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Odd Object Lifting

Updated on December 31, 2017

Odd Object Training For a Whole Body Workout

Training with odd or unconventional objects goes back to the roots of physical fitness. In the old days, those who were trying to get strong did not have all the modern equipment available today, they relied on more simple tools to reach their goals. Also, many of the strongmen worked on the farm or did manual labor which required them to lift and move odd shaped objects on a daily basis. Here we are years later, going back to the basics of fitness.

Why Odd Object Training

Lifting heavy, odd shaped objects creates an unstable situation for your body which forces you to use muscles which do not always get worked, to help keep you steady. It also provides a good, funtional workout that helps prepare you for the everyday activities of your life. It has a way of putting into play, muscles that do not get targeted by using weigthts.

Atlas Stones

If you are serious about getting stronger by lifting odd objects, the Atlas stone should be at the top of your list. It will build whole body strength to include your core. In strongman competition, the Atlas stone lift can be the most challenging event.

Lifting the Atlas stone requires as much technique as it does strength. The basics of the lift are, ground to thigh, thigh to belly then belly to shoulder depending on carry or platform being used.

Stand with your heels about 4 inches behind the stone. Then squat down and reach under the bottom of the stone with your arms straight. Keep your fingers spread out so there is less chance of the stone rolling. Also, to control the rolling, squeeze the stone like your trying to crush it. Once you do that, you can hang onto it much easier.

Once the stone is moving, lift it up until it passes your knees, then squat down and rest the stone on your lap. Take your arms and re-grip by placing your arms around the top half of the stone, about halfway between the top and the sides. Now roll the stone up your torso by pulling up with your arms and hands, while pushing your hips forward at the same time. This makes the top part of the lift easier to do.

Tire Flipping

Next to stone lifting, the tire flip is the next big lift for gaining over all strength and is another event at Strongman events. The benefits gained are aerobic and strength and will benefit many sports. There is a correct method to flipping for getting the most out of it. The wrong technique is one of the reasons for difficulty in flipping aside from using the wrong size tire.

The basic technique is to stand about 18-24 inches from the tire, squat down, and place your hands under the tire.

Place your hands about 12 inches apart, with a grip on the tread. If the tread doesn't allow you to reach underneath, or the tire is too narrow so you can't put your chest into it, it is best to use a wide grip, and pull into your body. This way you can use the tension from pulling the tire toward your body, and the power from pushing your chest into the tire, to lift it off the ground.

Once you have a good grip, lift up on the tire to break it free from the ground. As the tire starts to come up. drive your chest into it and push as if you were driving a football blocking sled. As you step forward, drive your knee upward into the tire, giving it an push upward. This will help you get the tire moving upward, then you need to follow through in one continuous motion, pushing the tire over.

Flipping a tire


Sandbag training has been gaining popularity over the past couple years. There are many ways you can utilize the sandbag in your workout. Sandbags have a way of changing shape on you while you are exercising them, this in itself causes you to constantly shift your grip and it puts more demand on your trunk muscles during your workout with them.

The exercises that can be done with sandbags is endless, your imagination will think of many things you can do. You can do squats, clean and press, shoulder press, snatches and more.

You can make your own sandbags or look online for instructions on how to make them.

Sandbag workouts

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    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I HAVE lifted sand bags ... when I helped some people around their homes after some flooding. Those things are heavy! Interesting lens. *Blessed*

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago


      Really enjoyed your article on tire flipping as exercise. I ran across it looking for some safety standards for their use. The kids at the high school my son attends are doing the following with them:

      * two teams

      * two kids per tire

      * tires are about 10-15 feet apart

      * flip tires in a race to an end point

      Would you have any concerns about the safety of using tires in this way?

      Katrina VanHuss

    • profile image

      FitSteph 8 years ago

      Wow what a great hub. If anyone is looking for a workout videos This is one of my favorite health & fitness sites. It lets you track food, workouts, and calories!

    • wstrauss73 profile image

      Bill's Pressure Cleaning of Port St Lucie 9 years ago from Port St Lucie, FL

      Hey Tim.. Nice Lens! 5-Stars

      Seeing it reminds me.. I haven't kept up with the "Strong-Man" competitions lately :)

      Bill S. - 10 Simple Steps To Skyrocket Your Natural Testosterone Production