Move of the Week: Mid-rack/Overhead Carry

In times like these it often feels like the world is weighing heavily on our shoulders. Well yeah, today’s Move of the Week is probably why!

THE MOVE: Mid-rack/Overhead Carry

MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Carry; core, shoulders, forearms.

WHY DO IT: It’s been a while since we’ve featured a carry on our weekly feature here, so here’s the Mid-rack/Overhead Carry for you guys today!

The Mid-rack/Overhead Carry is a little unconventional, but it does some cool things. Let’s start with the overhead part first. Carrying a weight above your head helps build shoulder stability in a position that is difficult to maintain for most people.

However, this position is difficult to maintain because many people have trouble getting up there in the first place. When they do, they often substitute true overhead range of motion with hyper-extension of the lumbar spine. This compromises optimal core position and stability, which will make it harder to brace your abs.

What it Really Means to Use Your Abs

This is where the mid-rack part comes in. Tucking a kettlebell close to your midsection locks down your core in the face of this overhead challenge. You get the best of both worlds here: build overhead stability, while bracing the core properly. Learning to get overhead safely and effectively pays dividends when it comes to exercises like the military press, push press, and even the snatch.

In this carrying variation, the weights can be different, and they should be. The asymmetrical nature of this exercise will challenge your core differently on both sides. Just make sure that the mid-rack weight is heavy enough to lock down your ribs, and that the weight overhead is still challenging.

HOW TO DO IT: This exercise is pretty self-explanatory. Lift a dumbbell (or a kettlebell) above your head and hold it up with your arm fully extended. In the opposite hand, hold a kettlebell in the mid-rack position. Your elbow should be close to your body, and the bell should be resting right against the back of your wrist and your chest. Brace your abs, and go for a walk. Repeat on the other side.

Once again, this exercise is meant to be asymmetrical and the weights can be different on both sides. So play around and find out what set of weights gives you the best training effect–as far as both core and shoulder stability are concerned.

The Mid-rack/Overhead Carry works well at the end of a training session and I would recommend doing 3 sets of 40 yards/side. It’s a good way to finish things off if you’re looking to ingrain good overhead mobility with core stability. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !

by Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau Halevy Life Staff CoachJeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.

Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and is currently pursuing his M.Ed. in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.

As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.