Spartan Race Atlas Carry Tutorial

Spartan Pro Team member Miguel Medina shows you the proper technique for the Atlas Carry obstacle.


You are going to want to get real low to the ground to grab that stone, so hopefully your squat form is impeccable. You are going to pick up the stone, carry it to the other flag, do five burpees and come back. Keep a flat back as you pick up and lower the stone, and move quickly. Don’t cheat on those burpees either, chest to grass and feet off the ground for it to count.

Racer Instructions:

  • Pickup the stone at start flag.
  • Carry it to the opposite flag
  • Put stone down
  • Do 5 Burpees
  • Return Stone to Starting flag

Failure Modes:

  • Anyone not able to move the “stones” to opposite flag and back to start flag.
  • Elite racers that help each other.
  • Anyone who doesn’t complete 5 correct burpees.

Failure Penalty:

  • 30 Burpees

Percentage that Burpee: 20%

Skills needed:

  1. Lower back strength
  2. Hip Strength
  3. Core Strength
  4. Grip Strength

Muscles worked:

  1. Spinal erectors
  2. Hips
  3. Rhomboids, Shoulders, Pecs, and scapular stabilizers
  4. Core
  5. Calves and Feet

Most Important Exercises:

  1. Weighted Carries
  2. DB Deadlifts
  3. Hollow Holds or Ab Wheels
  4. Planks
  5. Sorenson Holds
  6. Burpees

Tips for Success:

Work on Dumbbell or Rock Deadlifts since they will force you to lift from a lower to the ground position than a barbell will. Even better would be to execute a standard set of 6-10 reps of a deadlift then walk with the load for as far as possible. This will prepare the body for the Atlas Carry.

At the race, the toughest part of the obstacle is picking up the Atlas Stone. The stone is only 50-100 lbs but since it’s small, round, dense, and very low to the ground, it can be a real challenge to work with. The best solution is to get your hips low and pull the ball into the chest and stomach while tightly wrapping your arms around the stone. Stand up and quickly head for the opposing flag before your grip runs out!

Ready to take on the challenge? Sign up for a Spartan Race today!