The Top 5 Kettlebell Carries

Top 5 Loaded Carries You Can Do with Kettlebells

No matter what your athletic goals are, if increasing strength is part of your fitness plan, then loaded carries need to find their way into your program. Loaded carries are one of the best ways to build functional, total body, real world strength. Here are the top 5 loaded carries you can do with kettlebells.

Benefits include building a crushing, iron-like grip, developing superhuman core stability, and turning your upper back into a powerhouse. All of this means you can lift more weight, while making you more impervious to injury.

As an added bonus, carrying heavy weight over long distances is also a great way to get in some low impact conditioning for those of us who hate doing cardio.

The unique shape of the kettlebell makes it an ideal choice for loaded carries. The versatile design allows for a wide variety of way you can implement loaded carries into your workouts.

Just make sure you master kettlebell basics before adding some of these carries to your workout arsenal. Specifically, make sure you can do a proper Kettlebell Clean, and that you have the shoulder strength and mobility to lock out a kettlebell overhead.

Double Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk

Kettlebell Farmer's Walk

The king of all loaded carries, the Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk is the ultimate in simplicity meeting maximum efficiency. Farmer’s Walks also give you the opportunity to move around some serious weight. Simply grab two heavy kettlebells of equal weight, stand up nice and tall, and go for a walk. Really try and push yourself for distance while keeping tall spine and a white knuckled, crushing grip the entire time. Once you can walk ten yards without setting the kettlebells down, it will be time to grab the next size up.

Kettlebell Suitcase Farmer’s Walk

As strange as it may sound, doing a single Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk is actually more challenging than the double version. Because the load is uneven, the suitcase variation also acts as an anti-lateral flexion core strengthening exercise. This means that your opposite side obliques are going to be working overtime to ensure you keep an erect, neutral posture. Keeping the correct posture is going to be more challenging than you think, so make sure you focus on perfect form rather than distance when doing the Kettlebell Suitcase Farmer’s Walk.

Kettlebell Racked (Clean) Carry

Clean two kettlebells of equal weight, keep them in the racked position, and then go for a stroll. With two kettlebells in the rack position, you will be front loaded so your core will be challenged to keep a good, tall posture. Make sure to also keep your lats engaged, your shoulders packed, and your neck tall.

Kettlebell Overhead (Double and Waiter’s) Carry

Overhead strength and endurance is super important in kettlebell training. With so many of the lifts ending with the kettlebell above your head, working overhead carries is a great way supplement your training. Take one or two kettlebells, clean them, and then press them overhead. Make sure you keep your shoulder blades down, extend your arm as much as you can, keep your bicep next to your ear, and your upper traps turned off. If you want to improve your shoulder endurance, and love a bit of pain when you workout, then you’ll definitely want to add these to your training sessions. Just get ready for your shoulders to burn!

Kettlebell Bottoms-Up Carry

This is the most technically challenging loaded carry option with a kettlebell, so patience will be a virtue when practicing a Kettlebell Bottoms-Up Carry. Simply doing a Bottoms-Up Clean is challenging enough. You’ll need near perfect structure and impressive grip strength to be able to hold a bottoms up clean while moving. When doing a Kettlebell Bottoms-Up Clean, make sure your arm is attached to your lat muscle, and your forearms are as vertical as possible.

So, how do you add weighted carries into your workouts? Kettlebell weighted carries take a lot out of you, and can leave your grip and shoulders fatigued. For this reason, try putting weighted carries in at the end as a workout finisher. You can create workouts around weighted carries as well, but that is an article for another day.

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Keith Jennings

Keith Jennings is a Chicago based personal trainer and a martial arts instructor specializing in kettlebells, functional strength training, and reality based self defense training. He is also the co-founder of Forteza Fitness, Chicago’s most unique training facility. WEBSITE: www.FortezaFitness.com

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