Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeIsometric
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Quads, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Barbell Suitcase Carry Overview

The barbell suitcase carry is a variation of the farmer’s carry and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the core and forearms.

The barbell suitcase carry gets its name because when you perform the exercise you hold the barbell like you would hold a suitcase.

Barbell Suitcase Carry Instructions

  1. Load a barbell and set up perpendicular to the bar.
  2. Grasp the bar with a neutral grip and stand up straight.
  3. While maintaining an active shoulder position, hold the barbell by your side and walk for a designated distance or amount of time.

Barbell Suitcase Carry Tips

  1. When setting up for the lift, ensure you take a good deep breath to set your shoulder position. The weight will drive your shoulders into scapular depression so you want to ensure that your shoulders are set in a good position prior to lifting the weight.
  2. If performing a unilateral carry variation, ensure that you’re not leaning to one side as you complete the movement.
  3. Shrug the shoulder just slightly. Not enough so that it takes above a position of neutral but just enough to offset the weight pulling your shoulders down.
  4. Walk slowly and ensure a heel-toe pattern.
  5. Stabilize the weight and don’t allow it to drive you into overextension.
  6. Continue to breath throughout the exercise and don’t rely upon respiration for spinal stabilization.