The loaded carry is as human as squatting in the woods to poop. We have been carrying heavy loads in various ways as long as we have been interacting with our environment, the weather then a heavy thing be a fresh kill from the hunt, moving supplies for structure or carrying around our children. Our modern world affords many of us the luxury of not heaving to involve ourselves in strenuous labor, which means for many, the heaviest things they will carry will be their groceries. The carry is an essential primal exercise that teaches you how to affect the world around you while making you much more resilient. The loaded carry will make you stronger, import you stamina and healp you age well.
Types of loaded carries:- There are 3 main varieties of carries and several mixed variations. For further fun, any of these variations. For further fun, any of these variations can be done as a single side or double loaded variation. I recommended starting with double loaded carries as they are more stable and will require less overall coordination. The single implement carry will much more demanding to your core and stabilizer muscles, as you are trying to fight the offset load with every, grueling step.
As you progress in these variations as you will be able to lift and carry more total weight. Literally, every implement in the gym can be used to carry, weight plates, dumbbells, kettle bells, barbells, med balls, atlas stones, kegs. hex bars, Swiss-bars, lifting partners and of course, farmers handles. You can get pretty creative, as long as the thing you are carrying is heavy enough to be challenging. Farmers implement held at the side of the body, heaviest loading of the carries.
Setting up the carry:- Posture is everything for loaded carries. Treat these exercise as walking planks. So often I see lifters sacrifice posture to carry more load, and it’s literally counterproductive.
Here’s your posture checklist-
(A) Keep your head up, do not look down.
(B) Keep your chest big and your shoulder down.
(C) Do not allow yourself to sway from side to side, especially with the single implement carries.
For the farmers and suitcase carry variations the lift can be very taxing to the grip. This is one time I advocate against the use of straps. By nature the farmers carry is self-limiting, that if you can not pick it up, you can not carry it, if you can not hold it, you can not carry it. It is okay to take a mini pause in your set and to put the implement down to rest your grip before picking the weight back up again.
Why you need to do loaded carries:- Carries are an excellent full body strength exercise. They will work almost every muscle in the body simultaneously and under a shifting load, so you get the added benefit of engaging many of the various stabilizer muscles in the hips, shoulders, and core, in addition to keeping the prime movers under immense tension. There is a particular benefit to grip strength when using the farmers and suitcase variation, as well, you know because you are holding something heavy in your hand for a long distance.
Stamina, since carries are often performed over a set distance, or for a set duration of time, you will be taxed. You will be spent. It will feel like you just performed hill sprints. The carry will increase your ability to perform work and will redefine what you feel your limits are. Posture, when done correctly, mindful and not for pure ego, the carries are of particular benefit to your postural and core muscles. Your entire body will be strained and you will be challenged to maintain an upright position. This will carry over to a large extent to your other lift and to your daily life.