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3 Carry Variations For Your Core

carries-molly-deadlift-450x338Heavy carries are one of my absolute favorite exercises ever.  They are challenging metabolically and muscularly, they are incredible “core” work, and it doesn’t get much more “real-world” than having to carry odd, heavy objects (ever tried to move a latex mattress? YIKES!) For real, though, picking up heavy things is not only fun, it’s functional.

Most of you are probably familiar with a basic Farmers Walk exercise where you pick up dumbbells, kettlebells, plates, or farmer walk implements and carry them for each time or distance.

Today I am going to introduce you to 3 of my favorite carry variations that you may not have seen. Keep in mind that these are not for beginners. You should have at least a year or more of lifting under your belt, and be cleared to do deadlifts and Turkish Get-Ups before attempting these exercises.

Goblet Carries

carries-jensinkler-goblet-327x341The first exercise is called a goblet carry. It’s very simple and you can use a dumbbell or a kettlebell. It doesn’t get much easier than this. You simply pick the weight up in the goblet position, and start walking (as shown by my buddy, Kevin Carr, in the video below). In this photo, Jen Sinkler demonstrates the Goblet Carry hand positions for a dumbbell and kettlebell, respectively.

Cues:

1. Brace your core! Stay very stiff and rigid in your core during this whole movement.

2. Pull your ribs and your pelvis towards each other! This will help your lower back stay in a solid position.

3. Stay up tall (don’t lean back)! It’s easy to lean back and hang on your spinal erectors during this movement. Stay long and tall through your spine so that doesn’t happen.

 

Deadlift Walks

This can be done with a straight bar or a trap bar as shown in the video. The bar can be deadlifted from the ground or from blocks, as shown. Similar to above, you simply deadlift the weight up, and start walking. You can walk for time or distance. It’s up to you. If the weight is extremely heavy, then set the weight down and turn around, and pick it up again. If the weight is not exceptionally heavy, then you can turn around with it in your hands as shown in the video.

Cues:

1. Brace your core! You should stay very tight throughout the hold movement.

2. Squeeze the bar and pull your shoulders back and down! This will help you hold onto the weight and put your shoulders in a good position.

3. Walk under control at a moderate pace! Do not rush as you do not want the weight to get away from you.

Turkish Get-Up Carries

I had this nutty idea the other day to do a Turkish Get-Up, then halfway through when I was standing with the weight overhead, to do a Waiter Walk, and then TGU the weight back down. I thought of this because I was wanting to improve my shoulder stability, but the heaviest weight I can press or snatch overhead is 24kg/53 pounds. So the lightbulb went off when I was doing TGUs and realized that I can easily do a TGU a 65 or 70-pound kettlebell, so that would be another way to get the weight overhead.

Keep in mind, this should not be attempted with a max weight. In fact, start with about 40 to 50 percent of your TGU max (so if the most you have done is a 20 kg/44-pound kettlebell, start with 15-20 pounds). You can work your way up once you’re more comfortable with the movement.

Cues:

1. Take your time! This is not a race, and this movement should be very controlled.

2. Ribs down! Think of pulling your ribs down towards your pelvis.

3. Shoulder packed! Think of pulling your shoulder blade back and down.

There you go—three different carry variations for a stronger core! Give them a try in your next workouts and let us know what you think!

If you found this article helpful, and would like a little more guidance with your training program, we can help!


A message from GGS…

At Girls Gone Strong, we want you to feel confident knowing that what you’re doing to look good, feel good, and feel healthy and strong is not only based on tested, reliable, and safe information from trustworthy sources, but also that it is effective and efficient.

That’s why we developed our flagship training system, The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training.

We’ve cut through all that noise and the BS with a sane, sustainable, and efficient approach that will help you achieve maximum results, whether you’re brand new to strength training, or a veteran in the weight room.
With four different 16-week programs—that’s 64 weeks of training—you get over a year’s worth of workouts, including progressions to ensure that you continue making progress. You’ll also get a training manual, exercise glossary, progress tracker, a bonus conditioning manual, plus a video library with over 70 high-definition videos breaking down each exercise, step by step.

We believe fitness should enhance your life instead of become your life. If you exercise in a way that you actually enjoy, staying fit and strong won’t ever feel like a drag. You’ll look forward to it for years to come.

If you want an entire training system that will help you look and feel your best, The Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training is for you!

Learn more here!

About The Author: Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, CSCS is co-founder and owner of Girls Gone Strong, a global movement that aims to empower women to embrace all that's possible for their lives and for their bodies through body-positive, evidence-based, nutrition, training, and self-care information. She is also the author of The Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training. As a former figure competitor who dabbled in powerlifting, Molly understands the more extreme side of training and nutrition, and after years of personal struggle with her own body image and self-worth, Molly is committed to helping women embrace their bodies and fall in love with themselves, and teaching other coaches and trainers how to better understand, connect with, and serve their women clients. Learn more about Molly on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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