Have you ever thought of occasions you have had to carry something heavy in one hand, probably some groceries or a suitcase? Today’s feature — suitcase deadlift, is going to really boost your morale as it focuses on empowering one side of your loaded body.
HOW TO DO SUITCASE DEADLIFT
Place a dumbbell on the floor and stand next to it so that the handle runs parallel to your feet. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
Squat down and grip the dumbbell with an overhand grip, so that your thumb is pointing forward as you straighten your arm.
Drop your hips, lift your chest then arch your lower back slightly. Look straight ahead and brace your head
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Avoid rounding your back or leaning to one side as you drone your feet into the floor and stand up. Keep your torso perfectly upright.
Push your hips back, and bend your knees as you lower the weight smoothly back to the floor. Reset your core and repeat.
Rest for a moment at the end of every set and then change sides.
Try doing that with the same number of reps on each side.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SUITCASE DEADLIFTS WORK?
Suitcase deadlift is an unusual exercise, that other than working your lower body also works your core. It works literally every muscle in your lower body and a lot more of upper body muscles.
It specifically works the following muscles:
Quadriceps are muscles located on the front of your thighs, also referred to as quads in short. These muscles are responsible for extending your knee joints.
Hamstrings are the muscles responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. Your hams are located on the back of your thighs.
The gluteus maximus, also known as glutes is basically your butt. It is responsible for extending your hip joints. It is the largest muscle in the human body.
The ERECTOR SPINAE is a collection of muscles on your lower back. The erector spinae works hard to keep your spine rigid while your lower body muscles generate force that lifts the weight.
The core refers to the muscles that make up your midsection. Your core is actually your body’s weight training belt. Its main function is to support your spine and keep it rigid.
The core muscles comprise of the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominus, pelvic floor and diaphragm.
Latissimus dorsi muscles are also known as your lats in short. These are the muscles on the side of your back. Their main functions are to extend the shoulder and abduction.
This is a kite–shaped muscle found on your upper back. Suitcase deadlifts work your upper arm and middle trapezius, whose functions are shoulder girdle and retraction.
Forearm flexors are muscles in your forearm which are responsible for maintaining your grip during suitcase deadlifts.
BENEFITS OF SUITCASE DEADLIFT
The reasons you should include the suitcase deadlift in your regular workouts are many. Some are;
INCREASED LATERAL ACTIVATION
Increased lateral core activation is done with just one dumbbell, the suitcase deadlifts put a lot more stress on one side of your core than the other.
This is a superb way to make your lateral core muscles stronger, especially your obliques.
BUILD A FIRMER GRIP
With suitcase deadlifts, you can easily use a mixed grip to stop the bar from rolling out of your fingers.
A one-handed suitcase deadlift does not offer such an advantage, hence you will really need to hold tightly so that you don’t drop the weight. This will in turn strengthen your grip.
Doing the same exercises may at times hinder your progress. As you add suitcase deadlifts to your workouts,it brings a new challenge, thereby ensuring you continue to make progress.
INCREASED FUNCTIONAL CARRY OVER
Suitcase deadlifts are given this name because they resemble bending down to pick up a heavy bag using one hand.
If you build strength using the suitcase deadlift then you will make this task feel a lot easier to carry out.
ALTERNATIVES TO SUITCASE DEADLIFTS
There are a number of variations to suitcase deadlifts that you can try out and achieve the same results. Such include:
BARBELL SUITCASE DEADLIFTS
A barbell suitcase deadlift is performed as a suitcase deadlift but a barbell is used instead. Since a barbell is longer, you will need to work harder to make the weight remain stable, which will increase the forearm and activate the core.
KETTLE SUITCASE DEADLIFTS
The Kettle suitcase deadlift is performed as above but uses a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell. The kettlebell handles are thicker than dumbbell handles, which makes them harder to grip
DOUBLE DUMBBELL SUITCASE DEADLIFT
In the double dumbbell suitcase deadlift, you need two dumbbells instead of one. Using two dumbbells will make it easier to balance, reducing lateral core activation. But this movement will enable you to lift heavier loads to overload your legs
DEFICIT SUITCASE DEADLIFTS
In the deficit suitcase deadlift, you increase your range of motion and difficulty of this exercise by standing on a 2 to 6 inch high platform
You can only attempt this variation if you have perfected your techniques in regular suitcase deadlifts.
SUITCASE DEADLIFT AND FARMERS’ WALK
After picking your dumbbell, take a walk around your training area until you feel your grip beginning to fail. Lower the weight down on the floor, swap sides and repeat. This is such a worthy core, forearm, and conditioning exercise.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID DURING SUITCASE DEADLIFTS
There are a number of mistakes that give the suitcase deadlift a negative connotation. The following are some of the mistakes and how to avoid them.
NOT WARMING UP APPROPRIATELY
Failure to warm up correctly is one big mistake you should avoid at all costs. You should take time to do movements that help mobility and activate the muscles that will be involved during the exercise. If warm is not done in the correct manner, it may lead to injuries.
BENDING THE BACK
This is also referred to as rounding the lumber. Many people wrongly bend the spine during deadlift. This can bring you pain and injuries. To avoid this, you need to keep your chest elevated and straight as you focus on lifting the bar using the strength generated from your legs and not your back.
The suitcase deadlift and its variations help you build muscle mass and strength. This is a great feature for you as an athlete seeking to increase your endurance. Good luck.