How to bail out of a back squat on your own

What’s up, Brothers and Sisters of Iron (or rubber, in PK’s case, and maybe many of yours)! We’ve got a question for you: do you have safety spotter arms on your rack in your garage gym? Some of you might, and some may not.

PK has gone a bit more spartan in his pain cave, and has chosen to omit spotter arms on his rack. Some of you might’ve made the same choice. 

You might be thinking, but why? What happens when you fail a back squat? 

Well, we’re going to break that down for you. This move to bail takes some practice and some confidence, so make sure that if you’re not comfortable with this move, that you don’t do it. We don’t want our Fringe Fam getting hurt under a barbell because that’s not cool and not our goal by any means. 

Before we get into bailing on your own, there are a few things you can do to avoid having to bail on your own out of a squat. First, you can use a real, live, human spotter to help spot you through your heavy squats. Second, you can opt for safety spotter arms in case you might not have someone there to spot you. 

We don’t recommend squatting super heavy weight on your own if you’re not comfortable doing so regardless of the type of spotting you have. In that case, keep the weight moderately low so you’re confident in your movement.

Let’s move into bailing out of a back squat on your own.

In your back squat set-up, your barbell (like our friggin' awesome Bomba Bar) will sit across your back, typically in your shoulder range. As you sit down into that squat and come back up, you might get to a point where you’re pushing, and you just can’t push any more. Now comes the opportunity to bail on your own. 

It’s important that you stay in control, and are comfortable at the bottom of your squat with weight on your back. Remain calm, chill out at the bottom for a second, and regroup. Then, hit a big shoulder shrug to give yourself some time to hop forward and out from underneath the barbell on your back. The weight will pop back behind you, and you’ll move forward and out of the way of the bar coming down.

It’s also important to consider your bar path here: unload it from your sturdy Fringe Sport rack, it needs to be straight up, and straight down, so you have the opportunity to bail if you need to and drop the weight behind you without your chest coming crashing down between your knees and the bar coming with it.

Completely bailing out from underneath your barbell should NEVER be done if you’ve got a spotter behind you, as that’s a great way to take out their shins. (OUCH!!)

This is a great reason to have bumper plates in your garage or commercial gym because bumper plates are designed to hit the ground in the instance that you’re bailing. The barbell, the bumpers, and your floor will remain perfectly intact because of those bumpers instead of pure iron coming crashing down and potentially damaging your bar, floor, and the weights themselves.

We hope you’ve learned something from PK’s demonstration. Try it at your own risk, get comfortable with light weights first, and once you’ve become comfortable, you’re ready to master bailing on your own. 

Have questions? Give us a shout! Comment below and let us know one of your best lifting and failing stories.

Lift heavy, lift happy, and don’t be afraid to lift heavy & bail on your own ;)

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