We use a variety of different bracing exercises and carries with our athletes from the youth to the pro guys. Carry variations are great for creating core stability and rigidity in the trunk, hips and upper extremities, teaching athletes to control their posture by creating tension around their joints! These types of exercises also hammer grip strength by improving intrinsic/extrinsic muscles of the hand and forearm!
Adding an overhead component is critical for the overhead throwing athlete to train shoulder stability, ie cuff strengthening, scapular movement and motor control. The KB Waiter Walk is a great carry for athletes of all ages!
The KB Waiter Walk
Rotator Cuff Strength & Stability.
This exercise will really turn on the muscles of the rotator cuff and strengthen it, which is obviously great for all athlete populations, especially baseball/softball players.
This carry will train scapular control because the scapula stabilizers will have to work in order to hold the proper position.Teaches good posture under load: This exercise is great for learning proper posture by keeping the ribs from flaring, not allowing the lower back to arch, and not tilting their torso to one side.
This is probably the biggest benefit to the carrying exercises. Learning rigidity in the torso and full body tension is key for athletes to perform well in the weight room under load and to learn how to brace their body upon impact with the ground or an opponent.
A variation we love to use with our youth athletes is the KB Waiter Walk with the off-hand squeezing a PVC Pipe. The PVC Pipe serves as a reminder to maintain tension of the trunk and also helps rib cage positioning, helping to prevent excessive lumbar extension and rib cage flare! The athletes should be squeezing the PVC pipe at a 45º angle as they walk and the KB should be held out at a 45º angle as well!
As you can see, the KB Waiter Walk has many benefits to athletes of all ages and we especially like using them with our youth population to introduce and reinforce the elements mentioned above. We program a lot of our carrying exercises towards the middle/end of a workout! Distance can be anywhere from 20-30 yards per arm per set. Give it a try!
*Guest Post by Wasserman Strength Performance Coach, Matt Horan