• Bell City CrossFit

Spotting the Back Squat

By: Coach Melo - 06/17/2018

As we approach the end of our cycle, we’ll be lifting some near max effort loads on the back squat; especially as we enter week 9 of our cycle, which includes a 1-RM or 3-RM attempt. It becomes critical to have a safe and effective exit strategy in the event that you cannot stand up the weight. We’ll be reviewing this method in group class over the next few weeks, to get everyone comfortable with the mechanics of spotting.

The primary reason for spotting a back squat is for the lifter’s safety. While some athletes may be accustomed to bailing the bar off of their back, there are a multitude of things that could go wrong with that strategy. Often times, having spotters simply gives the lifter piece of mind that in the event that they can’t stand the weight up, they have support to help them get out of a sticky situation.

How To:

The most effective and safest method I’ve found to spot the back squat utilizes two spotters, one on either side of the barbell. Both spotters should be focused on the lifter and the bar path throughout their set.

As spotters set up, the crook of the elbow should be placed under the bar with both hands near the plates. As the lifter squats, so too should the spotters following the bar down in a position that will allow them to secure the weights if need be.

Do not touch the barbell while the lifter is squatting, keep enough distance between yourself and the barbell so as not to disrupt the lift, but be close enough to jump in, if needed.

When to Spot:

There are several cues alerting a spotter to jump in and help:

  1. The lifter calls for a spot

  2. The coach yells spot

  3. The bar path goes up, then starts to descend again

  4. The lifter gets stuck at the bottom of the lift

If any of these events occur, each spotter should quickly, but not forcefully react by supporting the weight in the crook of their elbow with both hands secured around the plates.

Remember, as the lifter, DO NOT bail the barbell onto your spotters. You’re still doing the majority of the work to stand the weight up, your spotters are just assisting by easing up some of the load.

If you are uncomfortable with spotting, or have any questions about it, ask your coach.

Now, let’s see some PR’s!!


JULY 20, 2020 Expanded Schedule

We are excited to announce that we are expanding our class offerings effective Monday, July 20th.  We will now offer Group Classes every weekday, Monday through Friday.  

The new class schedule will go into effect Monday, July 20th.  You must continue to reserve all classes via the ZenPlanner Member app.  Please be courteous to your fellow members and only reserve classes that you are going to attend. Class sizes are limited, so let's ensure that everyone has an opportunity to join the fun!

Click here to check out the new schedule!

AUG 2, 2020 Running Clinic Begins


SESSION FULL! Please check back for future sessions.

Join Coach Kiara for a series of 5 sessions focused on efficient running technique and building running endurance.  From warming up properly and breathing technique to an analysis of running form and workout recovery; the information you learn from this class can be added to your training to help reduce that stress!


Expanded Schedule!


Be sure to check our modified schedule!


Running Clinic Begins!



Class runs: 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30


FREE No-Sweat Intro


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461 Broad Street, Bristol, CT 06010

Tel: 860-314-2699


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