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Movement You Should Master

Weighted Carries

Modern medicine is keeping us alive longer, so now we need to put some effort into staying lively longer.  Mastering specific movements will improve our quality of life and help us stay independent and injury-free. I have come up with several exercises you can use to make yourself stronger, more durable, and develop a healthier, more functional body.  An exercise that I have found to be efficient and effective is a Weighted Carry.

Weighted Carries

Very few things are more functional than a carry.  You’d be hard pressed to get through daily life without having to carry something at least a few times per week.  While basic, a carry is an efficient and effective full body exercise.  Depending on the carry you choose, the load is virtually limitless.  Performed for time or distance, carries will always improve gait and core stability.  Depending on which version you use, they can also be an effective tool for improving shoulder mobility/stability, grip strength, balance, and overall awesomeness.  Watch the video and give it try: https://youtu.be/PaP4-IlVAOA

Coach Chad demonstrates my top four carry picks:

1) Farmers Walk (gait, core stability, grip strength, upper back, legs)

2) Suitcase Carry (gait, core anti-lateral flexion, grip, upper back, balance)

3) Waiters Carry (gait, core stability, shoulder stability, balance)

4) Double Waiters Carry (gait, core stability, shoulder mobility, shoulder stability, balance)

-Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, Pn1


Two types of exercise that are ignored/skipped by a majority of gym goers are heavy carries and crawls.  This is unfortunate because these are two of the most fundamental and functional movement patterns we have.  Incorporating these two exercises on a regular basis will likely make drastic improvements to your mobility, posture, and work capacity.

In their most basic form, these exercises are incredibly simple, involve minimal technique, and pose relatively low risk of injury.  Heavy carries offer the benefit of strengthening the body from head to toe (particularly the core, upper back, grip, and legs) when the body is moving on both feet horizontally.  Crawls take us back to our first movement patterns as humans and put us in the transitional position between being on the ground and standing.  We must all continue to master this movement if we want to enjoy good quality of life as we age.  Crawl variations challenge and improve our mobility and strengthen the core and the shoulders.  I believe that most people would be well served and pleasantly surprised in the way they look, move, and feel by adding 1-2 sets of crawls and carries to the beginning and end of every workout.

A quick search on YouTube or a look at our Team Training workouts will give you some good visuals.  Here are my top 3 picks for each exercise type:

Heavy Carries*carry

1. Farmers Walks

2. Kettlebell, Dumbbell, Barbell Front Carry

3. Barbell Overhead Carry

*Heavy = a true challenge to complete your desired distance


1. Bear Crawl

2. Seal Crawl

3. 4-point Lateral Crawl


-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS