Farmer’s Walks, while simple to do are among the most challenging exercises you’ll ever try. All performing a Farmers Walk requires is for you to pick up a weight and walk. While this seems easy, it quickly becomes less so as your entire body will feel like it’s on fire after about 40 yards. In this article I describe how to perform the Farmers Walk and add them to your workouts. You’ll also learn how doing it regularly whether you are training for a sport, want to build muscle, or are looking to get into better shape and burn body fat will benefit you.
How To Do A Farmer’s Walk
Like I write in the beginning of this article, doing a Farmers Walk is pretty simple, you lift a weight, stand up straight and walk for a predetermined distance or time. There are a few things you should be aware of when doing Farmers Walks to help you use more weight safely and get the best results from your workout. My tips are listed below.
Farmer’s Walk Tips
- Place the weights you will be using (dumbbells, Farmers Walk logs, kettbells) on each side of your body.
- Bend down and grab the weight keeping back straight, head forward, and arms extended.
- Stand up with the weight just as if you are performing a deadlift.
- Begin to walk forward with the weight.
- Keep your head forward and shoulders back at all times. Dropping your head of rounding your shoulders will limit your performance and increases the risk of injury.
- Walk using a normal stride at first. Use shorter steps as you become tired to help maintain proper technique.
- Continue walking until you reach your finish line. Rest and repeat for the prescribed number of walks.
Here’s a video of someone doing Farmer’s Walks with kettlebells.
Farmer’s Walk Muscles Trained
While it’s a total body exercise, the muscles Farmers Walk affect the most are your thighs, core (abs, glutes, and lower back), forearms, shoulders, and upper back. You’ll find that they really make your forearms, abs, and upper back sore.
Farmer’s Walk Benefits
The greatest benefit of this exercises is that you can get in a great, total body workout that helps improve your overall fitness levels doing nothing but 5-10 sets of walks. Adding them to your regular routine will make your workout that much more effective. After a few weeks of doing Farmers Walks you’ll find that your grip, core, and upper back are much stronger. Your endurance will improve too. Last but not least you’ll find that you stand and sit up straighter with much better posture.
Farmer’s Walk Equipment
You can do this exercise with pretty much anything heavy that you can safely carry. The best equipment to use are dumbbells, kettlebells, and sandbags. I especially like using kettlebells since their handle is larger than a dumbbells and really strengthens your grip. When you begin using a lot of weight I suggest investing a pair of farmers walk logs that enable you to carry hundreds of pounds with each hand. You can buy Farmers Walk logs at PerformBetter.com. If you don’t have access to any of this equipment you can use buckets or an old duffel bag filled with rocks and/or sand.
Farmer’s Walk Workouts
You can do this exercise as workout unto itself, performing 5 or more walks for a predetermined distance. I like to do them at the end of every workout as a finisher to help improve my overall strength and fitness.
I recommend starting with a weight that you can carry with proper technique for 25 yards. Increase the distance you walk until you can carry the weight for about 200 yards. Once you can walk this far, increase the weight and start over at a shorter distance. Start with 2 sets (walks) and add an extra walk every week until you are doing 8-10 per workout. You can also walk for a set time if you prefer. Start with 30 seconds and work up to a 2 minute walk.
Types Of Farmer’s Walks
Bear Hug Walks – Grab a weight with both hands, hold it against your chest and walk. I really like using sandbags for this variation.
Below is a video of a guy doing a farmers walk bear hug style with a sandbag.
Traditional Farmer’s Walk – perform carrying a weight in one or both hands with your arms at your sides and extended (alongside your body with your palms facing inward). You can use the same weight in both hands or use different weights for more of a challenge. This variation allows you to use the most weight and is great for building upper body strength and getting yourself into awesome shape.
Check out this video of someone performing Farmers Walks holding 170 lbs in each hand. They are using farmers walk logs to carry the weight.
Waiter Walks – walk carrying a weight overhead with your arm extended, just like a waiter carries a tray of food. You can carry a weight in one or both hands. This really strengthens your core and upper back.
Here’s a video of Waiter Walks using dumbbells.
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Now you know what Farmers Walks are, its benefits, and how to add them to your workout. Give them a try and I guarantee that you will find they help you get stronger, fitter, and build the body you want faster. I also recommend reading Todd Durkin’s Favorite Core & Ab Exercises, Medicine Ball Slams, and Josh Henkins Favorite Ultimate Sandbag Total Body Exercises for more total body workout information tips.