11 Loaded Carry Exercises That Develop Real World Strength

By Corey Beasley


 The loaded carry does more to expand athletic qualities than any other single thing I've attempted in my career as a coach and athlete. And I do not say that lightly.
-Coach Dan John

We all know the benefits of hinging, squatting, pushing ad pulling heavy objects.  Carrying heavy things has recently gained popularity and  is about as natural and 'functional as we can get in the weight room. Not only does it stress the entire body, but it translates incredibly well into grappling and fighting.

Controlling positions on the ground, in the clinch, fighting for wrist control, scrambling against the cage, fighting for takedowns and other positions require you to move and manipulate your opponent with the type of strength and power that heavy carries can provide.

Needless to say, they are a welcomed addition to ALL of our athletes' programs.

Symmetrical Loads

Symmetrical Loads are carried using both arms and is relatively centered between the left and right sides of our body. We can change the implement and load placement to challenge our bodies in different ways.

Hex Bar Farmer Carry

Double KB Farmer Carry

Double KB Racked

Sandbag Front Carry

Sandbag Overhead Carry

Double KB Overhead Carry

Asymmetrical Loads

Weight is carried on one side of the body and forces us to resist leaning, rotating or compensating. This forces our bodies to brace throughout the torso, hips, shoulders, etc and is an incredible way to challenge ourselves in our workouts.

Suitcase Carry

Single KB Racked

Sandbag Shouldered

KB Bottoms Up

Single KB Overhead

These are just a few variations that you can experiment with. You can also use heavy bags, stones, partners and other odd objects to get the result you desire. Try adding carries to your workouts for a few weeks and let us know how it goes.

Corey Beasley is a strength coach, founder of Fight Camp Conditioning and has worked with a variety of fighters and grapplers, ranging from youngsters to World Champions.


What is your favorite "Carry" Exercise?