2 secrets for the Fireman's Carry lift in Contact Improvisation

Davide Casiraghi
Oct 03, 2019
The fireman's carry lift is one of the most famous and commonly used lifts in Contact Improvisation.
The person that fly is lifted and carried on the shoulder of the base as shown in the image above.

Many times during the jams I’m worried when I see people that perform it in a way that can be harmful. If we don’t get a proper technique soon or before we will get injured.
Said that it can be very stressful for our spline, and if not done properly can be the cause of hernias and other back injuries.

Straighten up your spline before taking the full weight

Our spline is projected to carry weight when is in a vertical position, so when after we bend, we need to bring back our spline to the vertical position before taking the full weight on.
When I was a child I played judo for 8 years, and my judo master was stressing everybody any time he was seeing somebody lifting without bending the legs before.

This can sound obvious for somebody, but I can say that I observe many people in the jams that have not integrated this basic functional pattern yet.

Proper lifting technique
It’s important to bring our center as soon as possible under the pelvis of the flyer to allow our lower vertebras to carry the weight in a vertical position.

Start flying low and then raise the level

Finding the balance for the flyer can be a challenge in the beginning.
My suggestion is to start from a low level and then gradually raise the level.

(sequence come soon)

Place your center above the center of your partner and then rise gradually the muscle tone.

Use the momentum

Another detail we can care about is to use the momentum of the flyer when is walking toward us.
If the mass of our partner is already moving in our direction we can use this momentum to make the lift easier. In this way, we will need less effort to perform the lift.