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World-first study set to strengthen strongman

PhD candidate Benjamin Hindle with Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf. PICTURE: Cavan Flynn

A world-first study into the sport of strongman could lead to even more superhuman feats of strength and minimise the risk of injury.

Bond University PhD candidate Benjamin Hindle, who is completing his studies in the Exercise and Sports Science Program, has been researching the global sport since 2018, with his thesis to be released in early 2021.

He hopes it will improve technique and training for two fundamental and popular strongman events, the atlas stones lift and the yoke walk.

“I’ve always been into strength-based sports,” Mr Hindle said.

“I did an undergrad and honours in sports and mechanical engineering at Adelaide University and decided I wanted to pursue something in strength-based sports and apply my degrees.

“I started in bodybuilding and since beginning the PhD in strongman, I’ve started competing in strongman.”

The atlas stone event – in which athletes lift spherical stones in increasing weight up to 200kg – is often seen as the signature event of strongman competition.

“We’ve broken the atlas stones lift into different phases and related that to similar positional movements and weight training exercises like the deadlift,” Mr Hindle said.

“I have compared previous literature on those movement patterns to see if traditional exercises such as the squat and deadlift will help with the atlas stone lift in certain phases of the movement.”

Twenty local Gold Coast and Brisbane-based athletes took part in the study held at Coco’s Gym and Panther’s Powerlifting Gym.

“We had input and support from local and international strongman coaches and local professional strongman and coach Coco (Jean-Stephen Coraboeuf), who did his masters at Bond,” Mr Hindle said.

“I’m hoping it will build a base for people to be able to generally look at the movement and break it down.

“Strongman is suggested to have a higher risk of injury compared to bodybuilding and powerlifting.

“My research will hopefully provoke a lot more research into both male and female athletes.”

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