How to safely spot somebody during heavy double presses

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Marc, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Hello everybody,

    what would be the safest and most efficient way to spot somebody doing heavy double clean and presses or presses (with two kettlebells). I am more interested in spoting to prevent an injury or accident (worst case: posterior shoulder dislocation due to excessive external rotation) as opposed to "squeeze out" the last rep bodybuilder-style. Any recommendations and thoughts are highly appreciated!
  2. Bill Been

    Bill Been More than 500 posts

    Don’t try to spot a press. The trainee should know to first fail with integrity, returning the bells to the rack in a controlled manner and second how to bail altogether on a rep, moving aft out of the flight path of the bells in the worst case, out of the groove, out of control chuck it across the room failed rep. Don’t spot the press.

    For those who disagree, the fact is that it’s pretty simple for a trainee to hop outta the way of a descending failed press. On the other hand getting TWO of you out of the way raises the odds of somebody being struck or bent wrong enormously.
    J Petersen, WxHerk, Tjerr and 3 others like this.
  3. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Used to spot just below the elbows, spotter stands behind.
    Marc likes this.
  4. H. Mac

    H. Mac Double-Digit Post Count

    It’s a great question!

    For heavy 2 KB C&Ps, I think the safest way is for the lifter to have a plan for dropping the KBs.

    A spotter can’t safely stand in front of the lifter (obviously), and I sure wouldn’t want a spotter standing behind me, since I might need a quick step or partial step backward to maintain my balance as the KBs are coming to the racked position. If the lifter can’t bring the KBs to the rack, they can be returned to the starting position or dropped.

    As the arms are raising the KBs, failure is usually preceded by the KBs being uneven (one higher than the other, or one moving farther from the lifter), so again, loss of balance is possible, and since quick foot movement might be needed to regain it, there’s no safe place for a spotter to stand. The KBs can be returned to the starting position or dropped.

    As the KBs are coming down, maintaining them in the racked position for more than an instant can be difficult, especially if fatigue is setting in. So while an “under the elbows spot from the rear” might be possible at this point, it might be safer for the lifter to continue moving the KBs to the floor.

    I recently began doing heavy C&Ps (with 32s, which for me, are pretty heavy) and since I work out alone, I have a mat on which I can safely drop them, while being certain to keep them away from my knees and feet.
    Marc likes this.
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement, SFB, Senior SFG Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Not usually necessary, particularly with kettlebells. I think this is pretty much a non-issue. If spotting such a lift, use two spotters, not one.

    J Petersen, Marc and H. Mac like this.
  6. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I'm going to agree with @Bill Been on this for the most part.

    The only portion of the lift you can safely spot is getting out of the hole, after that they either make it or not.

    BBing we would spot this with working individual in a chair using dumbells, a light assist at the elbow if needed to get it moving. There's not much else you can do. With KB it would only be more difficult.
    Marc likes this.
  7. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Thank you a lot everybody!
    Yes, my personal conviction is also NOT to help, especially not with the intention to squeeze out more reps. Failing with integrity should always be the preferred option. Does anybody has a link to a video explaining failing with integrity?
    My concern is solely safety-wise. For that my idea would be to only slightly keep contact with the presser's forearms an kinda keep (or rather guard) them in place to prevent external rotation. What do you think about that?

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