Powerline: Guidelines for spotters in the weight room
One of the most underestimated and underrated components of a successful strength-training program is the role of the training partner or spotter.
Here at Michigan State University, our athletes train in pairs within smaller groups for a host of technical and motivational reasons. We put special emphasis on the spotters responsibilities in assuring both the safety and productivity of the lifter.Here is a short list of a spotter’s most important responsibilities:
- Always be alert and cognizant of what your partner is about to attempt, and be with him or her every step of the way.
- Get in the best possible position to spot the upcoming lift.
- Always check the bar on both sides for an even weight distribution and a collar/clamp.
- Guide the lift-off, when called for, on the designated command of the lifter.
- Use two hands when assistance is needed — don’t tip the bar by using only one hand. Spotters should have good position and balance when assisting student-athletes.
- Maintain a firm, solid stance for balance.
- Encourage good technique and great effort.
- Be able to spot the entire host of modalities to be used (e.g., Olympic bars, machines, dumbbells).
- Always assist with changing weights.
- Don’t unnecessarily crowd the lifter; give him or her space to work.
- Maintain constant communication.