A proper spot on the bench press should do two things: Prevent a barbell loaded with weights from crushing your trachea when you’re too gassed to do another repetition, and enable you to squeeze out another rep or two that you wouldn’t have gotten if not for some assistance. Thing is, theres a huge difference between being a good spotter and an idiot who grabs the bar at the wrong time. So whether you’re being spotted or doing the spotting, you’ll want want to know the proper technique.
For some tips, we turned to a super smart guy with lots of letters after his name — Dr. Carwyn Sharp, PhD, CSCS, RSCC, the director of education for the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
#1. DON’T STRADDLE THE DUDE BENCH PRESSING
You should be standing at the end of the bench close enough to lift the bar. Where you shouldn’t be standing is so close to the dude bench pressing that your junk is dangerously close to his face. “Do not straddle the athlete,” Dr. Sharp explains. “I’ve seen pictures of this and it seems … unsafe and inappropriate. The spotter’s feet should be shoulder-width apart with the knees slightly flexed.”