Atlas stones, a staple of strongman competitions, can be intimidating. They're heavy objects, and their odd shape makes them difficult to get off the ground.


Bill DeLongis of Empire Strength, a strength and conditioning coach and strongman competitor, has created a walk-through tutorial on how to load Atlas stones onto a high surface. 


Like with any other lift, the set-up is key. Center yourself directly above the Atlas stone and spread your fingers wide. Wedge your hands as far underneath it as you can. Once you are in this position, use the following cues to guide you:


  1. Push your elbows out against the insides of your knees.
  2. Brace your core.
  3. Raise your chest and hips together.
  4. When the stone passes your knees, push it back into your lap and bring your feet closer together.
  5. Reach your hands over the stone all the way to the front.
  6. Load it onto the surface by thrusting your hips forward, using the strength of your lower body. 


This is a technical, challenging movement. It is important to groove the technique with lighter loads, as well as with heavier ones. Whether you are already a seasoned strongman competitor or have never touched an Atlas stone before, use these tips the next time you load one and watch your performance soar.


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