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Sexy Move of the Week: Sandbag Atlas Lift

February 24, 2015
Updated May 15, 2020

Onnit Sandbag

The Sandbag Atlas Lift will teach you how to absorb weight throughout your entire body and release it in an explosive, full body motion. This movement mimics an Atlas Stone Platform Lift, but is much more approachable for most people.

The Sandbag Atlas Lift builds tremendous core strength and power. By mimicking the strongman Atlas Stone Lift, this movement allows you to really focus on core, leg, and upper body power; it’s truly a full body exercise.

As an added benefit, this movement utilizes the shifting, unstable nature of the sandbag itself. With each part of the exercise, you’ll need to fight to grasp the material of the sandbag while bracing your core to control the shifting sand.

Sandbag training mainly uses the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, so developing these muscles before you attempt to lift a heavy sandbag with this exercise is important.

Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #1: The Set Up

<h2>Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #1: The Set Up</h2>

  • With your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, grab the sandbag by the handles.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders higher than your hips, and hips higher than your knees.
  • Always maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  • Once your grip is secure, begin the initial pull by rapidly moving your hips forward while keeping your arms locked out.
  • As the sandbag explodes up along your body, prepare to catch it into a squat position underneath your armpits.

Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #2: The Catch

Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #2: The Catch

  • Catch the sandbag with an Overhand Pinch Grip .
  • Keeping your shoulders back and core flexed,  drop your hips towards the ground, as if you were going to sit down in a chair.
  • Focus forward with your chest up as you descend beyond the point where your upper legs are parallel with the ground.
  • Once the upper legs are parallel with the ground,  sit the Sandbag down in your lap.
  • You should be able to take your time here and catch your breath if the lapping of the Sandbag took a lot out of you.
  • The Sandbag should comfortably rest on top of your legs.

Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #3: The Pull

Sandbag Atlas Lift Step #3: The Pull

  • Without rounding your lower back, pause briefly at the bottom of the rep. Control the motion as you stand back up, keeping your glutes and abdominals tight to protect your back and stabilize the Sandbag.
  • Inhale on the way up as your explode into a triple extension.
  • You want triple extension here just like a clean.
  • Pull the Sandbag up as fast as possible while keeping it tight to your chest.
  • The move almost simulates a high pull.
  • Once the Sandbag is eye level or at it’s highest point, slam it as hard as your can back into your starting position.

Sandbag Atlas Lift Exercise Demonstration

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