Whenever I mention using Loaded Carries to a rider when they ask about the best mountain bike core training exercise I usually get one of two responses. The first is a blank stare – loaded what?
The second response is a glimmer of recognition, followed by “you mean like carrying heavy things like you see the dudes on the World’s Strongest Man Competitions doing”?
Yes, loaded carries are essentially carrying something heavy. And yes, you do see a lot of Loaded Carries in the World’s Strongest Man Competition, most notably the Farmers Walk.Loaded Carries are great for building grip strength, improving posture and building “mobile” core strength.
While most core training exercises have you move in one place, Loaded Carries have you moving around which places different demands on the core.
While there are a lot of different ways to use this concept in your training, in this video I show you some basic ways you can start incorporating Loaded Carries into your routine. Check it out to get some ideas for your next workout.
So grab some heavy dumbbells or kettlebells next time you train and try out some Loaded Carries. You’ll find them to do more for your posture and core strength than just about any other core training exercise you can do.
MTB Strength Training Systems is the world leader in integrated performance training programs for the unique demands of mountain biking. As the strength and conditioning coach for World Cup Teams and 3 National Championships, his programs have been proven at the highest levels. James has helped thousands of riders just like you improve their speed, endurance and skills on the trail. Visit www.bikejames.com
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the kettle bell farmers walk is a good exercise, but Ive seen far too many people straining and taking little baby steps and not breathing properly. the object of the exercise isnt to get from A-------------------B in the quickest time, but to increase your strength over a period of time. Doing static lunges means you can stay in one place, preferably in front of a mirror, and watch your posture and form as you perform each one. Plus it means you dont have to carry the weight back when you reach point B, important if youre at failure. the guys doing it on strongman arent worried about thier form, theyre racing against the clock, so dont do what they do.
The most important thing to remember is that neither the lunge or farmers walk are high resistance muscle building exercises, so dont grab the heaviest kettle/plate/dumbell you can lift and he-man your way across the gym floor. 20 reps at 10k will be of more benefit than 5 reps at 40k. the 2nd most important thing is to remember that this will take time. a lot of time. you won't notice results for a few weeks and its going to hurt, so prepare yourself for that. if its too heavy, use a smaller weight. nobody will laugh at you because you cant use a 20k plate or a 12kg kettlebell. you dont get extra points for pulling a hamstring.
I really enjoy reading and watching his stuff, its an area that every man and his dog has an "opinion" but rarely is it backed by the understanding of riding mechanics and body mechanics that James has obviously studied and applied in his teachings...
You correctly identify that every man and his dog has an opinion and then make a jump to assume this guy understands "riding mechanics" and "body mechanics".... based on what? Getting some videos posted up on Pinkbike? I personally find the videos a good starting point to investigate certain things a bit further but lacking any real depth or "coaching". Several people have left comments here that contain a greater coaching element than just saying "carry heavy things, walk slowly and keep good "posture" " as was in the video.
James's business is selling training plans and personal coaching so questioning the background (academic or professional) that goes in to the product isn't at all unreasonable and helps separate the hocum from the genuine amongst other things...
it builds up grip/forearm strength, helps core stability and best of all makes your ankles bombproof.
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