How to Perform Loaded Carries Correctly and Safely

 
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INTRODUCTION

Weighted (loaded) carries are an extremely beneficial exercise that challenges the core musculature in one of the most functional ways possible. They teach you how to hold an uneven load while maintaining your spinal integrity, which mimics numerous real-world activities (carrying groceries, your children etc).  Carries can be done with minimal equipment and it combines walking with strength training. These should be a staple exercise in all training routines.

WEIGHTED CARRY FORM VIDEO

 

BENEFITS OF THE LOADED CARRY

  • Translates to real-world applicability as we often need to carry uneven loads

  • Combines Cardio with strength training

  • Requires minimal equipment to be performed

  • Strengthens the abdominal/core muscles in resisting flexion, extension and lateral flexion movement patterns

  • Provides many different variations to provide progressively difficult challenges

 

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE LOADED CARRY

  • Rectus Abdominus

  • Obliques

  • Transverse Abdominus

  • Forearms/Grip

  • Glutes

 

PERFORMING WEIGHTED CARRIES WITH PROPER TECHNIQUE

  • This tutorial will go over three carry variations - The Suitcase, The Rack and the Waiter Carry

 

WAITER CARRY

  • The Waiter Carry is the most challenging variation of the three, as you have to balance the weight above your head.

  • Obtain a light dumbbell and clean it onto your shoulder using some momentum

  • From this position, press the weight overhead and keep your elbow locked out, and your shoulder externally rotated (think rotating your right-hand clockwise, or your left-hand counterclockwise)

 
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  • Brace your core and squeeze your glutes

  • Begin walking while maintaining the weight balanced overhead and your core tight

  • Do not allow any lateral flexion or deviation of your spine from a neutral position

  • After you have walked the desired distance- switch hands and walk back to where you started

  • A good starting point is 50 feet

  • Feel free to walk quickly, but do not let your technique falter

 

RACK CARRY

  • This variation is less challenging than the Waiter carry, and thus you can use a slightly heavier load.

  • Clean a dumbbell onto your shoulder, and position it into a comfortable groove where you can support the weight with your hand and with your shoulder

  • The remainder of the movement is the same

 

 
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SUITCASE CARRY

  • This variation is the easiest of the three, and therefore you can use a heavier load

  • Simply obtain a dumbbell and hold it at your side in your outstretched hand

  • Keep the weight close to your body and do not let your spinal alignment change

  • The remainder of the movement is the same

 
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OTHER LOADED CARRY VARIATIONS

  • FARMER CARRY: Two-handed variation of the Suitcase Carry

  • COMBINED CARRY: Holding one dumbbell as a Suitcase and the other as a Waiter

  • TRAP BAR CARRY: Standing inside a loaded Trap Bar, deadlifting it, and walking the desired distance

 

SUMMARY OF THE LOADED CARRY TECHNIQUE

 

 

Click on each blue circle to view the key technical aspects of this exercise

 

COMMON MISTAKES

SACRIFICING TECHNIQUE FOR SPEED

This exercise is meant to primarily train your core muscles. Do not let your spinal integrity change just to get through the exercise faster.

 
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Alex & Brittany Robles are the founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and wellness of busy individuals. Learn more about them here and connect with them on instagram and Twitter. Feel free to send them a message here