Ever struggle to do heavy dumbbell bench pressing without a spotter?
You need to sit down, and with momentum, lie down and lift your knees up to give your shoulders some help in getting the dumbbells up and safely over your chest with arms straight. It can often lead in a few failed attempts, you looking weak and uncoordinated, or worse, you could cause yourself a minor injury during this strained effort.
For me, the above are irritating for sure. You end up having to go lighter than you’d like at times because of this feat of gymnastics getting in position with heavy dumbbells. The biggest problem though, in my opinion, is that in the effort to get the DB’s up, you end up falling into a less than ideal position for maximal and safe benching (see the Develop Solid Bench Press Form micro-blog that briefly describes the cues and optimal body positioning).
QUICK TIP – Dumbbell Hooks
I stumbled across this ingenious idea on the internet last year. Basically, place your bench within a lifting cage, squat rack of barbell bench stand and place a barbell just out of reach when lying down. Attach the dumbbell hooks to the selected dumbbells by simply hooking them on and wrapping the neoprene velcro around the dumbbell handle – five seconds each. Then, just hang the dumbbells onto the barbell. Hey presto!
This allows you to get into position just as if you were preparing to lift a barbell, and once you’re ready, reach up and unhook the dumbbells. Go do your thang, and when done just hook the dumbbells back onto the barbell.
These hooks cost about £15. Just search for them on Amazon or other similar sporting etailers.
For other useful tips, reviews and tricks in the gym, follow this blog. Comment if you have questions or ideas.