The final foundational movement pattern I include in my training programs is the carry. This movement pattern focuses on lifting a heavy object and walking with it. Heavy carries are great for building strength and stability, especially in the core. There are many variations and pieces of equipment that can be utilized for carries.
Why should you carry heavy things?
In everyday life, you pick up things and carry them. It could be your kids or bags of groceries. The loaded carry will build core and grip strength. When most people think of core they only think of crunches and sit-ups. You need to add in carries to build the rigid stability of the core.
Carries will also improve posture and shoulder health. They are a great way to improve work capacity too. You can carry for time or distance to help build your aerobic base or your gas tank.
When done correctly, carries are one of the safest ways to train pain-free because it is hard to cheat the carry. You are limited by how much weight you can do by your grip strength. Whereas, other exercises you can load up the weight and end up getting hurt. With carries, you can only lift as much as your grip can hold.
How to perform the farmer carry
- Squat down to pick up dumbbells.
- Grip dumbbells tight and stand back up pushing feet through the floor.
- Make sure you stand all the way up before you start walking.
- Walk normal, keeping dumbbells to the side.
- Don’t let your shoulders round forward.
- Keep core tight and don’t let the weights swing from side-to-side
- When you are done walking. Squat down to set the weights back on the ground.
You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, sandbags, plates, handles, frames, and yolks for different carries.
- Dumbbell farmer walk
- Kettlebell farmer walk
- Trap bar farmer walk
- Single-arm carry
- Overhead DB carry
- Kettlebell bottoms up carry
- Zercher carry
- Sandbag carry
- Yolk walk
- Offset carry
- Many other variations
The carry is a simple movement to learn and progress. Make sure you learn the correct form before you start incorporating carries into your program. If you are not using carries, you should start. If you want to learn how to effectively incorporate them into your training click here to apply to work with me.