How To Spot Squats

Have you ever seen someone struggle to do squats at your local gym and wanted to be able to spot them? But, you did not know how exactly you could help or how to position your body so that you could support them.

Well, in this article, we are going to learn about how you can change that. We are going to talk about how to spot someone doing squats, when you should intervene, and what to keep in mind while you are spotting.

How To Spot Squats

Do You Need A Spotter For Squats?

Not every exercise will need a spotter, but it is important to be aware of when or if you will need one. Having a spotter does not make you weak or less than, it is a safety precaution, especially in the case of lifting weights. Because you can badly injure yourself if you are not careful. 

So, do squats need to be spotted? The answer is a definitive yes, especially when you are lifting weights. If you step wrong or cannot get the barbell back on the rack, you can badly hurt yourself, which is why you should always have someone there that can help you out.

Even experienced lifters have passed out while doing back lift squats, which is just one reason that you should always have someone on standby. 

A spotter will be able to assist you if anything goes wrong and give you a boost when you begin to flag in your movements. So, be safe and make sure that you have a spotter so that you can hopefully avoid a nasty injury. 

Be Ready To Assist

A normal squat might seem like an easy task, and they do not normally need to have a spotter. But, when you add the extra weight of a barbell, it is definitely recommended that you have a spotter to make sure that you do not injure yourself.

So, how do you spot for someone that is doing a heavier squat? Let’s find out, shall we?

The first thing you will need to keep in mind is this checklist, make sure that you follow these rules and so that you can best spot for squats. 

  • Make sure that you are supporting the person lifting and not the barbell itself. 
  • If the lifter starts moving down, make sure that you are immediately ready to assist them.
  • Make sure that you are in a good position for racking and unracking the barbell. 
  • Make sure to stay close to the lifter without interfering unless it is necessary. 

This move is quite technical, which is why the barbell squat or back lift can be tough to perform and spot. If you are squatting, you should make sure that the rack you are using has pins so that you can put it to the correct height for you before you even begin. 

Some things you need to look out for while someone is squatting are as follows: 

  • The squatter buckling forward
  • Make sure to react if the squatter falls unconscious
  • The squatter being in pain from a knee or ankle injury
  • When the squatter is ready to put the weight back on the rack

Any of these scenarios can happen, so as a spotter, you will need to act quickly so that the squatter is not badly injured. This can happen to someone that is experienced or someone that is a beginner. Regardless, it is important to keep focused and make sure that you are ready to act whenever necessary. 

If the person squatting starts to slow down or begins to look too shaky, you need to make sure you are ready to act. If they start to sink down again after trying to stand up, you need to immediately assist them. 

Now that we know a little more about what we need to be aware of, we can look further into how exactly you position yourself to assist someone that is doing squats. 

How To Spot Squats

Now that we know a few things we need to be looking out for, we can learn how to position ourselves in order to spot someone that is doing a squat like a barbell squat. So, let us take a look at the position you will need to be in so that you can assist. 

  1. Start by making sure that the equipment is set up safely. The plates should be secure on the barbell, and the rack should have pins that are at the correct height for the person you are spotting for. 
  2. You will need to stand behind the person squatting, place your hands close to the person’s back as they take the barbell off the rack. Once they have backed up enough, make sure that you have also backed up so that you are still close enough but have moved with them. 
  3. Plant your feet a shoulder-width apart and make sure that your feet are in a similar position to the person lifting. 
  4. Next, you will need to place your arms under the lifters and bend them up so that they are in a kind of ‘V’ shape. Make sure that you are not touching or squishing the lifter. 
  5. You will need to move with the lifter as they start to squat, so when they are in that low squat position, you need to be as well. 
  6. Continue to move with the lifter, be ready to jump in if they slow down or start to struggle, and finally help them place the lift back on the rack. 

It is important to remember that you must not interfere with the lifter unless absolutely necessary. If they start to struggle, or you see that they have passed out or injured themselves, you need to be able to jump in and help them before they get injured.

It is very critical to communicate with the squatter, so you both know that there is help if needed and how the person lifting is feeling as they work. 

Final Thoughts

Well, that is all for this article, we hope that you have learned enough to be able to assist someone next time you see that someone requires a spotter. Just make sure to remember that you are there to assist them when they need it.

Make sure that you are there to assist with the barbell and not to touch someone inappropriately. Keep a clear line of communication and be on the lookout for signs that you need to step in.

Kevin Harris