Loaded carries should be used for a variety of reasons from increasing overall athleticism to rehabilitation. These types of movements work the whole body and have been shown to stimulate an excellent hormonal response for muscle growth.
Loaded carries are great for training the abdominal wall, obliques, and low back stabilizing muscles which leads to increased trunk stability. When performing loaded carries one becomes more mindful of their posture, breathing and total coordination of the body in movement . Overall shoulder health is vastly improved. Simply a stronger more stable shoulder.
This video shows a great rotary stability exercise. It pairs two different unilateral loaded carries used together. The rotator cuff gets good training and control, scapular stability is enhanced being overhead. Good grip work, and front core. You want to avoid side bending, or low back arching.
Kettlebell Crosswalk Video
I like to include many different types of holds and walks in my programming for myself and the athletes I train. This particular iso-hold is great way to establish pelvic and postural alignment. The front core gets turned on, abdominal bracing allows the lifter to stabilize the lumbar spine, resisting falling into lumbar extension.
Gripping the kettlebell in this position reflexively trains the rotator cuff muscles, and also works to dynamically stabilize the scapula. The forearms get some nice grip work.
Holds and walks are great to include in the beginning or end of a workout. Use in the warm up to wake up the core, and stabilize muscles and joints. Reinforces postural integrity, breathing, and stiffness required for the big lifts to come. Use at the end as part as a conditioner finisher, additional core and grip training.
Anti-Rotation Kettlebell Lift
A huge component of a young athlete’s training program, or any athlete for that matter, is assessing and addressing core stability. The ability to stabilize the Lumbopelvic Region is key to creating powerful movement in sports. The kettlebell lift is an anti-rotation core exercise. This not to say we do not do any rotational type of training – quite the contrary. We do a lot of rotational power work. The kettlebell anti-rotation lift teaches the athlete how to stabilize and generate force without faulty movement patterns (ie. movement through the lumbar spine). The primary goal of this exercise is to work on strengthening the muscles that realign the pelvis: glutes, hamstrings, external obliques.
The ability to stabilize the lumbopelvic region applies to someone who wants to lift heavy weight and get stronger. Not only is this a great exercise for athletic development, it also serves as a great corrective exercise and restores proper postural alignment. This exercise would benefit anyone in the general population who suffers from chronic back pain.
The bottom line in sports is being able to produce power/force. In order for someone to get stronger, they need to be stable in the right areas. Once that stability and foundation is in place, the athlete will get stronger and more powerful.
How many people know someone who deals with shoulder pain? Chances are, the over-emphasis of pressing exercises contributes to most problems people encounter when involved in resistance training. In training middle school, high school and college athletes, injury reduction and prevention is an important component in all of my programs.
I believe in the importance of weighing the risk-benefit ratio with any and every exercise. If I perceive a certain exercise to have a higher risk than benefit, I discard that particular exercise and use a different one that will accomplish that desired training effect.
Dumbbell Floor Press
The floor press and the flat bench press are both horizontal pressing exercises. I choose to use the floor press in my programs over the flat bench press with Olympic bar and I am going to explain why.