The Suitcase Carry exercise is a unilateral farmer’s walk exercise that involves carrying a weight preferably a kettlebell or a dumbbell on one hand and walking for a distance.
Just from the name, it resembles to carrying a suitcase, which requires core stabilization to maintain an upright posture with zero swaying when walking.
It helps strengthen your grip and works on multiple muscles in the body. It is an easy workout to perform and effectively activates muscles.
HOW TO DO SUITCASE CARRY EXERCISE PROPERLY
We do not want to face muscle tears or joint dislocation due to carrying excess weight, so the best way is to use weights that will not harm your muscles but will increase muscle contraction and development.
How to do it:
- Grab a kettlebell or a dumbbell with your less dominant hand and make sure to use weights that will create resistance rather than muscle pain from the excess weight.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart with your arms by your side. Do not lean towards the weighted hand.
- Engage your core muscles, straighten your back then pull your shoulder blades back and down.
- Step forward and start walking forward with the weight on your hand. Take small and slow steps while focusing on your braced core and straight back.
- Walk for a distance while not swaying or tilting. Depending on the surrounding area, walk for a specific time or a number of steps.
- After a finished set place the weight down and pick it up with the other hand.
- Repeat the same set on the other hand.
- Do 2 sets each hand.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SUITCASE CARRY EXERCISE WORK
With Suitcase Carry Exercise being a compound exercise, multiple leg muscles get to activate namely the quads, the hamstrings and the calves. These muscles, each has its own function but they all assist in the stabilization of the lower body when walking with the weight.
Quads are responsible for knee extension, hamstrings for knee flexion and hip extension while the calves stabilize the ankle joint while doing the exercise.
Obvious your butt muscles are important for motion; they help to stabilize the hip joint throughout the walk.
Tightening the core requires contraction of the abdominal muscles which helps secure the spine and keep a straight posture.
Your core is important in increasing endurance when walking with weight.
From the upper arm muscles to the hand muscles, all help in the execution of the exercise.
The triceps help in arm extension at the elbow joint while the forearm helps strengthen your grip on the weight.
SUITCASE CARRY EXERCISE BENEFITS
IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Try carrying your suitcase from your point of drop off to where the conveyer belt is without using the luggage trolley and it is obvious you will be sweating buckets and your whole body will feel the weight carried.
From this, you can see how effective Suitcase Carry Exercise is to the overall body even when it looks like an arm type of workout. It helps to improve overall health and muscle balance on each side. Adding to that, your endurance in workouts and doing tasks increases.
PROMOTE GRIP STRENGTH AND POWER
Walking with a weight on your hand prompts you to tighten your grip every once in a while due to gravity doing its work. Through this, the muscles contracts and activates.
This strengthens and develops the hand muscles (extrinsic and intrinsic muscles) that increases your grip strength when carrying heavy stuff or while doing workouts in the gym.
ALTERNATIVES TO SUITCASE CARRY EXERCISE
Sled pulls are the power filled kind of workouts that just explodes your muscles with adrenalin and muscle activation is always at its peak.
The workout is simple but intense where you load up weight plates on a designated sled for that particular workout and pull the rope extension attached to it. Usually you place it on a surface that may create resistance like on a carpet or a rough surface.
Literally all your body muscles are in play from your leg muscles all the way to your shoulder muscles. It is a great workout if you want to achieve muscle hypotrophy and power.
As easy as it may look, Broad jump is a cardio workout that not so many grownups can perform with ease due to the heaviness of the muscles and bones, fat in their muscles, less body flexibility or just pure and utter fear of injuries.
It is not easy for a beginner to perform the workout since it requires proper training on your form and technique so that you can perform it effectively.
The workout engages most of your leg muscles, glutes and core in order to have a correct form and technique.
On the upside, it is an easy workout where you jump forward initiating with both feet and landing on both feet. Easy and works effectively.
SUITCASE CARRY EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID
USING EXCESS WEIGHTS
It may seem fit to carry around a heavy weight since the hand muscles should adjust to the weight but this harms your muscles and you can risk a muscle tear if you are not careful.
Start with weights that you can handle carrying for a distance and then progress from there.
NOT ENGAGING THE CORE
Engaging your core reduces or cancels out the swaying and tilting while walking. Tighten your core and straighten your back to fully utilize the body muscles and work on them.
TILTING TO ONE SIDE
Keep your shoulder blades leveled and avoid leaning on one side while walking with the weight.
If you feel the weights are causing the tilt, change to a lighter weight that still causes a good amount of resistance.
Suitcase Carry exercise is that exercise that gives you a break from the hassle and tussle of lifting and pressing and pushing while at the gym.
It helps with strengthening your muscles and improve your grip, especially for boxers who would benefit from having a strong and powerful punch.
The workout is a great addition to your workout program, especially for cardio days.