When it comes to the Dinnie Stones, there is often a lot of mystery around the who, what, where, why and when.
The Dinnie Stones are one of the most mysterious and treasured grip lifts in modern history. There are many different famous lifting stones in Scotland, none more so than the Dinnies.
WHAT ARE THE DINNIE STONES?
The Dinnie Stones are a pair of Scottish lifting stones. These are located in Potarch, specifically outside Potarch Cafe in Aberdeenshire. Made up of granite, with iron rings fixed to them, the stones were originally used in the 1830’s as counterweights when performing maintenance on the Potarch Bridge.
After the first World War the Dinnie Stones went missing until 1953 when David P Webster rediscovered them.
HOW MUCH DO THE DINNIE STONES WEIGH?
The Dinnie Stones have a combined weight of 332.49kg / 733lbs. The larger of the 2 stones weighs 188.02kg / 414.5lbs whilst the smaller stone weighs in at 144.47kgs / 318.5lb.
For reference 700 pounds is 50 stone. So that’s about 4 average human's. Pretty heavy.. Right?
WHERE ARE THE DINNIE STONES?
The Dinnie Stones are located outside Potarch Cafe between Aboyne & Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
WHO HAS LIFTED THE DINNIE STONES?
Most people would struggle to even move the smallest of the Dinnie Stones 188.02kg / 414.5lbs but there are some people out there who can lift and even walk with both at the same time.
A legendary Scottish strongman named Donald Dinnie famously managed to carry both dinnie stones, with his bare hands, across the whole width of the Potarch Bridge. A casual distance of 17 ft 1.5 in / 5.22m. This monumental feat of strength has only been replicated by 5 men since, including his father.
WHO IS DONALD DINNIE?
Donald Dinnie, born 10 July 1837 in Balnacraig, Birse, near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, was a Scottish strongman. Dinnie's athletic career extended over 50 years and over 11,000 successful competitions, earning him the title of "The Nineteenth Century's Greatest Athlete."
WHO HOLDS THE DINNIE STONES RECORD?
Currently there are a few different records held for lifting the stones. Just lifting them alone is a huge feat of strength. There are assisted lifts, assisted holds, unassisted lifts, unassisted holds and farmers walks.
Brian Shaw, 4 time World's Strongest Man managed to carry the stones for 11ft 6.5 in / 3.52m. He actually did this while filming for the hit history channel show, Strongest Man In History. This was on 18th April 2019. Brian is well known for his huge grip strength, but this feat must be one of his most impressive.
This record is currently held by Mark Haydock. He managed to beat his own previous record and get an unfathomable 41.00 second hold. I’m sure Mark will be back again in the future to try and beat this already huge record.
To date there have been four women who have managed to lift the Dinnie Stones. Emmajane Smith was the first woman to do so without straps on January 19 2019. A little later that year on June 10th 2019, Annika Eilmann was the first woman to actually lift and hold the stones for just over 10 seconds, unassisted! Brett Nicol, Jim and Rosemary Splaine, Lydia Nicol, and the enormous crowd of onlookers and lifters in attendance observed Annika's lift. Annika has made history as the first women lifter to perform an astounding full unaided lift and hold of the big Dinnie Stones. Congratulations, Annika! These women can only be inspiring other women around the world to attempt this monumental feat of strength!
WHO CAN LIFT THE DINNIE STONES?
The Dinnie Stones are open to anyone. Providing you are able to prove you can lift over 300kg / 662lbs in an unassisted manner. Which is no easy feat. Any lift must be agreed as least one month in advance through the guardians of the stones. There are many replicas of the rings available to train with, so why not give it a go?
WHAT IS STONE LIFTING?
Stone lifting usually applies to heavy natural stones that individuals are challenged to lift in order to demonstrate their strength. They are widespread throughout northern Europe, notably in Scotland, Wales, Iceland (where they are known as steintökin), Scandinavia, and North West England, particularly in Cumbria.
Lifting stones have recently been added into World's Strongest Man contests, with different cast, discovered, or established challenge stones such as the Husafell Stone being used. They also perform a romanticised version of an event drawn from an ancient contest in which men competed to see who could put the biggest stone onto a stone wall, where they are known as Atlas Stones.
Bonus Fact - Húsafell Stone
The Husafell Stone is the most renowned of Iceland's fabled lifting stones, named after the west country agricultural estate on which it is located, around 132 kilometers north east of Reykjavik. The 186 kg (410 lb) triangular-shaped stone is supposed to have been carved from a massive rock over a couple of centuries ago, when a local priest called Snorri Björnsson chose it as the gateway to his Sheep and Goat corral. Snorri dubbed the stone the 'Kviahellan' (pen slab), and it has since been employed as a test of strength by Strongmen by merely raising it to the knee and waist, or by lifting it all the way up to the chest and carrying the stone around the perimeter of the pen for ‘fullsterkur’ status.
HOW TO TRAIN FOR THE DINNIE STONES
Lifting the Dinnie Stones requires a huge amount of overall strength, not just grip strength. To lift these famous Scottish Stones you must consider, combined they weigh over 700lbs, just lifting that weight alone is a great feat of strength.
Looking into it from a grip perspective, the main focus of your grip strength should be focused towards crush and support. This will enable you to get a firm grasp on the handles and with a solid support grip, keep hold of them for the duration of the lift.