Build a Resilient Spine: Create Power for Sport Performance

Matthew Ibrahim


Medford, Massachusetts, United States

Strength Training, Mobility & Recovery



One-Arm Suitcase Farmer's Carry

Although the one-arm suitcase farmer’s carry doesn’t look like much, you’re actually doing a hell of a lot of work. I’m a big fan of creating tension to understand stability. We need to be able to create and own tension during stability, especially when a dynamic movement component is added.



Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in you hand and squeeze the handle hard. Do the same in the other hand, but with a much lighter object like an empty water bottle or squishy ball. Now go for a walk. Although the left side carrying the weight is working harder, the right side is also working as well, even if in a smaller capacity, to keep your entire core working as a system.


If you’re core doesn’t feel engaged after one set on each side, your weight is too light. However, it’s very important that you don’t go too heavy to the point where you sway to one side. The goal is to maintain a tall, upright posture throughout each set.


Do This:

  1. Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell with your left hand. Choose a weight that is heavy enough to provide a challenge, but not so heavy that it forces you to slant to one side.
  2. In your right hand, hold something like an empty water bottle or a small, squishy ball. Squeeze the life out of this object to help create tension on the non-weight bearing side.
  3. Stay tall and walk 40 yards. Switch arms and repeat. That's 1 set.
  4. Perform 3 sets per side.



Your Body Is a High-Performing Machine

Protecting the spine is accomplished through core strength and the ability express power with body control. These are the tenants to a spine built for high-performance.


Everything we do in training should have a direct carryover into sport and athletic endeavors. Training the core is no different. Cover every aspect and angle of core strengthening and spinal stabilization to ensure a strong, resilient spine that’s build to last.


This article was originally published on Breaking Muscle US.


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Headline photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photo collage courtesy of Matthew Ibrahim.

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