Bench Press Safety

Bench Press Safety

Bench Press is by far the most popular of all of the barbell lifts. It’s what every male in the gym under 30 cares about. “How big is your bench bro”? Bench press is a great exercise for upper body strength and development and though it is popular it is by far the one exercise that causes more injury in the gym. This occurs because most people use improper technique and usually train it too often and too hard, but that is not the purpose of this post.

We see it all to often of someone pushing to failure on the bench press. The weight seems to be going up and then it comes right back down. If you don’t have a spotter, you have big dilemma on your hands. Either your trapped under the bar on your chest, or for the very unfortunate, the bar is on your throat. Though it isn’t extremely common there are deaths associated with bench pressing every year. If that bar lands on your throat you will die from asphyxiation or a broken neck.

THe Solution

Using face savers are the answer. Unfortunately most chain gyms don’t offer benches with face savers, but powerlifting gyms usually have an this as an option. If you don’t have access to a bench with a face saver, you can bench in a squat rack and use the spotting rods. The key to setting this up is finding the correct height where  the bar can touch your chest and not make contact with the spotter arms. Roll the empty bar back towards your throat and make sure the bar is resting on the arms and not your throat. 

When should face savers or spotter arms be used

Face savers should be used anytime you are training without a spotter. Even if you are going light you will never know when things can go south. Last year we had a gentleman in our gym training with 75% of his max and he suddenly tore his tricep. The bar came crashing down suddenly. Even if you are using a spotter the face savers should be set up. Even with the best spotter in the world, if the weight slips out of your hand or a freak accident happens, their reaction time won’t be able to catch the bar in time to save you. We feel that Bench press face savers are crucial for safety. If you are training at home usually by yourself you should have a face saver set up without a doubt.

At Tucson Strength we have 5 competition benches all equipped with face savers and 6 squat cages with spotter arms.

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