Loaded carries have made a resurgence in training programs over the past 10 years (thanks Dan John), and rightly so. They are an incredibly simple and effective exercise, that is just so often missing in training programs for athletes and the general population.
All carry variations share a couple of key similar concepts.
1) They are a self-limiting exercise. By this I just mean it’s hard to do them wrong; when failure kicks in it usually means you are forced to put the weight down.
2) They get us out of the sagittal plane where we spend a vast majority of our time training in.
3) They challenge our postural integrity statically and dynamically.
Farmers Walk or Trap Bar Carry.
We often use this as a final exercise of the day (finisher). The aim of this exercise is to carry the bar as far as you can until you either. The load for this exercise should be at minimum your body weight on the bar, and for stronger folk I’d suggest using around 70% of your 1RM for a trap bar deadlift.
Try performing 1-2 sets of 1 maximal repetition at the end of your workout 1-2x per week and see how you go.
KB Single Arm Front Rack Carry.
This is one of my favourite carries as it challenges the athlete in a number of ways; 1) The front rack position promotes anti-flexion of the trunk.
2) the single arm aspect promotes both anti-rotation and anti-lateral flexion. The load for this exercise is highly individual. I’d suggest picking a weight that is challenging to hold in that front rack position.
The aim of this exercise is to carry the load as far as you can but try starting with 1-2 sets of 2-3 carries of at least 30 seconds at the end of your workout 1-2x per week and progress from there.
KB Single Arm Waiters Walk.
This is a great variation of a carry, it challenges an athletes overhead mobility and stability. I like to cue the athlete to reach for the ceiling to encourage scapula upward rotation.
It’s important that we avoid dropping into lumbar extension, sometimes a simple cue such as rib cage down can aid in this.
The load for this exercise is highly individual. I’d suggest pick a weight they would normally OH press for 10-15 reps.
Try performing 1-2 sets of 2-3 carries of at least 30 seconds at the start of your upper body workout to prep for the main components.
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