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The carry: A great weight training exercise for firefighters

The carry mimics fireground movements that frequently result in slips and falls or injuries, such as pulled muscles

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As a firefighter, you know that the simple act of carrying something—a saw, your medic bag, a patient—can be a workout. But are you incorporating carries into your actual workouts?

The carry is such an obvious exercise that we sometimes forget to use it. But it’s one of the best weight-training exercises for firefighters because it works your core, improves stabilization, and builds grip strength. Perhaps most important, it mimics fireground movements that frequently result in slips and falls or injuries such as pulled muscles.

In this quick video, Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter with Madison (WI) Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, explains how and when to incorporate the carry into your gym workouts and the benefits you’ll experience when you do.

Aaron Zamzow is a fire lieutenant for the Madison (Wisconsin) Fire Department with 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and host of the Better Every Shift podcast. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness as well as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, an NASM certified personal trainer and an ACE-certified peer fitness trainer. Zamzow is the founder and owner of and develops programs aimed at getting fire rescue athletes fit for duty. He authored the book “Ladder 2 Workout: A Comprehensive Firefighter Workout Program that will get you ‘Fit for Duty’ in 28 days.” Connect with Zamzow on Twitter or Facebook or via email.