Lifting Atlas stones is primarily synonymous with Strongman preparation and is not often done in most gyms.
There are probably a few explanations for this, including the reality that most people associate lifting atlas stones with giant power competitors like those featured in the top World Strongest Man events, which they find overwhelming.
There are also dangers involved with moving large concrete spheres, as well as the mess and noise they create.
But this is a shame since there are many advantages of raising atlas stones for both men and women.
The below are the 5 advantages of lifting atlas stones:
- They are a time-honored measure of influence and intensity.
- Atlas Stone’s preparation will transfer to all of the other training.
- They are a full-body exercise in a single lift and they prepare the whole body.
- Training with Atlas Stones will expose all of the flaws and assist in the strengthening of lagging muscle groups.
- They are easy to understand but challenging to master, making them a lot of fun and satisfying.
Let’s go through each of these topics in more depth and take a deeper look at all of the wonderful advantages of raising Atlas Stones.
- 1 Benefits Of Lifting Atlas Stones
- 1.1 1- The ultimate test of Strength and Power
- 1.2 2- The ultimate assistant movement for all your other lifts
- 1.3 3- Atlas Stone training variations
- 1.4 Stone over a yoke
- 1.5 3- A full body workout, from fingers to toes, literally!
- 1.6 4- Have your weaknesses displayed in front of you
- 1.7 5- Easy to learn, difficult to master
- 2 What Muscles Do Atlas Stones Work?
- 3 Is lifting Atlas Stones Bad For Your Back?
Benefits Of Lifting Atlas Stones
1- The ultimate test of Strength and Power
There are tales of stones being raised as feats of strength and force all over Europe, and we can see signs of this even in countries like Scotland and Iceland.
Records are a little hazy on exact dates on when stones were used to measure feats of strength and power, although there are a few references that offer us an idea.Scotland
Throughout Scotland, there are Clach cuid fir tiles, which is Gaelic for “Manhood stones.” For millennia, ancestors were said to have used these stones to measure their power. These stones were typically used to put young men through their paces by raising them to waist height.
Among these stones are the following:
- Dripping Cave Stone – 130kg/286lb
- Inver Stone – 120kg/265lb
- Dalwhinnie Stone – 102kg/224lb
- Wallace Putting Stone – 125kg/275lb
- Strathmore of Durness Stone – 350lb/160kg
Even, and even most famously, the Dinnie Stones, which are still used as a measure of strength and control to this day, with the aim of merely getting them off the concrete.
They weigh a total of 332.49kg (7333.0 lb). The larger stone weighed 188.02kg (14.5 lb), while the smaller stone weighed 144.47kg (318.5 lb).
They were named after Donald Dinnie, who is said to have taken the stones across Potarch Bridge in 1860, a span of 5.22 meters.
Since then, the stones have been raised in annual activities since 1867.
In Iceland, stone lifting has a rich tradition and folklore.
They were generally used as a gauge for men employed on fishing boats to assess their utility. One such group of stones can be located at the foot of Snfellsjökull on the beach of Djpalónssandur.
Another prominent stone in Iceland is the Husafell Stone, which weighs 186kg (410lb). This stone has been copied and is currently used in modern strongman.
Stones VS Barbells
We now use lifts like the Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat, and Overhead Press on barbells as measurements of strength in our modern day, but you might say that stones were the ORIGINAL measure of strength.
Stone lifting has a primitive quality about it that has been with us for generations.
Furthermore, being able to brag about raising a manhood stone in its own name that our forefathers used to measure their own power with centuries before is much more impressive than just a number on the bench press.
2- The ultimate assistant movement for all your other lifts
While the barbell is a great instrument for someone who does weight lifting and is fantastic for building muscle, it does not have a lot of use in actual life situations. I say, how much are you going to be bench pressing something with a bar outside of the gym?
Atlas stone training, on the other hand, is a different story. Let’s face it: you’re attempting to take a large ball of concrete off the floor and place it on a higher level.
Although you might not be doing something like this at the workplace, you might be doing something close if you’re in the garden and need those large plant pots moved, for example.
When it comes to moving large items, Atlas stone can render you more functional.
But that doesn’t mean you can do one or the other; do both! You will then get the most of all worlds. Furthermore, since lifting atlas stones engages too many muscle groups (which we’ll discuss further in the following point), it can be included at the end of almost every workout as a perfect finisher.
3- Atlas Stone training variations
Furthermore, you have a few choices for training the Atlas stones to fit your exercise.
To begin, you should pyramid set up to a 1RM (1 Rep Max), or similar to it if you’ve placed this at the end of your workout and you’re tired.
Excellent for finishing a hard lift and increasing total power.
Atlas stones are usually a series of varying height platforms. The plan is to load the smallest stone onto the largest platform and work your way down to the hardest stone on the lowest platform in the shortest amount of time available. It’s not uncommon to consider this as a World Strongest Man competition as well.
It’s awesome because after you’ve learned the method, you can use it to improve your rhythm, stamina, and power.
If you do not have access to a specific range of channels, you may choose the next choice.
Stone over a yoke
Or something with enough height to raise a stone would suffice.
The distinction between this and the previous option is that you use the same stone to aim and get as many reps as possible in a fixed time period, such as 1 – 3 minutes.
This one will really put the toughness and strength to the test.
3- A full body workout, from fingers to toes, literally!
I’ve previously exercised with Atlas stones and awoke the next day with sore neck muscles! I’m not sure how, but I have a decent idea.
Atlas stones are used to train almost all.
When doing a hard lift, you would brace yourself and tighten yourself in a comparable manner to a deadlift, but I wasn’t shocked when my neck muscles hurt the next day.
When you grab the stone at the bottom of the movement, your hands and fingertips will be put to the test, whilst your toes and calves will be exercised while you hyperextend at the extreme.
And when exercising, these stones can function all sorts of muscle groups; here are a couple of the more important ones that get special consideration.
The emphasis in most day-to-day barbell training is to keep your spine as straight as possible, particularly for the deadlift and bent over rows.
This is often recommended when removing an atlas stone from the concrete, and it is best to mimic a rigid leg deadlift if necessary.
However, your back will round at any stage when you lift an atlas stone. As an observer, seeing the procedure performed correctly will seem uncomfortable and abnormal, yet it is routine and usual.
You’re attempting to curl the upper body around an uncomfortable ball of asphalt, and the skeleton is designed to withstand this.
Furthermore, this type of lifting will help reinforce the lower back in a way that traditional barbells will not.
You’ll even gain stamina and muscle in your upper back as a benefit.Core
Lifting a stone, unlike a computer or a traditional barbell action, would necessitate a high level of core balance and stabilisation. Atlas stones are queens when it comes to producing these.
And, as previously said, the center refers not only to the front, but also to the back.
The motion of hyperextension and pulling the chest and shoulders out (as seen in the third segment of the attached image) is also a brilliant exercise in and of itself since it is something we don’t do too much in our typical weight training.
Nothing offers me a better arm exercise than atlas stones, in my opinion.
Lifting Atlas stones is extremely beneficial to arm growth, power, and height. They work the muscles from your hands to your shoulders.
This is caused by bracing the stone at the bottom of the lift to get the stone to the knees.
This motion is much more powerful than performing curls with a barbell or dumbbells, and it’s also much more enjoyable!
4- Have your weaknesses displayed in front of you
This is valid for the majority of compound exercises, including the deadlift and squat. This is particularly true of the Atlas Stone.
There will come a stage where the body is unable to handle the burden you place on it, and the shortcomings will become apparent.
On a squat, this can manifest as a knee caving in, while on a dumbbell bench press, it may manifest as a weak forearm that allows the limb to slip out of balance.
Lifting Atlas stones will teach you that you are vulnerable, whether it be your grasp at the bottom of the lift or your hip flexors while attempting to load the stone onto the platform.
Then there’s the emotional aspect to moving bricks.
Let me state unequivocally that moving stones is not for the weaker of core.
It’s intimidating to prepare to raise a large stone you’ve never carried before. And a frightened mind might be the difference between passing or failing the PB.
Let’s not even get started with the cuts and grazes you’ll get if you’re unprepared or careless.
To be frank, if you’re worried about a few injuries here and there, you’re definitely in the wrong sport. Weight lifting is more about pushing yourself and being physically and emotionally healthier.
Fortunately, Atlas stone fitness is the embodiment of this theory, so if you want to get stronger and faster, stone lifting is for you.
5- Easy to learn, difficult to master
When weight lifting, it’s important to practice the proper movement habits and form for any of the lifts. This is particularly valid for atlas stones used to avoid injury.
Having said that, the process of picking up a big item from the floor is as embedded in us as swimming is in a fish or flight is in a duck.
And toddlers who have just recently learned to walk will dive to reach something on the concrete. It is that it is only when we grow older that we loose our agility and functionality.
With a little advice about how to do the lift properly, most of us should be able to lift an atlas stone quite naturally.
You’re ready to go until you’ve mastered the content! The only thing that can hold you down are the aforementioned vulnerable parts of your body.
When you gain strength and functionality, the stones can get larger and heavier, rendering the lift much more difficult.
Along with that comes the enormous satisfaction that comes from defeating an atlas hammer. It’s one thing to set a personal best on a bench press or squat, but setting a personal best on an Atlas stone sounds like you’ve just defeated the globe.
They’re a lot of fun and satisfying, but they’re still demanding and put the character to the test.
What Muscles Do Atlas Stones Work?
They are excellent for improving hip expansion, explosive starting power (just to bring them off the ground), and smashing (isometric) strength. Lifting an Atlas stone needs you to use the erectors, lats, rhomboids, elbows, and pecs.
Is lifting Atlas Stones Bad For Your Back?
The spine is an extremely powerful organ, as shown by Sherpas pulling massive loads on their backs scaling mountains, and strongmen moving Atlas stones all over the world! As with every other part of the body, if it is practiced, it will adjust and improve, but if it is not used, it will weaken!