WATCH: Bench Press Hand–Off

TAGS: off, hand off, hand, Zach Gallman, The Spot Athletics, friday technique video, press, bench, bench press, lift, JL Holdsworth

At The Spot Athletics, the price of a bad hand-off is a broken jaw. In this edition of JL Holdsworth's Friday Technique Video, he and Zach Gallman show how to give a proper hand-off in the bench press. The hand-off sounds basic, but JL shares how one intern made a big mistake on his first day at The Spot.

An improper hand-off can kill you if it ends with the bar dropping on your body. For this reason and others, JL shows why a heavy bench press deserves much more than, "Hey, bro, can you give me a hand-off?"

Your responsibilities as the person handing off:

1. Communicate beforehand when the hand-off will occur. 1-2-breath-lift? 1-2-3-lift? Know for sure before the lifter sets up.

2. Make sure the bar is correctly loaded.

3. Move the bar to front and center of J-Hooks.

4. Hold bar in place, step back and allow lifter to setup.

5. Double check lifter's setup, step close to the bar, and use a double-overhand grip for hand-off.

6. Gently glide the bar to the lifter's bench position and slowly release tension.

7. After lift is completed, let the lifter hold the weight at top, then guide the bar back into the rack.

Another important aspect of a bench press hand-off is how to gauge bar tension. Are you helping too much? Too little?

JL's rule for assessing the strength of your hand-off is that if the lifter's shoulders come up, you're giving too much. Spotting is like a crane: lift off just enough for the lifter to get it in position easily, then slowly release the weight into his or her hands.

 

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