Ignition Coach, Chris Gray will serve as a seasonal columnist for Muscle & Fitness magazine.
With experience at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels Coach Chris is able to share his expertise to provide educational and inspirational feedback to coaches across the U.S. To view the first of this ongoing series please see the provided article below.
Six carry variations to load your frame with muscle.
To build rock-hard core, grip strength, and a big upper back, the loaded carry reigns supreme. You’ve probably done the basic farmer’s walk, but now it’s time for a new twist on the classic muscle-building move.
- Trap-Bar Trifecta: The neutral wide grip handles of the trap bar are easier on the shoulders. This versatile tool also allows you to stand inside it with the weight aligned with your sides, which is generally a more optimal position. Try these three trap-bar variations.
- Trap-Bar Carry: Stand in the trap bar, grab the handles, and walk forward and backward for distance.
- Trap-Bar Front Carry: Hold the trap bar by its handles with arms bent at 90 degrees. This move is sure to blow up your shoulders, biceps, and traps.
- Trap-Bar Overhead Carry: Standing in front of the trap bar, grab the handles and curl and press the bar overhead. Brace your core and begin to walk forward for distance.
- Dual Overhead: This variation in which you carry two kettlebells or dumbbells over-head will help pack on size to your shoulders and the smaller supporting muscles like the triceps and traps. You won’t be able to go as heavy, but that’s OK. Just increase the distance that you walk for optimal time under tension. [Balance Issues? – For the bottoms-up carry, point your elbow directly ahead, or to alleviate pressure, externally rotate the shoulder slightly and point the elbow outward a bit.]
- Pick up two kettlebells and press them directly overhead, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Work on keeping your rib cage tucked down and in, and aim to get your biceps as close to your ears as possible.
- Single-Arm Front Rack Carry: This one-sided, front-loaded carry will make your core fire like crazy while helping correct poor posture
- Clean one kettlebell so it’s in the front-rack position. Brace your core then begin to walk forward.
- Single-Arm Bottoms-Up Carry: This variation increases strength and stability in your core and shoulders as you fight to balance the kettlebell.
- Hold the bell bottoms up by the handle. Keep arm bent at 90 degrees.
- Goblet Carry: The goblet carry is another variation that will challenge your core immensely since all the weight is front loaded. In addition to fixing that desk-jockey posture, your biceps, shoulders, lats, and forearms will be burning.
- Grab a kettle bell by the horns and bring it up to your chest (bent arms) about an inch off your sternum. Then begin to walk forward or laterally. [Want more of a Challenge? – Perform this carry walking backwards]
- Dual Carry: This spin on the farmer’s walk has you holding one weight overhead while carrying the other at your side. As with most of the carries here, this is a test of shoulder strength. But the offset weight will also challenge your core as you fight to stay completely upright.
- Hold one kettlebell at your side and a slightly lighter one overhead, keeping a slight bend in your elbow. Be sure to switch sides each set to avoid imbalances.
(Taken from Muscle & Fitness Magazine)