Loaded carries are often overlooked and underappreciated when it comes to exercise programming.
The typical foundational movement patterns are: Squat, Hinge, Push, Pull, Lunge and Carry.
Most people focus on the first 5 but neglect the 6th, Carry. When training clients, I find this to be due to the fact that carries themselves aren’t necessarily directly training a muscle group like a bench press or a row.
Generally: if you want strong legs – Squat and Lunge, if you want strong glutes – Hinge and Lunge, if you want a strong upper body – Push and Pull. If you want a strong body – Carry.
Those who are training for aesthetic purposes, most likely overlook the carry as it’s only wasting time that can be used to hypertrophy a certain muscle group. However, those training for strength shouldn’t look past the benefits of the loaded carry. As far as movements go, being able to carry a load for an extended period of time has multiple real world and training benefits.
Loaded carries develop whole body strength but particularly develop your core, grip strength and shoulder stability. All of which have positive, direct implications on the development of the other 5 movement patterns.
The loaded carry protocol was developed as a way to up your output with loaded carries, without sacrificing the time you perhaps would rather spend on developing the other patterns. Spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each of your workouts working on a variety of loaded carries. Loading will vary for each person but think heavy as long as you can keep a neutral spine throughout. Overhead carries will require a lighter load. Below are thee 3 day’s worth of loaded carry exercises, apply them no more than 2 days in a row.
Loaded Carry Day 1 – (60s rest between rounds, as many rounds as you can do in the allotted time)
Farmers walks (20 metres) – Suitcase Carry (20metres each side).
Loaded Carry Day 2 – (60s rest between rounds, as many rounds as you can do in the allotted time)
Racked Carry (20 metres) – OH- Waiters Carry (20 metres each side)
Laded Carry Day 3 – (60s rest between rounds, as many rounds as you can do in the allotted time)
Farmer’s walks (20 metres) – Double OH carry (20 metres)
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