Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeIsometric
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Quads, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Overhead Barbell Carry Overview

The overhead barbell carry is a variation of the farmers walk and a total body exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the core, forearms, and traps.

The overhead barbell carry stems from the loaded carry exercise family tree, which are all foundational exercises and one’s you should try to incorporate regularly in your own workout routines.

Overhead Barbell Carry Instructions

  1. Set a bar at roughly chest height.
  2. Set up facing away from the rack and unrack the bar at shoulder height in a overhead press position.
  3. Press the bar to lockout and maintain a stable overhead position..
  4. Walk for a designated distance or amount of time.

Overhead Barbell Carry Tips

  1. When setting up for the lift, ensure you take a good deep breath to set your shoulder position. The weight will drive your shoulders into scapular depression so you want to ensure that your shoulders are set in a good position prior to lifting the weight.
  2. Shrug the shoulders just slightly. Not enough so that it takes above a position of neutral but just enough to offset the weight pulling your shoulders down.
  3. Walk slowly and ensure a heel-toe pattern.
  4. Stabilize the weight and don’t allow it to drive you into overextension.
  5. Continue to breath throughout the exercise and don’t rely upon respiration for spinal stabilization.
  6. With any barbell or trap bar variation, be very aware of your surroundings given this variation will require more room and is a bit more dangerous to those around you.