Want to avoid a botched bench press? If you insist on going solo at the bench, remove the collars from the bar. The risk of having to re-rack the bar if the weights slip is eclipsed by the potential benefit of saving your rib cage when your muscles give out.
Related: 5 Epic Bench Press Fails
If you do find yourself failing, use your remaining strength to carefully lower the bar to your chest – but don’t let it rest there, or else you may injure your ribs. Keep as much upward pressure going as you can so you aren’t crushed.
Inch your dominant hand toward the end of the barbell so that the weight gradually slides off the opposite end.
As the one side of the bar dumps the weight, the unevenly weighted bar will quickly make the weights on the other side dump off as well. Keep a firm grasp on the bar so it doesn’t rocket skyward.
Push the empty bar to the rack and breathe a sigh of relief.
Next time you approach the bench, ask for a spotter! You don’t want to end up like this guy: