The Legendary Dinnie Stones, 733lb, lifted by Leigh Holland-Keen - the 1st Woman to Do SO.
If you haven’t been paying attention to strength sport news this week, you might have missed history being made.
Leigh Holland Keen is the strongest woman that you haven’t heard about.
Keen is a Strongwoman athlete who holds the title of Australia’s Strongest Woman. She also is the only woman who has fully lifted the Dinnie Stones.
The Dinnie Stones are famous granite boulders located in Scotland. In the 1830’s, they were used as counterweights to aid in a bridge repair. One of the stones weighs 321 pounds, while the other tops the scale at 413 pounds. When lifted together, they are a combined monstrosity of 733 pounds.
Donald Dinnie, a legendary Scottish Strongman from the time, made the stones famous when he carried them just over 17 feet. It’s now an endeavor for strongmen to test their mettle by simply lifting the stones. To date, only 90 men and two women have lifted the stones off the ground.
Jan Todd, an American lifter, was the first woman to lift the stones. However, she only was granted a partial lift, making Keen the sole female athlete to complete the lift.
Keen has been training hard for the past year. The challenge of the stones is that, unlike a traditional deadlift - where the loaded bar is in front of the lifter, the Dinnie stones are separate. The lifter needs to straddle the stones, lifting one in front of, and one behind their body.
Using a T-handle and plates, Keen was able to mimic the weight distribution of the stones, training her body to accommodate the uneven stance and unilateral strength needed to complete the lift.
We’ve talked about how it’s important for women to powerlift - and seeing Keen make history only makes the reason more poignant. She reminds us that women can be just as strong as men.
Women have a place in the gym - and it’s under a barbell.