One of the Best All-Purpose Functional Exercises – The loaded carry
One of my cousins got heavy into self-sustainable gardening and was telling me about it. Immediately the thought of not having to water my plants or till anything and possibly have great soil (my soil quality is very low) appealed to me.
It also didn’t hurt that the name of the method was called “back to Eden” and my baby girl is also named “Eden”.
So if you are unfamiliar with the method, in a nutshell you put a ton of wood chips on top of the soil to simulate the way nature works. Think of how much stuff is on the forest floor, and how rich the soil is there.
So I ordered some chips last Friday came home to this pile in my driveway.
Jokingly I’ve been telling my personal training clients that we are going to change their workouts to be one of the best all-purpose functional exercises out there. Something akin to what Mr. Miyagi had done in the Karate Kid.
Even though I may have been poking a little bit of fun, in actuality, loaded carries are one of the best things you can do when you program them correctly. I’m not talking about carrying buckets of wood chips up a flight of stairs to dump into a wheel barrow.
Right now amongst my personal training clients, I have two doing farmers carries using a hex bar, going heavy for short distance.
I have one personal training client that is at the start of a 12-week periodization cycle involving overhead press, bench press, squats and deadlifts with the top working set of each being 50% of what they can handle. In order to find something that wouldn’t interfere with the plan and fill in the blanks so I selected single arm rack walks.
A personal training client that is on vacation was instructed to do turkish getups to an overhead walk just like in this video. (using a dumbbell he has)
Why is it such a valuable exercise? Well there could be a number of things related to grip and shoulder stability but I think one of the valuable things about it makes you resilient to injury.
Whenever you take a step the weight implement wobbles back and forth side to side just a bit lighting up your abs and all the other things involved with the movement. Essentially, the inertia from the weight tries to move you around. It’s slight and is therefore less likely to injure you, while simultaneously getting you stronger.
When people get injured it’s oftentimes because something moved out of position (like if a stronger person falls down, they are less likely to get injured than a weak person). The way to stop that is to strengthen it.
It’ also one of the values of unilaterally loaded exercises is because they force your body to get stabilized and get stronger.
In addition to that, it trains your grip and your strength endurance. All of these things are good and has a high amount of transfer to various things like whooping the other team in a game of lacrosse or picking your kid up and carrying them up the stairs as they scream “I don’t want to go to bed!”
And really that’s the point of all this stuff. It’s not about what you do in my personal training studio, it’s about how it helps you in whatever it is you do that makes you happy.
Strength for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Because you should have the strength and health to live life free of the inhibitions that come with weakness and poor health.
If you need help with this, I have a free trial available. Availability is limited since I have to do everything one on one until life returns to normal. Check my personal training schedule to see if I can fit you in and text me at 973 476 5328 to get started.
Eric Moss is a world-record-holding modern-day professional performing strongman, author, motivational speaker, and personal trainer. In the tradition of the strongmen more common during the turn of the century, he performs feats of strength such as bending steel and breaking chains as part of a show and speaks on goal achievement for corporations, nonprofits, government as well as for schools and universities. His exclusive personal training studio is located on Main Street in Boonton New Jersey, is close to Mountain Lakes, Denville, Montville and Parsippany New Jersey.