Tip: Do the Suitcase Deadlift

Build strong obliques and boost your squat and deadlift with this challenging exercise. Here's how to do it.

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For anyone who wants to deadlift or squat big weights, the obliques must be strong. The average side bend just doesn't cut it when it comes to building a truly strong midsection. The suitcase deadlift is old school and brutal. Very strong people often get humbled the first time they try it. Here's Christian Thibaudeau with more info.

The Suitcase Deadlift

This movement is best done off the floor, but if you're having trouble you can set the bar at about mid-shin level in the rack.

  1. Stand to the side of the bar.
  2. Bend and set yourself in the same position you would to deadlift (back flat, chest up) and pick it up just as you would a suitcase.
  3. Keep your abs flexed and your lower back tight throughout the movement. If you start twisting, stop and take some weight off the bar.

Three to four sets of 5 reps is sufficient.