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Spot on Spotting

If you're lucky enough to have a workout partner, then you're also lucky enough to have a spotter or be a spotter. Being a spotter is not just helping if your partner is having problems, it's about being alert and prepared. Take these tips into consideration.


  • Before starting. Make sure you know how many reps the lifter intends on doing before starting a set. Without this knowledge, you both run the risk of possibly getting injured.
  • Get hands on. Anyone who's ever spotted or been spotted knows that spotting is very psychological. Just the fact that you're touching the weights (or them) can help someone get out a few more reps.
  • Placement. If they're lifting a barbell, put your palms on the underside of the bar inside their hands. If they're using dumbbells then put your hands under their elbows or more preferably under the wrists (in the same place on each side and as close to the dumbbells as possible). If they're using a machine, put your hand underneath the weight but be sure to be VERY alert and move hands on the down phase to ensure safety from getting your hand smashed.
  • Don't be intimidated by the weight, you can handle it. If he/she can lift a few reps then helping by just a bit will only be a few pounds for you, but will help him/her complete that last extremely difficult rep.

    There are more spotting tips so read more

  • When to really help. A spotter need only to provide assistance on the part that requires the pushing or pulling motion. Don't help with the other part, but have your hands in place just in case. For example, it's important to be aware that people can get also injured during the relaxation phase if they put/lower the weights down too quickly, so be ready, hands on and alert the entire time but only help when help is needed.
  • Be prepared to act if he/she needs some assistance. Standing with your knees bent and your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Position yourself close enough to the weight that you won't have to lean forward (and hurt your back) to help lift it.
  • Etiquette. An effective spotter gives encouragement and feedback on technique. Don't ask questions, as they can break the lifter's focus.

Fit's Tip: Attention all you ladies spotting for your husbands: It is not a good idea to offer to spot someone who's lifting more weight than you can actually lift yourself. If this is the case, then two spotters may be necessary.

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