The racked carry, and even just the rack hold for that matter, is one of the most boring-looking exercises but at the same time one of the most intense. Anyone who’s spent time holding a considerable amount of weight in the rack position will quickly describe it to you as the direct opposite of a comfortable feeling, like an ever constricting straight jacket.

The racked carry presents a colossal total body stability challenge. The primary aim is to maintain poise and posture under the weight. That’s it. The end result is a hardened and nearly unmovable frame, with the added benefit of an impervious set of abs.

The racked carry is best performed with two kettlebells. If you don’t have a set of kettlebells, you can use dumbbells.

Follow these steps for the racked carry:


Clean two kettlebells up into the rack position. Be sure to keep everything as tight as you possibly can — bracing your abs, squeezing your glutes, and engaging your quads — and stand tall.

Don’t lean back while you’re in the rack position because doing so will immediately compromise your back. If at any time you catch yourself leaning back, set the weights down immediately.


When you’ve gained a stable position, start to walk around in any direction you want.

When performing rack holds and racked carries, breathe shallow and into your belly. When the weight gets heavy, you’ll find it nearly impossible to take a deep breath anyhow, so taking shallow breaths in this manner will help you keep your back safe and control the stress level.