Carrying is a fundamental human movement pattern - yet it’s often overlooked in strength & conditioning.
Not in our gym! Our love for carries grows on a daily basis.
A carry can be looked at as a ‘walking plank’. You’re producing and resisting force while carrying a load from point A to point B. You need to maintain tension and brace while controlling your breath. We carry with our members at least twice a week.
Here’s why you should incorporate carries into your plan:
Grip strength is important for athletic performance as well as being one of the key indicators for longevity. Grip strength is often a limiting factor for athletes when trying to lift heavier loads in movements like chin-ups and deadlifts - so it’s important to add specific grip work into your training.
Midline & postural development:
Loading our spine in different ways while walking forces our body to recruit the postural muscles that help protect the integrity of the spinal column. Our deep core and spinal stabilising muscles help prevent excessive movement along the spine. We like to call it ‘anaconda strength’, the ability to squeeze and generate tension while controlling your breath (specifically with bear carries) is an underrated training adaptation.
The increased time under tension leads to increased muscle mass. The grip, upper traps and upper back are where you’ll ‘feel’ the exercise the most. However, carrying heavy weights has been shown to result in hormonal changes that align with systemic hypertrophy (total-body muscle gain). Watch someone do a heavy farmers carry and tell me which muscles are relaxed.
All this bracing and movement under load can get you breathing! We like to incorporate farmers carries as part of our conditioning sessions to develop work capacity. Carries are simple, and they’re a great tool for improving your ability to do work.
In the video we see 3 variations; farmers (vid 1), suitcase (2) and bear carry (3). For now, try and accumulate 3-5 minutes of carrying during the week with any and all of these styles.