This seems to have been a very common exercise in ancient civilizations.

What muscle groups would benefit from this? I'd be surprised if this is a really effective workout, but I'm not against it.

  • What size? How is it being held? Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 1:23
  • I clarified—it is being cradled. The weight isn't necessarily relevant, but let's say an 80 lbs. boulder, cradled, proportioned to a person weighing 130 lbs. Scale it as needed.
    – user31078
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 1:35
  • "I'd be surprised if this is a really effective workout" - It's not meant to be a workout. It's an exercise. It's part of a workout.
    – Alec
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


The name is Atlas carry.

The weight doesn't matter, but size and the time spent holding and walking with it.

This exercise builds mainly the trapezius muscles, important postural muscle that keeps your upper back extended and shoulder retracted, its the one muscle you want to build for healthy posture. other muscles focused during this movement are the are the spinal erectors, gluteus medius and either the calf or tibia muscle depending on your walking stile.

Loaded carries carryover to most squatting and deadlifting patterns, even to overhead pressing, but this specially improves the front squat and conventional deadlift.

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