What if Atlas having to carry the heavens on his shoulder is not a punishment but a prerogative?
Here is, sure enough, how I prefer to approach the Myth.
If the body of Uranus, father sky, pressed against the beloved body of mother earth Gaia, was allowing the birth of the first generation of beings, the Titans, it was also denying them capacity to move, that is, to evolve.
In other words, space between earth and heavens being a necessity, it must be secured, granted, and protected.
On Atlas' shoulder are the heavens allowing the space for the world to expand !
First version: Atlas, titanesque enough yet his space creating-keeping role is not clear enough.
Second version: The 'heavens-weight' being carried by both Atlas' body mass and full attention, intensifying, I feel, his space-keeeper exploit.