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


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dumbbell Suitcase Carry Overview

The dumbbell suitcase carry is a variation of the farmers walk and an exercise used to strengthen the core and forearms.

The unilateral loading seen in the dumbbell suitcase carry forces your core to fight to stabilize the spine.

The dumbbell suitcase carry gets its name because the way one holds the dumbbell while performing the exercise is reminiscent of the way one carries a suitcase.

Dumbbell Suitcase Carry Instructions

  1. Grasp a dumbbell in one hand using a neutral grip and stand up straight.
  2. While maintaining an active shoulder position, hold the dumbbell by your side and walk for a designated distance or amount of time.

Dumbbell 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.