• Deanne Pandey

Farmer’s Walk - Basic, yet effective

Farmer’s walk may not sound like a strenuous and intense exercise but do not let the name fool you. Earlier, Farmers used to go to the haymow to throw bales; then feed the cows, push wheelbarrows full of rocks and do any number of other laborious tasks. This is made them strong and fit. And thus, the name. The Farmer's Walk is probably one of the simplest exercises there is in terms of execution. It is one of the best ways to enhance their strength, stamina and endurance. In simple words, It involves walking for a set distance or time while carrying weight.

But, why is it so effective? The Farmer's Walk activates nearly every muscle group. The core braces and stabilizes the entire body. Grip strength in the hands, wrists and forearms is a necessity. The upper back works to keep the shoulders and chest from sagging. The legs obviously propel the walk, and the cardiovascular system is engaged throughout the entirety of the movement. As a result, your entire body is put to work burning fat and creating lean muscle stores.

How to do-

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart between two kettlebells. Hinge at the hips and knees with a flat back to bend down and grab the handles. 

  • Brace core and extend hips and knees to stand, with arms long and weights by sides.

  • Draw shoulders down and back and stand tall to start. Walk forward, taking small steps and moving weights as little as possible.

  • Continue for 45 to 60 seconds. Try 3 sets.

Correct Form

  • Pull shoulders down and back to keep your shoulders "packed" and stable.

  • Grip the weights firmly to increase the contraction in your core and back muscles.

  • Make sure to hold the weights slightly away from your body and slightly externally rotate your shoulders so they don't bump your sides.

  • Pull your ribcage down so that you don't arch your back. Engage your core.


One-Arm Carry

A tricky test of core strength, the one-arm farmer’s walk is the natural progression from the standard two-arm version. In addition to the trap- and back-building benefits garnered from the standard carry, this variant recruits much of the core abdominal fibres in order to stabilise the body. One-arm lifts are also a great way to iron out any muscular imbalances.

Inverted Kettlebell Carry

If your shoulders are feeling battered and bruised from a heavy benching session or too much time at a desk, then give the inverted kettlebell carry a try. Holding a single kettlebell in one arm upside down by its handle, brace your core and keep a neutral spine. This move activates the rotator cuff muscles like no other carry, and the rotator cuffs are crucial for shoulder mobility and range of motion.

Shopping Bags

As surprising as it sounds, carrying shopping bags may help you say bye bye to those bingo wings. The stance you observe while carrying shopping bags is somewhat similar to that in Farmer’s walk. So, shopping sprees are not that bad after all!


Works on your grip strength

Farmers’ walk automatically improves your grip strength, which can prove beneficial for such sports as wrestling, mixed martial arts and football.

Develops your calf muscles

Execute a series of farmer’s carries and you’ll quickly break through the boredom. The only catch is you need to walk on your tiptoes. If you want to challenge yourself even more, find a hill and walk up it.

Builds forearm muscles

Start doing farmer’s walk at the end of your workouts two or three days a week will shape up your forearm and transform your muscle definition within no time.

Improves core strength and overall strength

Any time you hold heavy objects at your sides while walking, you need to engage your core muscles to maintain an erect posture. This, in turn, leads to a stronger core. Further, Just simply walking with heavy objects dangling at your sides will make you stronger through your whole body.

Farmer’s walk is a great exercise which can be done without complex equipments. It is feasible and at the same time highly effective.

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