Loaded carries, they sound pretty self-explanatory – and they are. Pick up some weights and carry them but loaded carries can be done in various ways: walking with the weights in your hands (farmer's walk), carrying the weight in the crook of your elbows (zercher carry), or holding a weight plate, kettlebell or even dumbbells above your head. The pushing or pulling of sleds are all classed as loaded carries.

These movements challenge the body in ways other, more traditional strength exercises simply cannot. During a weighted carry the body is forced to stabilise the trunk (isometric tension) while performing dynamic movement requiring force to be produced. Because of this, loaded carries challenge every muscle group in your body producing a huge metabolic demand resulting in a serious calorie-burning effect.

The farmer's walk is the most easily adapted to fit in with standard gym equipment list. All we need to perform this exercise is two heavy objects, kettlebells, dumbbells or weight plates – all of which you will find in most gyms. The key ingredient to a successful farmer's walk is going heavy. What is heavy? Well, once you have picked up your weights it should be a struggle to make it 50 – 100 meters without dropping or setting the weight back down. That would be the minimum requirement. How far we travel would depend on our training goal, shorter distance with a heavier weight would be done for more strength gains. Longer distance (up to 100 meters or so) would be done for muscular endurance and fat loss.

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Once you have decided on the weight you will be using for your walk start with both weights just beside your feet. To pick the weight up off the ground safely, half squat – half deadlift yourself down to them with a flat back. Take a breath in and brace (squeeze) your belly, grip the centre of both handles of your weights, drive through your feet keeping your chest up and extend your hips forward bringing you to standing position. Pin back your shoulder blades and stand tall, don't lean back. Make sure you keep your belly braced throughout the movement. Once here take small fast steps forward to prevent the chosen equipment swinging side to side and bashing into your legs. If you have a choice I would always use kettlebells over dumbbells as the handles are higher making it easier to lift them into position. Always lower the weights in the same manner you picked them up and try not to drop them, especially if you work out in a more commercial gym. Another fun variation is the suitcase carry, which is a single-arm farmer carry that forces you to stabilise your midline, this is killer on the abs and obliques. All the same rules apply here. Just alternate hands instead of using both at once.

If fat loss is the goal, work 4-6 sets of 60-100 meters (roughly 60-90 seconds under tension) at the end of your work out. If you are trying to add some muscle on top, go a little heavier and perform 4-6 sets of 50-80 meters. If you are just looking to get stronger, 10-30 meters at a real heavy weight for 3-5 sets, taking two or even three minutes of recovery between sets.

The farmer's walk is truly one of the best exercises for strength and fat loss. Add this move to your training for six weeks and I guarantee you will see results in your overall strength and body composition. As always, let us know how you get on or if you have any training questions.

Fancy a challenge?

Death by farmer's walk!

Mark out 10 meters and have your weights and a stopwatch handy.

On minute one walk 10 meters.

On minute two walk 20 meters, there and back.

On minute three walk 30 meters

Perform this sequence until you can either no longer hold the weights or you fail to finish the set meters inside the allotted minute round. You will be surprised just how hard this will have you breathing. Retest in a few weeks' time to track your progress.

Everyday Athlete gym is located in the heart of Glasgow and provides a unique, fun training environment geared towards helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals. Unit 18B 100 Borron Street, Glasgow, G49XG; www.everydayathletegym.com