Carry Your Way To A Stronger Core

The classic story of progressive overload comes from Milo of Croton.

Milo would carry a bull from infancy to adulthood.

While the story is usually taken to point out the value of progressive overload, we think people miss out on a valuable lesson from the story.

The protagonist – Milo – was known as a champion wrestler and war hero.

Developing this strength and power is believed to have come from the story of carrying that bull every day.

While it’s obvious that progressive overload is a huge component and a critical factor to the story, people also miss out on the value of carries.

Carries are a phenomenal category to challenge your core musculature, and your entire body as a unit.

A carry is a great heavy example of what the trunk is used for in daily life and most sports – a relatively stiff trunk with moving extremities.

Some things that make carries even more awesome:

–       They’re really hard to mess up

–       Simple to do – minimal coaching necessary

–       You “feel” them

–       They can be scaled very easily in group settings

Most of the time you hear trainees talk about “core” training in reference to planks or sit ups.

These aren’t bad things, but carries take them and amplify the demand.

Personally we love to add in carries to programs to help work the core and also tick off other boxes such as shoulder robustness and stability.

A few of our go to carries are:

Waiter’s walk



Suitcase Carry



Rack Carry – 1 arm



These carries should make up the center of your work, but if you’re looking to make things a bit harder, doing combo carries is a great way to work similar goals and compound the effects with one exercise.

Combo Carry



Now if you’re looking to really spice it up, just double up some of the unilateral options and you’ll get a real challenge.

Waiter’s Walk – Double



Farmer’s Walk



If you haven’t done carries before, try adding them in slowly and getting comfortable before loading them too heavy.

However, once you’ve gotten a base, start pushing them! People are often surprised just how heavy they can go on these.

If you’d like to see how we program them into our system, check out our workouts!

We offer a free trial week for you to test run it!

The Citizen Athletics Team,


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