The Suitcase Walk. This exercise not only makes it easier for you to carry an actual suitcase as you’re sprinting through an airport. It also challenges your obliques while strengthening your forearms, deltoids and trapezoids, says Dan John, a US masters champion in Olympic lifting.
Performing the suitcase walk is a focused way to bring on that burn you feel after you carry heavy things – luggage, groceries, bags of topsoil, cases of beer – for a long distance. Standing with a dumbbell accomplishes little, but walking forces your core to work to stabilise your body and leaves your obliques and shoulders burning. Use the exercise as a warm-up or a finisher, John says.
How To Do It
Grab a dumbbell (most men can start in the 20 to 40kg range) and hold it like a suitcase, keeping your shoulders square and upright. Maintain that posture as you walk with the dumbbell at your side for 40 to 100m. Then put it down, pick it up with your other hand and walk back. In tight quarters, find about five metres and walk back and forth until you reach your distance.
Our Expert’s Tips
Don’t be afraid to go heavy. You’re looking for a weight that will challenge your core to maintain good form. Bend your knees when you put down the weight. Usually, one back and forth set is enough, but for an extra boost try going for as many as three loops. Do the exercise once a week.
Walking with weight forces your core to stabilise your body. Walk erectly to keep your core working. Don’t lean into or away from the weight.