Atlas Stone Training (AST) is a form of training that builds the key skills powerlifters need to be strong and powerful: grip strength, core strength, and lower body power.
The program is based on lifting atlas stones of varying weights and sizes with feet flat on the floor.
Atlas stones are an ancient weight training tool that has been used for centuries to develop raw strength and power, increase grip strength, build dense muscle, and improve bone density.
Why Is It Important For Athletes?
This exercise helps athletes develop upper body power and explosiveness.
The atlas stone exercise helps strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, trapezius, hamstrings, back, core, hips, and arms.
- 1 What is the Purpose of Atlas Stones?
- 2 How to Prepare For Your First Atlas Stone Workout
- 3 Common Mistakes Made When Lifting Atlas Stones and How You Can Avoid Them
- 4 Types of Atlas Stone Training
- 5 What are the Benefits of Atlas Stone Training?
- 6 Atlas Stone Technique [How I Teach in 7 Stesps]
- 7 How Can You Train Atlas Stones Without Using Stones?
- 8 FAQs
What is the Purpose of Atlas Stones?
Atlas Stones are a staple in CrossFit workouts. They are also often the final challenge in a competitor’s workout.
To finish an Atlas Stone workout, one must lift a heavy slab of stone off the ground and place it on top of a three-foot pedestal.
There are five different stones with different weights. Weights range from 20 pounds to 350 pounds for the two heaviest stones.
Typically, one Atlas stone is used for between 40 and 180 repetitions, depending on the specific exercise being performed.
To add resistance to these exercises, athletes can add weight to their back or wear a weighted vest when lifting the stone off the ground for each repetition.
How to Prepare For Your First Atlas Stone Workout
Atlas stones are a kind of weight that may be used to hoist weights. They are utilized in strongman competitions, and some argue that they encourage a better way of life.
There are many methods to utilize these weights, but it is critical to get guidance from a qualified coach before beginning an atlas stone exercise program.
The instructor will show you the fundamental motions and teach you how to lift.
If you have any friends or family members who have expertise with Atlas stones, ask them for tips on how to get started!
A plan is the greatest approach to get started. Determine your objectives and then work backward to create a fitness program that will assist you in achieving those goals.
Common Mistakes Made When Lifting Atlas Stones and How You Can Avoid Them
Mistakes people make when lifting atlas stones usually come from not having proper form.
The most common mistakes when lifting atlas stones are:
❌ Not warming up before doing any type of weight training.
❌ Lifting weights that are too heavy for you and not doing any stretching before lifting the weight.
❌ Doing high-intensity weight training and not resting between sets.
❌ Not maintaining good form with the weight
❌ Not learning about the different types of exercises and which ones work best for your body and goals.
Some key points to keep in mind when lifting atlas stones are:
✔️ Your head should be up and your back should be straight.
✔️ Shoulders should be down, with elbows pointing outward
✔️ The arms should be stable and the eyes fixed on the stone.
✔️ Shoulders should not be lifted before the stone is above the stomach or chest, as this can cause injury.
Types of Atlas Stone Training
Atlas stones are weights that may be used for a variety of weight training exercises. Weights are often put on the floor and then raised in accordance with certain regulations.
An atlas stone, which weighs approximately 140 pounds, is often utilized in this kind of training (64 kg).
Lifting the weights in sets of 3 to 6 repetitions is recommended. Rest times between sets are fine to regain your breath and bring oxygen into your lungs for the following round.
1- Stone Row
Stone Row is an approach to strength training that involves lifting heavy objects off the ground or pushing them up from the ground.
Stone Row is not for the faint of heart, but it can help you build muscle and be stronger than ever before.
You should choose a light stone and put it up in the same manner as you would for a standard stone load.
To row the stone from the floor to your chest, keep it in the hinged position and row it from the hinged position.
2- Stone Hold or Carry
Stone hold and carry is a weight lifting exercise that works the chest, shoulders, and arms. It can be used as part of a workout routine to improve strength and endurance.
This will help you develop your core, back, arm, and grip strength so that you can learn to properly position and sustain weights for extended periods of time.
3- Stone to Shoulder
Stone to shoulder training is a form of weight lifting where participants train their upper body by lifting an atlas stone over their head and onto their shoulders.
To do this we are going to use a slightly lower weight than usual and we are going to push the stone explosively from the hip and chest to the shoulder.
What are the Benefits of Atlas Stone Training?
Atlas stones have many benefits. Stones are very good for increasing grip strength and core stability, both of which are essential in many areas of fitness.
To begin, they may be used to improve grip strength by doing exercises like the farmer’s walk while holding them in your hands.
They focus on your forearms and hands, which may be beneficial for individuals who do a lot of lifting or other types of training that need grip strength.
Second, holding them forces you to stabilize your body, which helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
This promotes the development of functional muscle throughout the body, which may help you be more effective in a variety of tasks.
Atlas Stone Technique [How I Teach in 7 Stesps]
- Step 1: Take your position by straddling directly over the stone’s top.
- Step 2: Reach straight down and squeeze the stone between your forearms and elbows, then place your palms as far as possible on the stone to increase surface area.
- Step 3: Inhale deeply and brace the torso.
- Step 4: Using a method equivalent to a Romanian deadlift rather than a traditional deadlift, lift the stone off the stage.
- Step 5: Roll the stone next to your torso onto your lap by pulling your feet together and sitting back.
- Step 6: At 10:00 and 2:00, cross your arms over the top of the wall.
- Step 7: Hug the stone tightly against your core. Allow your hips to rise first, then dynamically pull them through and stretch as the stone reaches its maximum height. Consider the stone “walking” up your chest.
How Can You Train Atlas Stones Without Using Stones?
If you are wondering how to train atlas stones without using them, there are different ways to do it. Below are some of the most popular training methods.
The essence of a strongman is becoming stronger. We all want to make the most progress possible in the shortest time frame. One way to do this is to use a sandbag for training.
By using a sandbag, the user can add weight incrementally over time without needing to add plates on a barbell or use an expensive machine that may not be easily accessible or affordable.
I got mine from Amazon, and it’s been a wonderful addition to my home gym (Radien Sports Sandbag).
2- Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises for gaining strength and power. They improve coordination, stability, and core strength.
This particular exercise will help athletes of all types excel at their sport. Kettlebell swings can be added to any workout routine and can be done at home or in a gym with a kettlebell.
3- Front Squats
If you are looking for weight lifting exercises to help develop explosive power, the front squat is one of the best.
The front squat is a compound, full-body exercise that can be used to improve lower body strength and upper body stability.
You may also do these with a stone for a closer carryover, or as previously described, a sandbag.
4- Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Strengthening the hamstrings with a stiff leg deadlift is a great way to work on balance and stability. These exercises can be done anytime, anywhere without having to rely on equipment.
When starting these exercises, it’s important to start with low weight and build up from there. This will ensure that you avoid injury while performing these movements.
5- Farmers Walks
Farm walks are an excellent way to develop leg muscles, improve cardiovascular endurance and increase grip strength.
Farm walks also have a positive effect on other exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
What Muscles Do Atlas Stones Work?
The muscles of the human body work together to perform different tasks. Muscles in the arms, legs, trunk, neck, and face are all involved in the atlas stone lifting.
Listed below are the muscles that are used to perform the atlas stone lift:
Biceps, forearms, frontal deltoids. pectoralis major and minor, upper and lower back, gluteus maximus, quadriceps.
What Size Atlas Stone To Start With?
For a novice exercise, I recommend using a light stone and focusing on reps to get accustomed to the correct method while still preparing the muscles for something they are not used to doing.
Even if you are a really powerful athlete, I recommend that you start with a stone weighing about 200 pounds or less.
I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness, whether it’s working out at the gym, going for a run before work, or even competing in a half-ironman triathlon. PineappleFit was born out of a desire to share our experience and passion for fitness with others.