One of the simplest and most beneficial activities you can do is the farmer’s walk exercise, also known as a farmer’s carry. Find out what muscles it trains, the benefits it offers, and valuable tips for adding it to your workout routine.
What is the Farmers Walk exercise?
The farmer’s walk, also known as the farmer’s carry, is a full body exercise that strengthens and develops a range of lower and upper body muscles. The goal is to grab a pair of weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates, etc.) and step forward.
The execution of the exercise is relatively simple and the risk of technical failure is low, as long as you choose the appropriate load.
Farmers Walking Exercise Muscles Worked
Farmer walking muscles worked emphasize your lower body: calves, hamstrings, glutes, adductors, and quads. Each plays a vital role in pushing you forward while holding on to heavy weights.
Doing a farmer’s carry is also ideal 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. Likewise, the entire midsection engages, further contributing to a stable body and allowing you to maintain your position during activity.
Your arms and shoulders also perform a support function during exercise. The deltoids, biceps, triceps, and forearms allow you to hold a pair of heavy weights as you walk back and forth. The farmer’s walk exercise is a great way to build full-body strength and build your grip.
How to Perform a Farmers Walk (Dumbbell Version)
- Place a pair of dumbbells on the floor and stand between them, bringing them closer to the outside of your feet.
- Lean forward and bend your knees to grab both dumbbells.
- Bring your shoulders back and breathe.
- Push through your heels and keep your back neutral to lift the dumbbells and stand up.
- Keep your shoulders back, engage your abs, have the dumbbells by your side, and have your feet in a comfortable position.
- Start pushing forward while keeping your abs engaged. Breathe regularly when you move.
- When done, lean forward and bend your knees simultaneously while keeping your back neutral to put the weights on the floor.
Farmers carry out practice examples
The Farmers Carry is a versatile exercise that you can easily add to your workout. Here are some options:
1. Conditioning workout
Combine the Farmer’s Walk with several other endurance-based exercises to build total-body strength and build aerobic capacity. For example, 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 training
A great way to add farmer training to your training mix is to add it to a Tabata training routine. Choose a pair of moderately heavy weights and follow the pattern of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of recovery. Alternate between the two for four minutes and call it a day. You can do this as a standalone workout or add it towards the end of your session.
3. Traditional Gym Training
The third convenient option is to include the farmers walk exercise as part of your gym workout. Add movement towards the middle of your workout and perform three to four sets, walking for as long as possible.