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Safety in bodybuilding

In bodybuilding, you should regularly exercise with weights - whether it's barbell, dumbbells, a block device or a complex simulator. And, of course, heavy weights oblige to many things, including to high attention towards them. As a rule, the heavier the weight of barbell or dumbbells is - the more attention and caution you should have. In particular this applies to those exercises where athlete has to work with weights two or even three times superior to his own.

For this reason, starting the next set of exercises, it is important to evaluate the potential risk and your ability to cope with the weight of planned approach. Especially it concerns such by definition risky exercises like bench press and squats. In these exercises there’s a high risk to be smashed under a barbell on the floor or bench. So, in order to minimize risks, it is necessary to use belay.

For example, performing the bench press with your working weight on the maximum number of reps, you must be clear about what happens when control of the barbell is lost. It is possible that the forces leave you before you return the bar to the racks. So you can’t make it without prior belay. Otherwise it is necessary to fulfil the planned approaches, all the while leaving unfulfilled couple of final reps, which will surely eventually have a negative impact on the effectiveness of all the training.

Safety in the rack:

It’s possible to provide the necessary safety level in bench press in two ways: either to perform bench press in the rack, lifting the bar from restrictive rods, or by means of training partner. Both versions have pluses and minuses. Working in the rack you will have to get used to restrictive rods. For example, in order to establish restrictions for several centimeters below the expected level of touching the chest in the lowest point of trajectory, it may be necessary to put gaskets of desired height under legs of benches, which is not always convenient in a public gym. But despite these minor inconveniences, working with heavy weights without the assistance of training partner for obvious reasons is best in the rack, especially when you are forced to train alone.

Insurance partner:

Performing bench press with a partner, you must also remember a number of important points. The first one is the most important – partner’s proper insurance experience. It must be clear for him what his exact task is. The partner does not have to do the exercise instead of you. He has a simple task - to see that you stopped performing the exercise and have no more power for continuing it, he has to help you raise the bar and get it back on the rack. And to do all this only after the resistance to the weight of the bar is no longer possible, otherwise by taking on some weight, even a little, the partner will deprive you of the load which was originally planned. In any case, the insurance function and performance of the final forced reps should not be confused, but just combine them from time to time and if necessary.

The very nature of insurance in the bench press is such that partner should not expose himself to the risk of a sudden take on too much weight, and thus overload the lower back. It is advisable to insure standing on bent knees, as close as possible to the bench. If necessary, the weight of the bar should be raised by wrists or elbow bends, or by helping both elbows of the athlete. Option "elbow bends" helps shorten skeletal arms and therefore to cope with more weight and less strain on the lower back. In addition, in some cases when the width of the grip coincides with the width of the support legs, the belayer should also monitor the moment of bar removal and placing it back. If for any reason you can’t change the width or grip or the bench, it is better to make sure that the bar is handled by two people standing on the ends of it. But in this situation the help of belayer in the middle will also be a plus.

Insurance in squats:

Everything mentioned above fully applies to barbell squats, but with additional nuances. So, if the belayer behind is a little shorter, when athlete preforming the exercise will be crushed at the bottom of the squat, belayer will not be able to help him, especially if necessary to raise the athlete holding him at the chest. Insurance of both elbows during the squat can be useful in situations where assistance is minimal and is needed more for some incentives to get up from the squat. You always have to be ready to take the bar from the shoulders - this task is for deliberately strong belayer having sufficient height and long limbs. As you can see the squats can be dangerous for both parties.

If to insure both ends of the bar during the squat, it is extremely important to ensure equal assistance, that is, to act simultaneously, - there is a risk to create a torque that will lead to injury of the spine. So it’s better to do squats in a power rack with a belayer behind you.

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