Plain and simple carry variations are one of the most versatile tools to help athletes achieve almost any fitness quality (strength, size ,endurance, fat-loss, shoulder stability, mental toughness) you name it! Today, I want to share with you 3 different carry variations I utilize with my softball players to help improve core control.
1) 1-arm KB Farmers Carry
Is a fantastic exercise selection to help improve core strength (obliques). Since this exercise is loaded only to one side the athlete has to resist the forces pulling them down to the ground in order to stay upright.
Note to reader: If your softball player has a flat clavicle angle or an abnormally low right or left shoulder avoid this particular carry variation due to the fact it could possibly do more harm than good.
2) Double KB Waiters Walk
Because the weight is held up overhead, athletes have to learn how not to arch through their lower back and turn on their abs (anterior core) to stop compensating. When we take a look at the demands at the shoulder it's a priceless exercise to gain shoulder mobility and stability while working the rotator cuff simultaneously.
Note to reader: Many (not all) females will have some degree of joint laxity at both their shoulders and elbows. I would not program this variation to a novice lifter who lacks the ability to know where their body is in space. An easy cue I tend to use is "have soft elbows" to help excessive motion through the elbow.
3) KB Double Racked Carry
This exercise is simple and get's the job done when it comes to teaching athletes how to brace and work hard. Because the weight is located in the front of the body many people will try leaning backwards to support the load and start feeling it in their lower back. Tell them to lean their torso forward and they should feel their abs start to burn.
Note to reader: Don't let your athletes get away with using KB's under 8kg. In order for this exercise to do it's job, you need to have a decent load in the front that forces them to brace. A good starting weight for beginners is around 12-16kg.
Brace and Go!
Carries are a great way to improve core control and shoulder health. Add one of these variations into your program today.
Note to reader:
If your looking to learn more about softball specific training Austin Wasserman and myself will be holding our Elite Softball Performance Seminar on August 20th. Click the link below to learn more details.