Farmers walk, one of the best functional exercises which make your whole bodywork and helps in improving overall fitness and athletic qualities.
Farmers walk is the easiest functional exercise with some exceptional results. Farmers walk comprises of the most natural movement of the body, which is to carry anything by your both hands and walk up to the destination.
Before we get into more technicalities about farmers walk, it’s important to understand what is a functional fitness exercise? Functional training helps your muscles to work together and prepare them for the tasks that we do in our daily life. So functional training improves your body’s capability to perform your daily tasks at home, work or any sports. For example, a squat is a functional exercise that enhances the body’s capability to rise up and down for sitting or any other activity.
Top variations of Farmer’s walk? Although there can be dozens of variations, we shortlisted the top variations for practical benefits.
- Side-loaded farmers walk
- Overhead carry
- Bear hug walk
- Single hand farmers walk
- Kettlebell 1-arm overhead carry
Farmers walk is a variation of loaded carries and few people recognize farmers walk as a ‘loaded carries’ too. Loaded carries can be defined as a person moving with any additional weight on himself.
Introduction To Farmers Walk
Our ancestors have been doing farmers walk since ages, almost every daily works required to lift things with their bare hands and cover the distance. It’s a purely functional exercise because of its requirement for our daily needs. Our ancestors have been doing works like carrying water from well, carrying food items from the market, moving tools around the farms, and many other works.
But technology ruined us, now we are not accustomed to lifting anything with our bare hands and we use technology to make our life easier.
Dan John (strength and weightlifting coach) accidentally discovered the benefits of farmers walk, since then he is been educating the benefits of this exceptional exercise. He uses farmers walk and its variations to improve the performance of professional athletes.
Farmers walk act as a game-changer for athletes, these load carries exercises establish serious challenge to core muscle group which have always been undertrained by most of the athletes, athletes with stronger core were able to perform better and their numbers were grown up.
Farmers walk muscles worked
Farmers walk is a prominent compound movement that works on almost every muscle group, the image below identifies only primary muscle groups working while farmers walk.
Guide: How To Train
Farmers walk is an extremely simple functional exercise that can be done anywhere, and due to its natural movement, many people never experienced correct form difficulty. But still, since you are going to put extra stress on your body, bones, joints, and spine. There are a few pointers that need to be followed in order to perform this exercise without any risk.
- Shoulders- it doesn’t matter which variations of farmers walk you are about to perform, always remember to keep your shoulders tight, this will help you with better joint stability.
- Back- this is one of the most obvious but important point, each of us knows that we need to keep the poor back straight but once you put 100 pounds of stress on it, it could be quite difficult for many people to maintain the right-back posture.
- Don’t Lean back- in order to push the body for the desired distance, many people tend to lean back. Leaning back can put extraordinary pressure on your spine, which could ultimately result in injury.
- Grip- hold the weight with a tight grip, this won’t just help you to cover longer distance buy will improve your gripping capacity and core strength. Holding it tight will gain better effects on the core muscle.
- Step lightly- don’t think of taking big steps in order to cover the longer distance. Concentrate on short but fast steps. Longer steps can enhance the chances of experiencing jerk.
- Chin down- try keeping chin closer to your chest and avoid craning it.
- Progression- like any other exercise you should learn to use the theory of progression while farmer walks too. Don’t try to lift too heavy since the beginning for faster gains, learn to respect the exercise in order to experience progressive gains.
Benefits Of Farmers Walk
Since it’s a functional exercise which affects almost every body part, the benefits of farmers walk is difficult to cover in a short paragraph. Farmers walk if beneficial for grip strength, shoulders, delts, core, raw strength, more muscle gain, and many more benefits.
Read: Please click HERE for the detailed article on the benefits of farmers walk.
Variations in Farmers Walk
1# Side loaded
This is a conventional farmer walk, you grab equal-weighted dumbbells or kettlebell with both hands and walk for a particular distance.
This conventional farmers walk allows you to lift with your maximum capacity due to its easiest motion. These sideloaded farmers walk results in the development of insane total-body strength.
2# Overhead walk
Hold two dumbbells or kettlebell or sandbag over the top of your head and walk. It’s helpful in developing core strength and shoulders stability.
Start with 20 kg of total weight and increase the weight gradually, we insist you to concentrate more on distance and time instead of the weight you carry.
3# Bear hug
We all have seen the strongman competition where they grab a rock and cover a certain distance. A bear hug is performed though grabbing a weight between your both hands like you are hugging it.
You don’t need to have any equipment for this insane workout, grab any heavy object like a sandbag, or a piece of rock or even your girlfriend.
4# Single hand walk
Want to train your abs and oblique? Then this exercise could be the perfect solution for you. Grab a weight with a single hand and walk for a distance then lift the weight with another hand and come back to starting position.
This side hand walk will seriously challenge your obliques and will make your love handles disappear.
Frequency and progression
Farmers walk can we done of 3-4 times a week, but it’s important to make a change in the intensity level. You can pick a particular day for the heavy-lift or medium-lift or light lift. For example
- Light day = long distance (100 meters)
- Medium day = med distance (40-50 meters)
- Heavy day = short distance (10-20 meters)
Like any other exercise, these farmers walk need to be respected as well. You don’t just need to concentrate on the weight you lift but you need to pay attention to distance and time as well. The more distance you cover while lifting, the more challenging this exercise will be and the better will be your performance.
Additionally, to the farmers walk, pick other variations as well to isolate other muscle groups as well and to develop the stronger core.
Watch Videos attached below for better guidance and idea.
Farmer’s Walk Accessories
Farmers walk is definitely a great way to improve strength and achieve body stability. We are introducing you the accessories that will surely improve your overall performance and body composition.
Note: We are not paid sponsors of any brand, our selection of products is strictly unbiased and mainly based on the performance and personal experience.
Dark Iron Fitness Lifting Belt
You definitely need a lifting belt if you are planning to go heavy in your farmer’s walk. Dark Iron is proving a genuine leather belt that is built to last longer, it will provide the required support to go heavy without being worried about probable injury.
Cobra Grips PRO Weight Lifting Gloves
Forearms have lower endurance in comparison to much bigger back muscle. Your forearms might be restricting you to go heavy on your farmers walk, solution? Use Cobra Grip PRO weight listing gloves, it will release the stress from forearms and will allow you to go further for bigger and stronger back and traps.
Titan 60″ Farmers Walk Handles
Farmers walk is a versatile exercise that mainly focuses on improving body stability and strength. Farmers walk handles should be your top choice for a home gym, within a few weeks of practice you will be able to experience drastic changes in your overall strength.
Cap Olympic Trap Bar
Farmers walk handles are bit unstable and might not be very suitable for week person. Having a trap bar will allow you to practice deadlifting as well. This can be a great add on to your personal strength.
These are the most effective gateway to developing insane forearm strength. Fat gripz are mainly used for bicep curl but it can be used for your farmers walk as well.
Make sure, you practice with low weight, you won’t be able to sustain heavy farmers walk with this fat gripz.
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