you’re going to find out, make sure you pay attention to how the series is going so you can be in the right place and ready to help at the right time.You find it there, so don’t let your mind wander or start looking around.Instead, focus on the people you work with.
Both parties need to communicate effectively when discovering.After all, neither is a mind reader.The observer needs to know when to step in and the lifter needs to know when to expect the weight.Miscommunication can lead to serious injury.
Warm-up sets usually do not require spotting.Some exercises don’t even require positioning, such as the bent-over row, deadlift, power clean, and lunge.Asking for or trying to provide a venue for an unobservable practice can cause more problems than it solves.
Not everyone wants or likes to be discovered.So while it might not hurt to offer someone a spot, it’s very rude to just dive in and start helping if you haven’t been asked.
Of course, if you think someone is about to be crushed to death by a heavy weight, you shouldn’t just stand and watch.They may need help whether they want to or not.However, even then, unsolicited discovery may be considered inappropriate, so only step in if you think it is 100% necessary.
Discovery techniques vary by exercise, and what works in one situation may not work in another.Here are some guidelines to follow.But keep in mind that common sense should prevail, and you may need to adjust these methods based on the exercises you find.
When spotting barbell exercises, it’s usually best to grab the barbell itself.This can be done with an overhand, underhand or mixed grip.You may not even need a full grip on the bar, just a little help can help with reps.
That said, barbell exercises usually involve heavy weights, so you should always stay close enough to react quickly when you need to carry more load.
The main exception to this guide is finding squats.Squats always involve a lot of weight, and if you’re holding the bar, you won’t be able to apply much force.Instead, it’s more effective to put your arm under the armpit of the person you find or even wrap your arm around their chest.
This is a fairly aggressive move, so you should only do it with the permission of the person you’re working with.You may also want to practice it with lighter weights as it can be a bit difficult to master.
There are two ways to discover dumbbell exercises, and they both have proponents and detractors, pros and cons.Try them out and see which one you and the person you find like better.
Using option one, you grab the wrist of the person you find.This gives you great weight control, but can be uncomfortable for the person you find, especially if they need a lot of help.
Option two involves applying pressure under the elbows.This helps, but doesn’t do much to stop the weights from veering off the right path.In theory, despite your best efforts, the dumbbell could fall inward or backward causing injury.
While you may not need to spot machine exercises for safety purposes, it can still be helpful.For example, you can do forced reps for lat pulldowns or triceps pushdowns, or make sure you’re using the widest possible range of motion in leg extensions or leg curls.
In most cases, the best way to spot machine motion is to apply pressure to the machine itself.No need to touch the people you find.However, in some exercises this may mean pulling or pushing the handle of the machine or pulling the cable.
However, you must ensure that your fingers or hands cannot be pulled into the mechanism of the machine.Watch how the machine works and decide where to put your hands on the safest.For example, don’t put your fingers between the weight piles, it’s an accident waiting to happen.
Discovery is a vital gym bro skill.This is important for safety and can even make workouts more intense and productive.
Whether you’ve just been asked to spot a stranger, or you’re discovering your long-term training partner, you need to do your job!
So, learn to be a good observer and be ready to offer a spot when asked.Don’t be the guy who always asks for a position and never returns it.Remember that at least some of your bro reps depend on your ability to be a good observer.
Patrick Dale is a former Royal Marine, gym owner, fitness trainer and assessor.Additionally, Patrick is a freelance writer who has authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of eBooks, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.He’s not just an armchair fitness expert; Patrick practices what he preaches!He has achieved high levels in many sports, including rugby, triathlon, rock climbing, trampoline, weightlifting, and most recently, stand-up paddle boarding.When not lecturing, training, researching or writing, Patrick is busy enjoying the sunny climate of Cyprus, where he has lived for 20 years.
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Post time: Jul-25-2022