Tale of two Exercises – Front Squats and Loaded Carries


Should I learn to front squat?

Video taken from the channel: Dan John


Loaded Carry Recommendations

Video taken from the channel: Dan John


Loaded Carries The Most Functional Exercise?

Video taken from the channel: The Bioneer


Farmer’s Carries for Longevity

Video taken from the channel: Dan John


Zercher Variations that Make You STRONGER

Video taken from the channel: The Strength Classroom


Carries with One Lift a Day

Video taken from the channel: Dan John



Video taken from the channel: THIBARMY

March 6, 2018 Alex Roberts. Tale of 2 Exercises Front Squats and Loaded Carries. Part of my whole “bit” is providing options and workarounds for those short on time, short on equipment and short on answers for low-cost, low-tech, high effect training. A quick scan over the internet will yield a buffet of exercises, reps schemes, programs, this and that.

Loaded in the exact way one would perform a Zercher Squat, this loaded carry variation shifts the load towards the front of the body, stressing the erectors, lats, and core, similar to that of a. The rack and suitcase carry is a combination of those two positions. Begin by racking the first kettlebell with a clean. Then squat down to grab the other kettlebell with your free hand. Brace your midsection, stand tall, and walk.

Squat University’s Dr. Aaron Horschig, DPT and Olympic weightlifter Darren Barnes demonstrate variations of the loaded carry for core strength. The internet seems to be loaded with an enormous amount of articles geared toward different workout goals.

However, most of them contain only general pieces of information about the training of major muscle groups. Today we want to draw your attention to building a nice derriere. Squats are the best exercise for that purpose, but we’ll prove that you can add aesthetic roundness to your.

Programming Loaded Carries. Here are a couple sample loaded carry protocols you can add to your workouts whether your goal is size, strength, or fat loss. Loaded Carries for Muscle Building. Week 1: Select a weight you can hold for approximately 20-30 seconds and.

Carry Yourself To Real Core Strength. Loaded Carries are about as basic of an exercise as you’re going to get.In fact, they should be a staple of your program along with the other fundamental movements of push, pull, squat, and hip hinge that can be loaded heavy and trained hard, all while enhancing full body resiliency against injuries in the process. The Zercher Squat – It hits the whole lower body just as well as a back squat or front squat. But on top of that, it’s amazing for the traps, upper back, and biceps.

You need these muscles to hold the bar properly. It’s also one of the best exercises to build a solid core. When a body is externally loaded with enough stress, it’ll defer to its default pattern.

In pronated individuals, the ankle joint and Achilles are awkwardly loaded. This can make the tendons and muscles in that region prone to burning (fatigue) and excessive soreness (or DOMS) when unilaterally loaded (carries, split squats, etc.). So look ahead at a distant object when you do unstable exercises, such as loaded carries, single-leg squats, deadlifts, and jumps.

That, says Davidson, fixes your form and builds more strength.

List of related literature:

The last combination, which you will complete on day five, is slightly different because it puts two compound exercises back to back—one for legs (squats) and one for shoulders (dumbbell shoulder press).

“The Bodybuilding.com Guide to Your Best Body (Enhanced eBook Edition): The Revolutionary 12-Week Plan to Transform Your Body and Stay Fit Forever” by Kris Gethin, Jamie Eason
from The Bodybuilding.com Guide to Your Best Body (Enhanced eBook Edition): The Revolutionary 12-Week Plan to Transform Your Body and Stay Fit Forever
by Kris Gethin, Jamie Eason
Atria Books, 2010

Thus, if the coach favored the peak-contraction principle, she would most probably recommend the deep squats (since the highest requirements are for force production in the deepest knee-bent posture where the potential for force generation is minimal).

“Science and Practice of Strength Training” by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
from Science and Practice of Strength Training
by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
Human Kinetics, 2020

Squats: Holding on to the seatback, sitback with your weight over your heels, pointing your tailbone to the back, hinging at the hips, and maintaining a neutral spine and neck.

“Methods of Group Exercise Instruction” by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
from Methods of Group Exercise Instruction
by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
Human Kinetics, 2019

Strong lifts demand a powerful, constant contraction of the glutes, and it’s essential to keep the glutes and the abdominals contracted while holding a load at the end of the lift to stabilize your lower back and keep it safe.

“The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health, and Freedom” by Erwan Le Corre
from The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health, and Freedom
by Erwan Le Corre
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

To ensure appropriate body alignment, especially on the structural type of exercises using multiple muscle groups, plus to direct force through the hip and spine, she can make use of such exercises as free standing squats, dead lifts, and lunges [8].

“The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan” by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
from The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout the Lifespan
by Jacalyn J. RobertMcComb, Reid L. Norman, Mimi Zumwalt
Springer New York, 2014

I move on to quad and squatting exercises—from starting with your back resting against a wall to Sumo and Sissy Squats and working up to unassisted One-Legged Squats and Pistols, the greatest exercise for overall leg strength and balance.

“You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women” by Joshua Clark, Mark Lauren and, Clark Joshua, Lauren Mark
from You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises for Men and Women
by Joshua Clark, Mark Lauren and, Clark Joshua, Lauren Mark
ReadHowYouWant.com, Limited, 2010

You’re always squatting, deadlifting, hip thrusting, lunging, and doing abduction work, but the exercise selection, order, and volume are biased to emphasize one lift or category.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

VARIATION #6 I VARIATION #7 BUILD YOUR BICEPSITOOI _ _ As you perform the braced squat, Iso Exploswe Body Braced Squat W,”wwkywmmsbydomg ‘.

“The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!” by Adam Campbell
from The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
by Adam Campbell
Rodale, 2009

Another variation of squats is the front squat.

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

As with other carries, always remember to keep your back in a locked-in position and to flex at the hips, not the waist.

“Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured” by Andrew N. Pollak, Bruce D. Browner, Carol L. Gupton, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
from Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured
by Andrew N. Pollak, Bruce D. Browner, et. al.
Jones and Bartlett, 2002

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • I live in Taiwan(Sometimes in mainland China), I rarely see people doing farmer walks in the gym which I personally thought it’s one of the best ( and low risk of injury ) exercise that I can make.

  • 44 year old life time lifter and all your advice is much appreciated! Almost done the 10 000 swing program and its working wonders for my lower back and abs just in time for summer! Thank you sir.

  • 62 y/o??!! are you kidding? you look 10 years younger, at least!
    Anyway, I started few month ago loaded carries, I tried some of them but the one I prefer is the 1 arm suitcase carries. I feel ALL my back working (yes, even the lats), my abs screaming and my shoulders in flames! plus, as a bonus, it works a lot of postural muscles. To me it has been a game changer

  • Loving the videos John, thank you.

    How would you add farmers walks to Simple and sinister? I am currently on that program and wanted to add this, looks like like fun. Thanks

  • Love the videos coach. Question though. I’m looking at creating my own home gym a little piece at a time, Can kettlebells( heavy ones) get me started till I can acquire the more expensive piece of equipment like a rack? Thanks coach.

  • Hi Dan, I have a question: we know the squat is a movement pattern in which there is maximum knee and hip flexion. I think it doesn’t matter where the load is, as long as you follow the pattern: if it’s on your back, it’s a back squat; if it’s on your hands in front of you, it’s a goblet squat; if it’s on the crook of your elbows, it’s a zercher squat, and so on. I’ve ditched the back squat for some time and have been exclusively doing trap-bar squats. I do them standing on a block, so I can reach maximum knee and hip flexion. Some people say it’s not a squat, it’s a deadlift, since the weight start on the ground. I think a trap-bar deadlift is something totally different, in which the hips go back and there is little knee flexion. What do you think? Can I substitute the back squat for trap-bar squats if I’m only training for strength gains and the looks?

  • The best way I get my loaded carry in is I don’t drive when I do my shopping and just carry everything home. I only live 15min walk away from shops though. I can imagine an hours walk would be tough. If you live further then 15 min walk to your car should do the trick (or however long you feel like walking). Any excuse to get some lifting in.

  • Do you have any advice on a routine that can be done with just the body and a flat floor?(no pullup bar ir door frame ir whatever) i need to train and literally i only have the walls arround me and a matress on the floor right now… Well, and my celphone with internet, but i doubt that makes much of a difference

  • A consideration for suitcase carries; pack your shoulder and activate the lats to keep the weight from banging against your leg. This helps prevent your posture from collapsing and minimizes any leaning. This works even better if you use a heavy kettlebell.

  • I’ve been considering loaded carries as replacement for the same old weight training movements. Thank you for your experience here.

  • Sorry, but as usual everyone is failing to understand, that not the exercise is functional,but the execution. And for that u need a lot of basics in flexibility and stability. It doesn’t matter what you do, if u fail to use your body right, in a sense of its evolutionary design, you gonna land with a physiotherapist with serious problems sooner or later.
    I see 99% of everyone in a gym doing a lot things wrong. The typical modern human is very dissconnected from his own body and things that just doing some sport will fix that…
    Trust me, it needs a lot of time and help, to get a feel of your own body.

  • The single heavy dumbbell walk is my favourite! Is really works on the obliques too. Although it may be more effective to do a regular farmers walk and standing obliques crunches.

  • While I was working at a grocery store, I saw we sold 40 lbs (18kg) bags of water softener that had handle on them, being sold for around $4 (3.13 pounds, I think. I just googled it). I bought them and now I use them for loaded carries in my backyard.

  • I remember when i used to answer back in high school to the question of “What do you lift Bro?” with about 10 grocery bags in each hand. Honestly solid weight is too easy carrying a water bottle case on your shoulder may not be much in weight but the shifting of the mass is putting you through constant adjustment. If you really wanna train for that i recommend a barrel of water or even water jugs they got low grip and shift making you use muscles on a wider range. Any peeps here got any unconventional methods?

  • When you don’t have a car. Going to the store and coming back with a lot of groceries is is intense!

    I use to walk a mile to the store and came home with a shit load of bags.

  • I’m an Animal Control Officer and farmers walks have made me heckin amazing at picking up heavy cat cages and traps. Def recommend!

  • here is a topic for a video, what is the military training program? I used to be in the military and I’ve tried a lot of different training methods to attain similar results to what I achieved with military training and nothing comes even close. I had a lot of explosive power and insane stamina yet my physique was relatively lean, but what I’m mostly interested in is attaining that physical performance level over mass, aesthetics etc. It would be great to hear your opinion as well as the actual science to achieving those results.

  • I love heavy carries. Any and all forms. I use these instead of typical weightlifting usually. It pairs really well with calisthenics to build total body control and brute strength and power as well as overall conditioning. I’ve always heard work strong is always stronger than gym strong. And nothing is more like work than carrying heavy shit. Lol

  • Dude you are looking really good! Starting to get pretty yoked too! I’m new to the channel so I’m kinda sifting through your videos..I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve found so far! Keep it up!

  • …also incredibly good for training shoulder stability. Several muscles are responsible for keeping your shoulder joint intact. They work isometrically. Biceps, triceps, deltoid, coracobrachialis, pectorals, the rotators…

  • Yeah, I’ve been doing loaded carries for a while now. Slinging a punching bag over my shoulder, walking to the end of the block, and coming back, a few times. Worked like a charm when I started working out. Plus, makes you feel like a badass, which is a plus

  • Saw this yesterday and was so inspired that even though our gym at work isn’t finished and has little equipment I decided to start doing some loaded carries (starting with light weight to see how I go) and using whatever I found at work…

    Just did carries back and forth for 15 minutes continuous without stopping…

    2 x 18kg temporary fencing feet (yellow)

    2 x dumbbells (7.5kg each)

    1 x roughly 30kg iron drain cover

    Got a sweat on, felt great!

  • i appreciate u being natural and real. thanks for being an honest inspiration to the rest of us…. who are on that same path.


  • Completely agree. If there is one thing humans are specialised at I say it’s building which requires us to excel at long heavy loaded carries. Next blacksmithing course I’m doing I’m going to make among other things some farmer’s walk handles.

  • I’ve said for a while that loaded carries are the most “functional” weight training exercise. Very few tomes in life arebyou going to lift a heavy weight and set it right back down where it was. But quite often you will have to lift something and carry it for a distance. Strength coach Dan John said that loaded carries are the single best exercise you can do. If that’s all you did you could be strong, muscular and in great shape. It really is a full body exercise. You look huge in the video by the way Mate! ��

  • Hey:) thanks for another awesome video. Would you be able to do one on Stu Mittleman’s training methods? He’s an ultra marathoner, and advocates measuring heart rate and training in different zones to achieve peak performance. Thanks again, looking forward to more awesome content

  • My current job now requires me to perform loaded carries. I’m a mover, so I’m constantly walking furniture and boxes back and forth from the home to the moving truck. I’ll be more mindful of this the next time I go to work.

  • Teach us how to fight. What to do in a brawl, how to stay focused during a battle and not get blinded by rage and also what things to keep in check. I know its a goofy request but still����

  • Loaded carries for the win! I’ve gotten really in to doing them since subscribing to Brian Alsrue’s channel. You should check him out, he’s a strongman beast. Also I began realizing that in real life, any time I have to pick up a heavy object I also have to move it through space time.

  • As an electric guitar player in Hong Kong I often carry my guitar in one hand and pedal board in the other for pretty long distances (HK is the city with most walking in the world). It’s an amazing workout!

  • In the topic of moving weights across the gym, whenever some lazy slob leaves plates on the bars, I put them where they belong any time I pass.
    Of course, I make sure the station has actually been abandoned before I do this. Builds a little good will with the staff, too.

  • You’ve been watching hajjime no ippo right? you seen ippo carry all that fishing equipment to the boat everyday and getting jacked like arnold and you thought…., “this would make for an insideful video…”
    And it was…., i was about to go grocery shopping, but i saw the tittle and thought
    “Awesome!, lets see if i can build some muscle with 10 kilos of dog food”

  • A great video. In my opinion, we can carry a hell load of weight without even practicing it. At 120 pounds of bodyweight, (Underweight, I know, given I am 6 feet nothing) I can ‘bearhug carry’ 100 pound sand bag AT LEAST 7 times for a distance of 12 feet. And what shocked me was, I did it in my first try, that too after finishing 5 sets of badminton (doubles).

  • Hi, I was just wondering your views on the variations of loaded carrys positions. Low(waist), Med(shoulder), High (above the head), and combinations of these. And the benefits of doing each of these positions?

  • Hi Coach, ive read your article about “The Secret of Loaded Carries” in the T Nation page. Truly interesting and insightful. i also read an article by CT concerning loaded carries. Is it possible to build muscle hardness and vascularity all over? many years ago in college,
    ive came across a friend of mine who was a native and lived in the forest for the longest time, who was totally jacked all over. he resembled the greek statue and my is he really a piece of iron! Even his glutes were like rock hard man! and not to mention he had a symmetrical body head to toe. and i asked him what did he do. He just casually answered he used carry sticks and wood up the hill every day for many years. i thought he was lying. But after reading your article and CT’s, is it actually possible? If yes, could you advise how can i go about heading towards that direction? I just started doing 5 × 5 and thought by including the Loaded carries in my training arsenal. But as a primary workout on its own on a particular day.
    Thank you in advance for your response Coach!:)

  • Greetings Dan. My mom is senior citizen and slowly gaining weight. Can i ask her to try loaded carries with 7.5 kg dumbbell. She is 61

  • Double kettlebell front squat! Easier to learn and less mobility demands (While you work on barbell front squat) plus I’d argue that picking up a pair of 32kg bells and squatting those, while load is lighter than what you’d put on the bar, is a lot harder than people expect ��