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


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Trap Bar Overhead Carry Overview

The trap bar overhead carry is a variation of the farmers carry and is a full body exercise. In particular, the trap bar overhead carry can be used to strengthen and build the muscles of the core, forearms, and traps.

The trap bar overhead carry stems from the loaded carry exercise family tree, which are foundational movement patterns that should be included in your workout programs in one form or another.

Trap Bar Overhead Carry Instructions

  1. Set up inside a trap bar that is positioned in a rack at just below shoulder height.
  2. Unrack the weight while facing away from the rack and take 2 steps forward.
  3. Press the weight overhead into position.
  4. While maintaining an active shoulder position, keep the trap bar stabilized overhead and walk for a designated distance or amount of time.

Trap Bar Overhead 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.