Most underrated exercise for athletes

I’ve touched upon the subjekt before in several posts on functional training, training athletes and here I am again. This time around though, I’ll share a specific exercise (or rather group of exercises), that I believe is a top 5 choice for pretty much any athlete and weekend warrior alike.

What exactly does this make you good at?

If you’re a regular reader, you probably know that I’m a big fan of Dan John (and if you are too, you probably already know where this post is headed). After reading intervention, I started implementing this in my own training as well as the programming and coaching I do for others.

The best part about this exercise probably is that any coach, no matter how retarded he might be, can coach it. It’s that fundamental, and it’s that easy. It’s also very good.

What I’m talking about is the weighted carry.

The weighted carry is a great way to challenge your midsection while moving – it’ll also strengthen the upper back and (depending on variant) the grip.


The most common variant from this group is the farmer’s walk and while it’s great, there are others worth mentioning:

  • Waiter walk: holding an implement (most often a KB) in one hand over the head. This challenges the shoulder stability. Make sure you don’t go to failure.
  • Crosswalk: One KB in the waiter position, one in the FW position. Same as WW, with the added bonus of having to stabilize between sides.
  • Sandbag: grab a heavy bag in a bearhug and start walking. Or shoulder it.
  • FW with straps: though many see this as pointless “since the FW is a grip exercise”, I find that view very narrow-minded. Straps let you work the gut and upper back even harder, while still getting in some forearm work. It works great with regular FW either on alternate days or as a mechanical dropset.

Learning to brace the midsection under a heavy load will make you better on whichever field you’re on on Sundays. Though often overlooked, quite a few sports also require strong hands (football and basketball for example).


Go carry that weight!

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