| Loaded carries have been around for a long time, and often conjure up images of the “one trip” grocery bag challenge. You may also recognize them as a hallmark strong man competition exercise. In the realm of physical preparation for sport however they are excellent training tools that can develop several qualities. We like to use them for work capacity (conditioning), core stability, rotator cuff strength, and grip strength. There are a ton of variations, each with different challenges. I thought it might be useful to share a few of our most commonly prescribed carries. All passwords are Rapidvideo
The farmer’s carry is the “mother” of all carries and the one from which others have probably been derived. It can be used as a general strength training exercise, or as a part of conditioning prescriptions. Coaches love it because it provides such a tremendous value with minimal technique. It trains stiffness and strength in the core, grip strength, and shoulder strength. Be sure to walk slow, stay tall, and grip with intent!
The suitcase carry is the close cousin of the farmer’s carry and can be utilized for all of the same reasons as above. The primary difference though is that it requires a higher level of frontal plane (side) abs to stabilize the ribcage. The weight wants to pull one side down, so the other side must work very hard to keep the athlete upright. Be sure to keep a little bit of space between the weight and the hip, resting the weight on the hip is cheating! This cue should keep people from choosing weight that is too heavy.
The waiter’s carry is one of our most popular arm care exercises. It requires a tremendous amount of rotator cuff recruitment to stabilize the head of the humerus (arm bone). On the contrary to Suitcase and Farmer’s carries this exercise is a little more technical. It is of paramount importance that the athlete keeps the arm in a good position, as training the rotator cuff in a poor position can have unwanted consequences. This exercise SHOULD NOT be felt in the front of the shoulder, especially if the feeling is discomfort. In my experience, even the strongest athletes don’t use more than 25-30lbs for properly executed waiter’s carries.
We hope this is helpful! Have a great week, and as always feel free to comment with questions or topic requests!
All the best,
The Rapid Team
Andrew Gordon, MS, CSCS