if you ever By the time you grab a few bags full of groceries, put them back in your car, and take them home, you’re already working on the practical application of weight room exercises. , it’s functional fitness.
Carrying groceries, gym bags, etc. is very functional in our daily life. At the gym, we call this very natural movement suitcase carry. Done right, it can be one of the best exercises for strengthening your core and even a sneaky effective tool for conditioning.
To transition suitcase-carrying from routine movement to overwhelming strength and conditioning drills, it’s not enough to walk from point A to point B. To effectively carry out suitcase-carrying, you need to reach the end of the road. According to (or the other end of the gym in this case), while holding as heavy a load as possible, MH Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS
“Most of us do this in our daily lives, but we never really consider it exercise,” says Samuel.[But] From everyday things, we can take it into something that helps us become stronger, protect us from injury, and prepare us for real life. “
muscles used to carry suitcases
- shoulder (triceps)
- abs and core
Carrying a suitcase requires full-body strength. Breaking it down, walking with heavy loads requires leg strength. To do that, you need a good grip that engages your forearms, biceps, shoulders, and other upper body muscles.
But to hold it all together, you need a connection with your core muscles. In this case, the emphasis is on a training idea known as anti-lateral bending. With weight on only one side, contralateral bending requires the trunk to resist the urge to lean to the other side and instead maintain a balanced position.
“My goal when doing a carry is to not lean to either side. “That means the glutes, the hip flexors, and all the muscles involved. The rectus abdominis plays an important role, and the obliques play an important role.” …and your hips play an important role, your muscles have to fire too.”
Advantages of suitcase carry
- build strength
- Great for cardio and conditioning
- Real application (functional use)
Lifting heavy loads, holding them on only one side to avoid falling over, and walking difficult distances puts heavy loads on your core, arms, shoulders, and more specifically your forearms. I see, it should be enough to feel your arm burn, making this a great strength training accessory move.
If arm burns aren’t enough, the elevated heart rate you should experience after walking a certain distance under load is a good reminder that carrying a suitcase is also great for conditioning. Don’t forget the key ingredients of an effective workout. to pick up something heavy. If you’re looking to improve your strength and conditioning, 5 lb weights won’t help you with this exercise.
How to carry a suitcase
Carrying a suitcase is a natural movement, but if you want to get the most out of your exercise, you need an important form factor. Putting a lot of weight on one side of your body can take a lot of effort, but the goal here is to make it look almost effortless. It’s easier said than done, but you can easily achieve it by following these tips.
Points for suitcase carry
By carrying the load on one side, we also tend to focus on maintaining the shoulder on the side that is weight-bearing. Both blades should be squeezed down and back as you thrust your chest forward. “If someone sticks a pencil between your shoulder blades, you essentially want to squeeze that pencil out,” says Samuel.
To lift something heavy, you need a firm grip. Think about bending and squeezing as much as possible. Doing so will not only help you hold on, but it will also strengthen your valuable forearm muscles.
Don’t forget to flex your abs. This will help keep your rib cage as close and tight as possible. Maintaining all that tension makes walking easier.
clues for suitcase carry
- Lift the weight with one hand. Grip the handle of the machine as tightly as possible.
- Tones the core and creates tension throughout the body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and push your chest forward. Keep your neck in a neutral position and look straight ahead.
- Keep the tension in your body as you move forward. Keep your shoulders horizontal. If necessary, extend the motionless arm for balance.
Equipment that can be used as a suitcase carry
- EZ curl bar
- weight plate
It doesn’t matter what equipment you use to carry your suitcase, as long as it’s heavy. However, you can increase the difficulty by using different gears from time to time. His loaded EZ bar, for example, hits the forearm harder than, say, a kettlebell. A barbell requires a little more forearm balance than a short bar.
“I highly recommend trying a mix,” says Samuel. “Playing with a lot of these tools will give you a lot of benefits. They also plan to make variations of other suitcases he carry him that are better in terms of number of reps and sets. .”
How to use a suitcase carry for your workout
According to Samuel, walking time or distance is the best way to properly attack a suitcase carry. Another option is to walk 30 seconds one way, switch arms and then he walks back 30 seconds. Three to four sets are great, especially as a warm-up for beginners, or as a finishing move after a deadlift or leg day for more advanced gym players.
“I try to pick up really, really heavy things and make it look easy, but it’s not easy,” says Samuel. “It doesn’t feel easy, but your goal is to look easy when you walk in. That’s how you make money with a suitcase carry.”
Jeff Tomko is a freelance fitness writer with articles for Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health.