Loaded Carries are Important

Loaded Carries: Your Missing Ingredient?

You do not see many people performing loaded carries, or hear them on their performance doing them. Unlike the main lifts, they are not a lift or a skill that is shared or compared often. Mainly because it is not very easy to compare. Nevertheless, they are very beneficial. When your training program does not include loaded carries, you might see changes relatively quickly once you start doing them. It should be an exercise you include in your training sessions, even when you feel like you are the only one doing them (because you are not…). I hope to give you some information and ideas on why and how to include these carries in your program.

Farmers Carry  - Loaded Carry - Continuous  Improvement Fitness
Farmers Carry

Benefits of Loaded Carries

There are quite a few benefits. It is, most importantly, a good (if not the best) way to improve strength of your trunk, core, or how you want to call your midsection. It is considered an essential exercise for general population and athletes alike (Ref 1, 2). They will make you stronger in walking with a load, increases your ability to apply pressure in your midsection, increases grip strength as well as many more aspects. On top of it, once you include them you could build more muscle, lose more fat, get stronger or whatever you are training for. Loaded carries will increase the results of your current training program (Ref 3).

Forms of Loaded Carries

Kettebell overhead carry for what is called the Waiter's Walk. Loaded Carry - Continuous  Improvement Fitness
Waiter’s Walk

There are a few forms of exercises that can be grouped as Loaded Carries. The can be divided into:

  1. Weights in hands
    • One- handed carries
      • Waiter’s walk (one weight overhead, see picture)
      • Suitcase walk (one weight, carried at your side)
      • Rack walk (one weight, carried in the rack position, see picture)
    • Two-handed carries
      • The press walk (two weights overhead)
      • Farmers walk (two weights, carried at your sides, see picture)
      • Double rack walk (two weights, in the rack position)
      • Cross walk (combination of waiter’s and suitcase walk)
  2. Bags, packs and vests
  3. Sleds
  4. Combination of the above

All these forms of carries have benefits for your training, while some have a very specific transfer. If you need to strengthen your core for rotational strength (for instance for playing golf, sports where you have to hit or throw a ball), the one-handed carries are the tool for you. The numerous options also mean that you can vary and alternate the forms you include and make sure you will not get too efficient in doing these carries (which is a good thing, see What Keeps You from Your Ideal Weight).

What to Do Now?

One handed Rack Carry - Loaded Carry - Continuous  Improvement Fitness
One Handed Rack Carry

Well first of all, you can (actually should) incorporate loaded carries into your training program. If you are not sure how to include them: when, how heavy, how far/long: I can help. Just get in touch to see what is possible and you can even opt for a training program made by me. Leave a comment below or use the Contact Page. We surely will find a way to make proper use of them for you!

Start now, not tomorrow!


  1. https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/ptq/programing-the-general-population-for-optimal-fitness10-important-movement-patterns/
  2. https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/nsca-coach/core-strength-and-functionality-with-loaded-carries/
  3. https://www.t-nation.com/training/secret-of-loaded-carries

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