Strongmen aren’t the only people who should be doing loaded carries. If you are a stay at home mom looking for that exercise to give you the biggest bang for your buck , look no further than loaded carry.
What makes them so great is that they address everyone’s training goals and can be taught in less than 5 minutes. So go grab the nearest ginormous and keep it close by, because by the end of this post you are going to want to start carrying everything in sight.
There is no better exercise than loaded carries if you are looking to build total body strength, burn fat, and/or get in better condition.
Because they are such a simple exercise though they tend to get overlooked in our training regimens.
I mean think back to the last time you had to unload the car full of groceries, or carry your suitcase through the airport. I bet it didn’t take long for you to feel your heart beat faster and your muscles starting to feel tired making the 40lbs bag feel like 1 million pounds.
The best thing about loaded carries is we can begin developing strength, burn fat, and condition you without having to teach you a ton of technique because chances are (unless you are Richy Rich and have butlers do everything) it is pretty likely you have had to carry something in your life.
I like to think of carries like a walking plank. They force us to engage our core because we need to have perfect posture as we walk, otherwise we risk dropping our object or injuring our back.
Time under tension is the chief rule of strength and muscle building. This is what makes slow lifts like squats and dead lifts huge muscle builders.
In order to carry an object you have to be able to hold/support it through out the duration. Carries will challenge the strength of your grip, arms, chest, shoulders, back, core and legs as we move our objects over a certain distance or for a determined amount of time.
Adding the movement aspect on top of taxing our muscles (remember strength builds muscle, muscle is our biggest fat burner in the body) causes loaded carries to be an insane fat burner.
Now the reason I keep saying that we carry objects is because you can carry just about anything, in a variety of positions.
What can I carry?
A few examples of objects you can carry include:
- Kettle bells/dumbbells
- Farmers handles
- Sand bags
- Back packs
- stones/med balls
- weighted vests
- Refrigerator …………
How can I carry objects?
A few of the different carry styles include:
- Farmers Carry
- Suitcase Carry (single side farmers carry)
- Over head carry
- Single side over head carry
- Waiters carry
- Front Rack Rack Carry
- Zercher’s Carry
- Off balance carries in all positions (light one side, heavy on the other)
- Different side position carries
I absolutely love the single side and different side position carries. The unbalance due to the unequal loads/positions are great for challenging the core even more so as it requires more effort to stay up right and straight.
Now there are quite a few ways you can program carries.
You can go light and for a long distance to build endurance and conditioning. I also like doing light carries in between exercises in a ladder. For example
10-1 front rack squats do 20 yard farmers carry between each set.
You can go super intense with extremely heavy for a short distances (10-20 yards) to build massive strength and work on energy out put. Try doing that for 5 rds with a long rest between sets and tell me that won’t jack up your heart rate.
I also like setting a timer for 10 minutes and carry a medium weight for recovery after a heavy lifting day. It does a great job resetting the body and the repetitive motion of walking is awesome for flushing out the legs of soreness.
It should be easy to see why loaded carries need to be a part of your workout. They are easy to do, accessible to just about anyone, build massive strength, burn a ton of fat, and get us in great condition.
What are you waiting for! Pick something up and get moving.
Do you use carries in your workout? If you do let us know how you use them in the comments section below and let us know what your favorite carry is.