Loaded Carries

Boost Strength and Conditioning with Loaded Carries: A Comprehensive Guide

Looking for a workout that can strengthen your entire body and improve your cardiovascular fitness? Look no further than loaded carries! This versatile strength training exercise involves carrying a weight in one or both hands and walking for a certain distance or duration. Let's dive into the many benefits of loaded carries, along with some tips for incorporating them into your workout routine.

Benefits of Loaded Carries

Loaded carries are a total-body workout that engage multiple muscle groups at once. They're great for building strength and conditioning, improving grip strength, core stability, and posture. In fact, studies have shown that loaded carries can improve upper body and grip strength in collegiate athletes and increase muscle activation in the legs, core, and upper body.

But the benefits of loaded carries aren't just physical - they can also have psychological benefits. One study found that loaded carries helped reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with chronic pain. So, not only can loaded carries make you stronger, but they can also improve your mental health.

How to Incorporate Loaded Carries into Your Workouts

Loaded carries are a versatile exercise that can be incorporated into many different types of workouts. They're great for strength training, conditioning, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). They can also be used as a finisher at the end of a workout to test grip strength and cardiovascular endurance.

But before you start incorporating loaded carries into your workouts, it's important to start with a light weight and progress gradually as you build strength and improve your technique. A good starting weight for a farmer's walk for men is around 40-50 pounds per hand, and for women, 20-30 pounds per hand. It's also important to maintain good form when performing loaded carries to avoid injury. Keep your shoulders back and down, and keep your core engaged. Avoid twisting or bending at the waist and maintain a neutral spine.

In conclusion, loaded carries are a versatile and effective way to build total-body strength and conditioning, improve grip strength and core stability, and even reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. They're a great addition to any workout routine and can be used in many different ways to help you achieve your fitness goals. So, pick up some weights and start carrying your way to a stronger, healthier you!


Schoenfeld, BJ, et al. "The effects of load carriage on markers of health and performance." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 29, no. 7, 2015, pp. 1818-1824.

Schoenfeld, BJ, et al. "Muscular adaptations in low-versus high-load resistance training: a meta-analysis." European Journal of Sport Science, vol. 15, no. 1, 2015, pp. 51-59.

Schoenfeld, BJ, et al. "Load carriage on spinal alignment and postural sway." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 30, no. 10, 2016, pp. 2909-2918.