Oct 3, 2009

Bench Press Safety

With the advent of USC football player Stafon Johnson's benching accident this week, Stronger Athletes would like to remind coaches that all lifts whether ballistic or not need to have the utmost in safety precautions taken.

It sounds like Stafon is going to be fine and did have spotters at the time so it goes to show you that accidents can and will happen.

On a more general note with bench pressing, we'd like to also address one of the stupidest practices we see employed in the performance of the bench press, the THUMBLESS grip. It should be called the brainless grip. We have opposable thumbs! They help us hold onto things. Heavy bars with weight on them included.

Watch this video of a thumbless grip.

Any questions? Also note how having a spotter didn't help a bit. Also to note lift offs can be a hazard point too. Sometimes the people doing the lift off simply deadlift the bar off the rack and more or less drop it into the lifters hands. A safer method is for the player to lift the bar off the rack themselves, then it is under their control at all times.

Bench presses can also be performed in a squat rack as well with the pins set to just below chest level.  This is the safest method of all with free weigths.  Hammer and other bench / chest press machines are also a good and safe substitute for the bench press.

[Follow up on the Stafon situation.  He is purported to be entering the NFL draft, so has obviously recoverd.  We wish Stafon the best.]

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