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Inside a Strongman Seminar: Atlas Stones by Rob Orlando - CrossFit Journal
Video Article

What do kegs, yokes and concrete balls have to do with CrossFit?

Join Rob Orlando of Hybrid Athletics at San Francisco CrossFit as he takes coaches and athletes through strongman movements and equipment.

In Part 1, Orlando teaches the proper technique for lifting atlas stones. In a sumo stance with a flat back and the hips below the knees, you are in an ideal starting position. Just like a deadlift, your arms remain long for the lift off the ground. From there, your knees come in to create a shelf and you cradle the stone in a “cobra position.”

At this point, your back rounds, but you don’t lose tension.

“Everything is really tight. He’s trying to crush the stone into the center of his body,” Orlando says of his demonstrator, Timmy Burke.

The next step is getting the stone to your shoulder by rolling it up your body, not lifting it with your arms. Orlando explains it as using the power generated from your hips like whipping a rope stretched out on the ground.

“That's the kind of energy we’re trying to create there,” he says. “The power should be so extreme that it should come up in one motion.”

In Part 2, the athletes take to the stones to practice the technique, and Orlando shares the common faults and how to fix them.

For those lifting with their arms, Burke has some advice.

“Stay with that roll. That’s what you’re looking for. You want that violent hip pop,” he says. “Everything’s in the hips, especially in strongman.”

Part 1
7min 31sec

Part 2
6min 48sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 135 by Justin Judkins, published Sept. 1, 2010.

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2 Comments on “Inside a Strongman Seminar: Atlas Stones”


Daniel Carney wrote …

Picked up some Hybrid molds two months ago. Should've gotten them sooner. What a great training tool! Our athletes love'm!


wrote …

Nice tutorial. Keeping the stone close to chin-very helpful. Great advice to let the stone go instead of pull a biceps. I was able to muscle one up before seeing the tutorial but strained the biceps tendon. Taking the arms out and using the hip has made it easy on the arms as evidenced the other day.

I've been using the stones in my yard, and they leave huge divets. Any problem with the stones cracking if you drop them on a rubber mat over asphault?

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