Back Pain

The 5 Best Weight Lifting Exercises for Warehouse & Logistics Professionals


Working a warehouse, inventory, or logistics job is often serious physical work. Many would say it’s one of the best workouts of your life, but it’s also a work you want to do with endurance and a full set of stabilizer muscles. Gaining these muscles solely through cargo work can put you at risk of injury if you need to torque or lose your grip on a difficult package mid-lift. If you want to rock the loading dock and retrieve heavy packages from high shelves like a freight-lugging hero, then it’s time to hit the gym. What are the best weight lifting exercises to help a warehouse or logistics worker get stronger for safer lifts and better performance on the job? Aside from good old-fashioned cardio, we found the five lifting exercises that will give you everything you need to boost your strength and improve your lifting safety.

Best Weight Lifting Exercises for Warehouse Muscles

There’s no doubt that heavy lifting exercises can build both primary and stabilizer muscles for your lifting work on the job. Power-lifting the right way, with the help of an outlined program or the support of a trainer at your gym, is the best way to power up hauling boxes. Here are the best heavy lifts to boost your cargo-hauling performance.

If power-lifting, go to your maximum weight and do five sets of five, spaced 10-15 minutes apart.

For endurance lifting, deload to your best full-motion weight and try for longer sets. Full motion might mean a curl up to your chest or a squat nearly to the ground.

1. Squats

Squats build your leg and back muscles with every lift. To do a heavy squat, start with a power cage and a padded squat bar across the back of your shoulders. Hold the bar to stabilize on both sides. Align your feet at shoulder width and lift the bar off the safeties. Squat as low as you can and come back up.

2. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are the perfect way to build your from-the-ground lifting muscles. To do a deadlift, crouch with the bar in front of you, feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees will extend over the bar. Brace yourself and lift with your legs, then straighten your back as you complete the lift. Squat carefully to set down the bar and repeat.

3. Rows

Rows, especially bent-over rows, are lifting the way you “shouldn’t” on the warehouse floor – lifting with your arms and back instead of your legs. You want to practice these because at that moment when you do lift with your back, you want those muscles and stabilizers already built up. Bent over rows can prevent warehouse injuries.

To do a bent-over row, place the bar on the ground and bend over it, with your knees only slightly bent. Reach down and grasp with your hands and pull up with your elbows. You will feel your back and shoulders doing most of the work. Lower until your arms are straight and repeat. Squat to place the bar down.

4. Overhead Presses

Sometimes, heavy boxes are shelved above your head. Overhead presses will help build those muscles you need to safely retrieve or place overhead inventory. To overhead press, set the bar on the outside of the power rack at about chest level, below your shoulders. Brace your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the bar. Bend your knees slightly and lift the bar above your head, past your nose. Lift to full extension without locking your elbows and bring it back down below your chin before repeating.

5. Kettlebell

Kettlebell lifts help you deal with the grasp and center of gravity variables of dealing with irregular cargo. A full kettlebell routine, especially swings and hand-passes, will help build those core stabilizer muscles in your back, sides, and shoulders that you need for irregular cargo and loading twists.

Stay Fit, Stay Safe, Boost Performance

Hitting the gym is one of the smartest things you can do to prevent injuries and power up your performance when working with cargo. For more great warehouse and logistics success tips or to find the holsters your team needs, contact us today.