What Is a Suitcase Exercise?


Some suitcase exercises involve movements of your body that resemble that of a suitcase, while others involve movements as if you were actually holding a suitcase in your hand. The most popular suitcase exercise is the suitcase crunch -- otherwise known as the double crunch. Others are the one-leg suitcase crunch with a medicine ball, the suitcase deadlift and the suitcase swing. All of these combined tone your abs, shoulders, butt and legs.

Suitcase Crunch

  • Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place both hands behind your head with your elbows pushed back and out of sight. This is your starting position. Leading with your chest, raise your torso up and squeeze your abs. While lifting your torso, raise both knees together towards your chest. Lower yourself down to the starting position. Do three sets of 20 reps. Repeat continuously and slowly to maintain your balance.

One-Leg Suitcase Crunch with Medicine Ball

  • Lie face up on the floor with your legs straight. Hold a medicine ball with both hands above your head. This is your starting position. Bring your right knee to your chest while raising your torso and moving the ball to your right foot. Return to the starting position and switch legs -- bring your left knee to your chest and the ball to your left foot. That's one repetition. Do three sets of 20 reps.

Suitcase Deadlift

  • Place a dumbbell on the floor next to your right side. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to lower yourself into a squatting position and pick up the dumbbell. Your torso should be lowered towards your knees while picking up the weight with your back straight. Slowly straighten your knees and raise yourself back up with the dumbbell in your right hand. Fully extend your legs before you raise your back to neutral position. Lower the weight down just above the floor, then raise yourself back up. Do three reps of 15 for each arm. Avoid leaning towards the side that the weight is on.

Suitcase Swing

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down to your sides. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and bend your knees to squat down. Quickly raise yourself back up while extending your right arm straight up in front of you until it reaches shoulder height. Squat back down and lower the dumbbell to your side. Do 16 reps for each arm.


  • If you're unable to complete the amount of sets or reps due to extreme discomfort or pain, stop immediately. Don't push yourself past your limit. Use the lightest weight dumbbell for the suitcase swing until you have completed the exercise several times without a problem.

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