| Article written on December 3rd, 2015 at 10:23am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
The suitcase carry is an invaluable exercise that is easily executed. When looking at everyday movements that challenge the core, carrying objects in one arm is common. During these tasks the opposite side core has to remain rigid to prevent the downward force of the object. This requires active contraction in muscles such as: the internal/external oblique, quadratus lumborum, intertransversarii, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis. Active tension and monitoring from the nervous system is what creates a stable spine.
How to properly execute this exercise:
- Find a heavy weight that causes the body to tilt laterally while holding it
- Hold weight in one hand and hang by the side of the body
- Adjust alignment so the body is tall and the shoulders are level (a mirror is valuable here)
- Walk for the desired distance while maintaining proper positioning
- Repeat with the weight in the other hand
Note: The heavier weight will cause proper activation of the core. If the weight isn’t heavy enough this exercise will be ineffective. Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone! But, as the weight increases, the tendency to laterally tilt does too. Use a mirror and ensure the shoulders remain level through the walk.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART