Do you actually train your core?

Here at UFIT we aim for you to be strong and functional in every situation you are placed in, whether it's in a gym setting or an every day one. So many people train themselves to lift a weight in one position, but they are missing a trick!

Loaded carries are awesome for true core development as well as being one of the most versatile lifts in the gym and can be used for anything from conditioning, strength or even a warm up. Whether you are wanting to build muscle, loss fat or get stronger, loaded carries will increase your overall performance.

Core anatomy

To clarify, your core does not refer to your six pack. Your ‘core’ refers to 360 degree strength around your spine. Here’s a image of your core:

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We also need to understand that we don’t just have a six pack we have a band of muscle around our spine called our ‘Transverse adominals’ which provide your ‘core’ with most of its strength. Using a variety of carries we can target the core from all angles, thus building 360 degrees of strength thoughout the body.

The Aim

The aim when training with loaded carries it to place the body under enough load to illicit a training response (strength, fat loss, conditioning) whilst being safe. There are many variations of a loaded carry and these include:

Farmers carries

Pick up two weights that are 50% of your body weight + and walk. Easy! The aim is to be able to walk with body weight in your hands for 20m. So you can use this for building grip strength or use it as a loaded conditioning element in a circuit.

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Zurcher carry

This lift is used to train the core muscles on the front. By having a weight in your arms will work your abs and core muscles to keep you in a upright position. This lift will teach you to be able to maintain a stable spin through a movement.

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Suitcase carry

The aim is to keep an upright position whilst holding a weight with one hand. This will train your core from a lateral (side) perspective. This is a great exercise to use if your side plank is week and or your core hasn’t been conditioned to be strong whilst fatigued.

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Overhead carry

This carry is ideal for someone who has shoulder stability issues. Being able to carry heavy weights above your head will train all your balancing and protective muscles in your shoulders as well as build strong traps and delts. If you guys are practicing handstands this is a must as you teach your body to be able to keep a effective position whilst loading your upper body.

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When should they be used?

Add one of these variations to the circuit below and use it to finish your workout, and the increase in strength and stamina will be amazing. As many rounds as possible in 12 mins:

1.     Carry variation 20m x 2

2.     Press ups x 10-20

3.     Air squats/goblet squat x15

If you need any help or have any questions on the subject feel free to email me at willfoden@ufit.com.sg and I'll be more then happy to give you some advice.