Suitcase Carry

Doing any loaded carries is a great way to train your body.  Loaded carries can be done for strength, hypertrophy, and yes, even endurance training just depending on how someone wants to train the movement.  Dan John popularized the idea of loaded carries being a type of movement pattern that should be trained because it is fundamental.  They can be broken down into many types but today we are going to discuss the suitcase carry.

The suitcase carry is a one-handed carry.  A weight/object of some sort is on one side of your body, you bend down, lift and start walking.  For how long or how far is up to you depending on what you want to train, just remember, the weight/object has to be brought back to where you started. Sounds simple enough and it is, but lets look at the details.

When picking up the weight, stand beside and in line with the dumbbell, kettlebell, or sandbag. Keeping your spine flat and neutral, push your shoulders down and squeeze your armpits, brace your trunk, and push your glutes back until your hand grabs the weights.  In this position, your chin, sternum, and hips should be in a vertical line.  As you stand up,  squeeze your glutes and maintain that vertical line just discussed.  The same goes for when lowering the weight.

Once you are standing up, begin walking and keep your chin, sternum, and hips in a vertical line as well as staying as tall as possible. Do not slouch and do not let your feet cross each other.

The main objective of this movement is called anti-lateral flexion.  We are training your body to not bend to the side.  In order for this to happen, the shoulder musculature must stay pulled back, and the obliques and hip musculature of the opposite side, stabilize the spine and pelvis.

Keep it simple when putting this carry into your training.  For example, walk as far as you can safely with your weaker hand and return back to the start with your stronger hand.  The main thing is to actually just start doing them. 

Tip:  Make the heavy and light weights look the same.  Meaning, next time you are carrying your groceries or carry-on luggage for your trip, remember how you picked up the heavier object safely so the lighter object is not the one that causes an injury.