T Nation

Atlas Stone Question


#1

Should I keep my arms straight or bent when I pick it up? I can grab it easier and lift more weight with bent arms but my friend says doing so increases the risks of bicep tearing.


#2

Back in my strongman days, I had help me with my Atlas stone technique from Steve MacDonald. He preferred to keep the arms bent so that the biceps would also help support the load, but he emphasized heavy biceps work in his accessory training too. It definitely helped me lift heavier stones (heaviest I ever loaded was a 280 as an under-175 lightweight).


#3

[quote]shadowbobo8028 wrote:
Should I keep my arms straight or bent when I pick it up? I can grab it easier and lift more weight with bent arms but my friend says doing so increases the risks of bicep tearing.[/quote]

Bicep injuries in strongman are usually without exception always caused by prolonged wear and tear. Most common cases are related to guys using PED’s with higher work load capacities crossing paths with a heavy stone, sandbag, or strapless axle deadlift.

Also, MotherRucker and his invaluable advice taken from one of the best american strongmen to grace the sport, is totally right in that you cannot perform an efficient stone load without using your biceps. The key is to keep a very prudent watch on your recovery and how you devise your training. So with that you shouldn’t have a heavy burden of a possible bicep tear. As long as you’re taking preventative measures, you will be just fine.


#4

I saw this thread earlier and thought “how the hell are you going to lift a stone without your biceps?” It is easy to tear them. What I do for grip is kind of unique: I like to spread my fingers out over a wide an area as possible and pull like a deadlift. You don’t want to jerk it up using your arms because you will hurt yourself (as I did during my first stone lift). Practice with a light weight.


#5

[quote]shadowbobo8028 wrote:
Should I keep my arms straight or bent when I pick it up? I can grab it easier and lift more weight with bent arms but my friend says doing so increases the risks of bicep tearing.[/quote]

You want to keep your arms aligned with the center of the stone over the side and use them to squeeze the stone (serve as hooks) but not bend them in a manner where you are curling the stone or trying to lift the stone with your arms. This is almost inevitable with small stones (<18") but there is also less risk of injury with lighter stones.

Your best bet may be to try to find high level strongman athletes with a similar build to yours and then watch some videos on YouTube or other social media sites to see how they pick/lap/load stones.