Intro: Suitcase Deadlifts and KB Windmills

Over the past month or so, I’ve been trying to find some accessory exercises to add into my normal programming. I’ve found a few that I’ve started to incorporate into my daily warm up for activation purposes, and even as the focus of my training on any given day. Two exercises that I would like to introduce to all of you are Suitcase Deadlifts and KB Windmills.

Suitcase Deadlifts

Last week I talked a little bit about anti-rotation exercises. These type of exercises are great in learning how to engage the transverse abdominis by resisting rotation. My midline is a weak point of mine, so I’ve been incorporating these on a regular basis in order to improve on my overall strength and stability. You can perform this exercises with a dumbbell or barbell, either one works just fine. Begin be setting up the weight directly to the side of you. Bend down, and just as if you were performing a regular deadlift, stand the weight up. Immediately you’ll feel the weight trying to rotate, or pull, you towards one side. Resist that urge by drawing your belly in, keeping you back flat, and focusing on squaring your shoulders. If you feel any sort of twisting, take the weight back down and learn the movement correctly. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that bad movement patterns or habits are extremely difficult to break!


KB Windmills

I came across this exercises when searching for ways to continue to develop my core. What I like about this movement is that it helps to build strength and stability in the shoulder as well. At the appropriate weight, this exercise is a great way to load the spine in different ways other than straight up and down (typical of a deadlift, good morning, rdl, etc). I was drawn to this idea because in more ways than one in the real world, we deal with all sorts of rotation and different planes of movement. To begin start off by placing your feet shoulder width apart or a little wider, then point your toes both at a 45 degree angle in the same direction while holding a KB straight overhead. Now with your free hand, trace down the side of your leg until you’ve reached your foot (or as low as you feel comfortable going) while looking up at the kb and keep both legs as straight as possible. Remember to keep your belly drawn in and tight, then return back to the starting position. To spice things up a bit, you can even go straight down the middle!


Well there you have it Sweat Shoppers! These two exercises I use on a regular basis in my warm up, cool down, or just as my accessory work for the day. I’ve noticed a difference in my overall strength and stability in just a few weeks! Ask any coach if you need some help learning the movement or if you have any questions, and we’ll be glad to help!

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