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Fitness Tip: Bumper Plates
All bumper plates have two characteristics- they are rubber and thus can be dropped with less damage compared to metal plates to yourself, the floor, and the plates, and they are all the same diameter. Any time you are performing an exercise where there is a risk of having to abruptly drop a bar, you should use bumper plates. This would include exercises like squats and push presses. You’re not planning to drop the bar, but if you miss a lift it’s a strong possibility, especially on max attempts. Snatch and Clean & Jerk- When you’re performing the “Olympic lifts” the snatch and the clean & jerk the barbell (from the floor to over head in quick, explosive fashion) putting the bar back down to the floor is NOT part of the movement. The potential to lift large amounts of weight with the snatch and the clean & jerk can make it difficult to slowly lower the weights back to the floor, or with control, so usually the easiest thing to do is simply drop the bar. Hence the need for bumper plates.

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