Weighted carries have gained substantial popularity in the personal training and strength & conditioning fields the last few years, much via the writings and teachings of coaches like Dan John. Coach John is one of those mentors of the mentors guys in the field who is brilliant at teaching and brilliant at the basics.
Weighted carries are one of those basics. They are a total body exercise which trains the muscles to stabilize proper posture during movement (walking), an incredible amount of core work, rotator cuff activation and shoulder stability (which is essential for anyone from asymptomatic fitness enthusiasts to throwing sport athletes to contact sport athletes), and heart rate training (aka “cardio”). So in other words: Do you want to be stronger? Do you want to be more powerful? Do you want more confidence on the field because you’ve worked on preventing injuries common to your sport? (I going to assume to want these things to take your game to the next level.)
A few of my favourite variations to use are the most basic: farmer’s carry, heartbeat walks, bottoms-up waiter carries, suitcase carries, and some hybrids which can be implemented. But in essence, each training session we are after a slightly different stimulus with the carries, and select them based on prioritization of client needs.
For example, if I really want to hit some dynamic rotator cuff and stability stability function, I look at heavy farmer’s carries and bottoms-up walks for decent yardage. Amazingly simple and amazingly effective!
I’ve have a follow-up with some video for how I’ve modified some of these lifts as kettlebells are a commonly prescribed tool. However, many commercial gyms do not have kettlebells except in group exercise areas, and that’s no reason to not try these exercises!
In the meantime, pick some weight up, walk, put it down. Be brilliant at the basics!
Train Hard, Train Smart!