How To Build Incredible Core Strength Using a Dumbbell

The Suitcase Carry is one of the best exercises for building core strength.

You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe ” – Fred Hatfield

Core strength is one of the most important factors in any physical performance. Without it, you’ll be missing out on a lot of power and will be at risk of injury. I know that increasing my core strength will be crucial for me to get back to pre-pandemic form. I recently invested in a 50 pound dumbbell so I can start doing one of the hardest core exercises known to man. It’s called the suitcase carry.

As you know by now, I’m a big fan of loaded carry exercises like the Goblet Carry and Farmers Walks. The Suitcase carry is the hardest loaded carry variation I’ve tried. The movement is just like it’s name. You hold a dumbbell to your side just like you would for a suitcase. Think of a Farmers Walk in which you only have a dumbbell on one side of your body. If you don’t feel your core engaging while doing this exercise then you must be from another planet. The level of core tension when doing suitcase carries is unreal.

If you want to build serious core strength all you need is to grab a dumbbell and start walking. You can also use a kettlebell or an actual suitcase. Just like any lift, the key to making this work is not using too much weight but using enough that it’s a challenge. You’d be surprised with how little weight you can use to make this exercise challenging

How I Incorporate Suitcase Carries To My Routine

I typically do Suitcase Carries after doing short sprints. My rep and set scheme is as follows.

  • Left hand Suitcase Carry for 30 seconds
  • 1 Minute Rest
  • Right Hand Suitcase Carry for 30 seconds
  • 2 Minute Rest
  • Repeat

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The Body is The Temple

( Short Read) This article is about the importance of taking care of your body.

The Body is the temple. You only have one body so you should treat it well.  We often take our bodies for granted If you care about your ultimate well being, you’ll take good care of your body. Taking care of your body is the ultimate act of self-love . You can take of your body without being obsessed. Don’t stress out about every tiny detail of your health and fitness routine. You still have to enjoy your life. The to anything is balance and moderation. Do things that make your boy feel good in the short and long-term. Your body follows you everywhere you go so you might as well have a good relationship with it.

To maximize the health of your body,  you must:

Lift weights so your body can handle external forces

Do yoga so your body can be mobile and less likely to get injured

Eat healthy and nutritious foods so you have the energy to do activities

Sleep well so your body can perform at it’s best

Do cardio so your most important muscle ( your heart ) gets worked

Meditate so you can conquer illness causing stress

Have fun so your body can produce health boosting hormones

Rest so your body doesn’t break down from all the activities you do

 

Closing Thoughts

When you have a strong and healthy body you’re ahead of the game. You have more energy, toughness, and confidence. You’re also happier because you just feel good. When you combine a strong, healthy body with a powerful midset, you can take over the world!

 

Photo by panther sohi from Pexels

Meditate For Faster Results!!

This article is about how meditation has a positive impact on fitness results.

The mind and the body are connected. When the mind is healthy, the body can function at it’s best. Meditating has improved many areas of my life including my fitness. Once I got into the habit of meditating, my sleep improved tremendously. Meditating puts in me in a relaxed state, making it easier to fall asleep. I noticed I go into deeper sleep when I meditate at night.

Meditation and Hormones:

Meditation also reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol has an inverse relationship with testosterone. This means the less cortisol you have the more testosterone you can produce in your body. Testosterone is one of the key hormones needed when trying to build strength and muscle.

Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880087/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23724462

Reducing Cortisol will also help you with fat loss. Cortisol and belly fat have a positive correlation. This means that the more cortisol you have, the increased chance of you gaining belly fat. This is especially prevalent for women.Maybe that’s why it’s called stress eating.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11020091

Meditation and Workout Performance:

Meditation will also benefit you while you’re working out. Meditating teaches you to be present in the moment. When you’re present in you’re work out, you’re more engaged rather than going through the motions. Being present allow for higher quality workouts.

Meditation is also a tool when it comes to build strength. Meditating is a way to refresh your nervous system due to the benefits it provides your brain. Your brain is the center of your nervous system so a healthy brain means a healthy central nervous system. Strength is a function of the nervous system.

How To Meditate:

I usually meditate twice a day, first thing in the morning and right before going to sleep. Meditating is as simple as sitting in complete silence in doing deep belly breaths.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. The deeper your breaths are the better. I like to breath so deeply that oxygen goes down to my pelvic area.It’s recommended to sit in a similar pose as shown in the image. You can also meditate while sitting on a chair. It’s important to keep an upright posture the entire time.

You don’t have to be a Buddhist or associated with any group to meditate. Anyone can do it. Try meditating for five minutes a day and once you get comfortable you can increase the duration and frequency of your meditation sessions. Simply focus on each breath.

 

Let’s Ruck!

I recently got into rucking. Rucking is when you put weights or other heavy objects in your backpack and walk with that resistance. I’ve been doing extensive research on rucking to see if it’s worth my time. Based on research and actually trying it, I believe it’s worthy of your time. Rucking is walking on steroids. The benefits you get from walking like fat loss, endurance, mental clarity, and stress relief also applies to rucking. In fact, I’ve heard claims that rucking can help you burn three times as much calories as walking. Rucking also strengthens your core, traps, and shoulders because those muscles are activated in order to handle the weight.

I usually go rucking every Saturday for an hour as a form of active recovery. I feel amazing after because I no longer have the burden of weighs on my back. I have more mental clarity because I  get to go outside. Rucking is a mental exercise as well because it takes mental toughness to walk a long distance with weights strapped onto your body. It’s a great way to boost your willpower. Why do you think rucking is prevalent in the military?

I have to warn you. There’s risks involved with rucking just like any other form of exercise. If you’re going to take part in rucking, it’s best that you get the right gear. It’s recommended that you wear boots to lower the stress on your feet but I usually wear well-fitting running shoes. I use a regular backpack as my rucksack to save money. To avoid stress on my lower back, I use a belt to pull my backpack higher up on my body. To play it safe, it’s best to use an actual ruck sack. A weighted vest is also good and will probably distribute the weight more evenly on your body. You might get some weird looks walking around with a weighted vest or a large back pack but the results are well worth it. I’d recommend rucking if you want to maintain muscle and lose fat.

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