Longevity is our main goal at TNT. We want to help our members be functionally fit for their entire lives so they can enjoy them. One of the most, if not the most, important muscle group for longevity is the back and core muscles. These are the muscles which allow you to continue to do everyday activities without pain or discomfort and maintain posture, which brings us to loaded carries and the benefits you could be missing out on if you are not currently doing them.
Farmer carries, to our members at TNT this is a familiar term. Besides the common notion that they develop grip strength, farmer walks are awesome for building strength and stability in the shoulder girdle. Walking while holding something heavy at your sides forces the supporting musculature of your shoulder to be recruited. This, in turn, improves posture and shoulder health. One another note, farmer carries help you to develop the overall grip and shoulder strength to only make one trip with the groceries.
Racked carries are another beneficial but less common type of carry. In my opinion racked carries are specifically more beneficial for posture than any other type of carry. Think about it, if your back rounds at all and you don’t hold a nicely aligned and upright spine, whatever object you are holding in front of you is likely headed to the ground. Racked carries probably boast the most real life application as well. We often have to pick up awkward objects without the convenience of handles and carry them.
Bonus tip: Use both of the above types of carries in a unilateral fashion. Carrying a load on only one side further engages the core and back musculature to stabilize the spine.
~Michael Wagner CSCS