Stop everything you’re doing and take note of your posture at this very moment.
There’s a good chance you are slouched a little, probably sitting in a chair and hunched over your laptop or phone. This is common—even for athletes and runners—because we don’t always think about our posture.
The problem with having poor posture when sitting at a desk or in the car is that this lack of support and alignment in our daily lives translates to the same lack of support and alignment in our running. When we are out on a long run and we start to fatigue, our good posture begins to fade and we lose the stability needed to run correctly.
The solution, you ask? Practice and development with our next uncommon core exercise: The Farmer’s Carry.
The Farmer’s Carry works by exaggerating the necessary tension, positioning and strength we need as runners for optimal running form. Picture a farmer carrying two heavy buckets in both hands and you’ll start to get the right visual.
A very functional movement we see in our daily lives, the Farmer’s Carry also teaches endurance athletes the benefits of lifting heavy and how to do it safely by simultaneously challenging the stomach, back, shoulders, hips and legs.
More specifically, carrying these weights helps to replicate that heavy feeling we get after we start to droop and fatigue in the later stages of a long run. By practicing good posture using heavy weights, we are developing the ability to maintain good posture when it really counts on the run. As a bonus, it will also help you increase the number of grocery bags you can carry from the car to the kitchen and your speed across the airport with bags, kids and tickets in hand!
The video above demonstrates how to perform the Farmer’s Carry. All you need are dumbbells or kettlebells
As you perform the exercise, pay attention to what it feels like to stand tall, connected from ears to ankles. Also notice how your shoulders are positioned and how your core tightens.
Start with a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells and choose a distance of approximately 30 yards for a carry. Repeat this 5-10 times. Start with a comfortable weight and distance and challenge yourself by adding more weight, or keeping the same weight and carrying further.
Get out there, lift heavy, work that core and run strong!
This is the second installment in The Run Experience series: Uncommon Core Workouts For Runners. Look for more in the following weeks!
About The Author:
Nate Helming coaches strength and mobility for national and international-level road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes and ultrarunners at San Francisco CrossFit, as well as elite-level amateur runners and triathletes outside the gym. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter and check out more of his videos on the Helming Athletics YouTube channel.