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How to Do Farmers Walk Exercise

Farmers walk exercise

One of the simplest and most beneficial activities you can do is the farmers walk exercise also known as the farmers carry. Discover what muscles it trains, the benefits it carrys, and valuable tips to add it to your farmers walk workout routine.

What’s the Farmers Walk Exercise?

The farmer’s walk, also known as a farmer’s carry, is a full-body exercise that strengthens and develops a range of muscles in the lower and upper body. The objective is to grab a pair of weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, etc.) and walk forward.

Performing the exercise is relatively simple, and the risk of technique breakdown is small, so long as you pick the appropriate load. 

Farmers Walk Exercise Muscles Worked

The farmers walk muscles worked emphasize your lower body: the calves, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and quadriceps. Each plays a vital role in moving you forward while holding onto heavy weights.

Doing a farmer’s carry is also great for your entire back––latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, rhomboids, trapezius, infraspinatus, etc. These muscles flex isometrically to retract your shoulder blades and promote a stable torso. Similarly, the entire midsection engages, further contributing to a stable body and allowing you to maintain your position during the activity.

Your arms and shoulders also serve a supporting function during the exercise. The deltoids, biceps, triceps, and forearms contribute for you to hold a pair of heavy weights as you walk back and forth. Performing the farmer’s walk exercise is an excellent way to build whole-body strength and develop your grip.

How to Perform a Farmers Walk (Dumbbell Version)

farmers walk exercise guide - farmers carry workout
  1. Place a pair of dumbbells on the floor and stand between them, having them close to the outer side of your feet.
  2. Lean forward and bend your knees to grab both dumbbells.
  3. Bring your shoulders back and take a breath.
  4. Push through your heels and keep your back neutral to lift the dumbbells and stand up.
  5. Keep your shoulders back, engage your abs, have the dumbbells by your sides, and have your feet in a comfortable stance.
  6. Begin walking forward while keeping your abs engaged. Breathe regularly as you move.
  7. Once finished, lean forward and bend your knees simultaneously while keeping your back neutral to set the weights on the floor.

Farmers Carry Workout Examples

The farmers carry is a versatile exercise you can easily add to your training. Here are a few options: 

1. Conditioning Workout

Combine the farmer’s walk with several other endurance-based exercises to develop whole-body strength and build up your aerobic capacity. For instance, mix the activity with sled pushes, jump squats, and mountain climbers

Do all four movements for 30 seconds, taking no more than 10 seconds of rest in-between.

2. Tabata Workout

A great way to add the farmers carry workout into your workout mix is by adding it to a Tabata Training routine. Pick a pair of moderately-heavy weights and follow the structure of 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of recovery. Alternate between the two for four minutes and call it a day. You can do this as a stand-alone workout or add it near the end of your session.

3. Traditional Gym Training

The third practical option is to include the farmers walk exercise as part of your gym workout. Add the movement near the middle of your workout and perform three to four sets, walking for as long as possible. 

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