From carrying groceries from the car after a long day at work to carrying home a child with a skinned knee, we perform a lot of loaded carrying movements in our daily lives. Next to the squat, it’s one of the most foundational movements we can do. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most ignored and often overlooked exercises. Those who know about carry exercises believe they’re reserved only for a particular type of athlete (e.g., strongman). That couldn’t be any further from the truth.
When programmed properly, loaded carries can assist in achieving any goal, whether it’s fat loss or gaining strength. Not to mention, your quality of life will be greatly enhanced. Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, allow me to fill in the blanks:
What Are Loaded Carries?
Loaded carries are an exercise where you add a weight or implement to your body and you walk. The implement can be a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell, sandbag, weighted vest, or even a backpack (think rucking).
Builds grip strength
Increases overall/total body strength
Strengthens the core
Adds variety to a workout routine
Enhances motor skills/intra- and intermuscular coordination
Are joint friendly
What Are Some Exercises I Can Do?
Do some kind of loaded carry three times a week. You want to be aggressive and intense, so ensure you’re recovered from your last session before doing the next one. Here are some videos I made to help understand form and technique.
Loaded Carries for Advanced Athletes
Beyond increasing the weight on the carries above, there’s one way you can add to the complexity and challenge of any loaded carry, and that’s to drag a sled stacked with any number of 45-pound plates while performing the above carries. Obviously, some combinations don’t work as well as others, but when you attach the sled to your waist and walk forward while performing one of the carries above, it multiplies the intensity and results of the exercise.
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