Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Articles How to spot the exercise-partner


How to spot the exercise-partner?

Safety should be the spotter and lifter's primary concern.
1. Instructor should spot the client in following situations,

• Bar or dumbbell moves over face or head.
• Bar loads the spine.
• Bar is placed on back.
• Bar is placed across front shoulders.

2. Research indicates that effective feedback is the key to spotting, which includes three characteristics, specific, contingent performance and correct information for the learner.
3. Olympic movements should NOT be spotted.
4. How to Spot...

• Generally, only one spotter should be involved.
• Spotter should be at least as tall and at least as strong as the lifter.
• Spot from behind the lifter.

5. Two spotters may be required only for excessive loads.
6. Avoid using two spotters if one spotter can safely handle the load.
7. Spotting dumbbell/barbell exercises...

• Spot as close to the dumbbells as possible.
• Sometimes, it is even necessary to spot the dumbbell itself (dumbbell pullovers, etc.).
• DO NOT spot at the elbows.

8. Communication with client is very important,

Discuss the number of repetitions to be attempted. Lifter/client should immediately inform spotter if a repetition will be "missed."

9. Determine whether a lift off is required/desired.

• Discuss how the liftoff will be performed. • Spotting can also be performed to increase muscle overload.

10. Always give feedback in positive way, for example if you saw your client performing latpull down incorrectly, then you should cue him "Mr. John pull it towards you chin", if you cue "that is not right" or what are doing", then these feedbacks are negative and does not aid Mr. John's understanding of performance.
11. Try using client's name while cueing, people like them if you address them by their name.
12. Non-verbal feedback is also important, includes patting on back, nodding, thumps up, clapping shaking hands etc.
13. Feedback should not be given for every single move because too much of a good thing can have a negative effect. People do not get motivate by excessive compliment.
14. People gather information through their senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, smell, taste) and this creates pathway for information to be received and processed. App. 60 % of the population prefers a primary visual pathway. While 20 % prefers auditory and 20 % prefer kinesthetically.
15. Demonstrate the exercise form, breathing, lifting technique, name and number of muscles involved in the exercise to the client.
16. Look in mirror for client's feedback by verbal and nonverbal behavior.
17. Avoid talking and taking feedback from client when he is in motion.
18. Try to become good listener.
Spotter helps lifter complete more repetitions than the lifter could normally do alone. Often the lifter first reaches failure, and then the spotter assists the lifter in performing one or two additional repetitions. These are called forced repetitions. Safety is still of paramount importance.