Farmer Walks are one of my favorite exercises for targeting everything from my head to my toe. It makes my lists of my favorite exercises to do. I remember when I first started doing them, I was doing them 3 times a week. It felt amazing carrying a heavy pair of 80+ pound dumbbells, a barbell overhead, 100lb plates with fingers and other variations I did to challenge my whole body. Heck, I get a rush from the people that watched me doing them. I felt obliged to put on a good show for the viewers at the gym I use to go to.
I would hear people say, “look at how much weight he is walking with”, “look at his arms”, “el es muy fuerte” etc.
Farmer Walks and other variations of it are great for building strength, slabs of muscle, burning fat, and so forth.
When it comes to doing each variation of farmer walks, it’s more than just walking with heavy things in your hands. It involves some technique to make you’re doing it right and to prevent an unwanted injury that could sideline you.
The technique for having great form while doing farmers walks is to make sure you have a straight posture and no rounding of the back or leaning forward as you carry the weights. Because it puts a lot of pressure on the spine. Which sooner or later could lead to a painful injury.
A great way to make sure your back stays straight is to flex your abs and squeeze your glutes to keep you erect as possible. Also, as you walk you have to remember to breathe. Do not hold your breath, it’s hard to do an exercise when you’re not breathing properly.
And one last thing that really helps with carrying the weight is to make sure you’re gripping the dumbbells, plates, barbells, or whatever you using to do farmer walks with. Because the harder you grip these objects, the more stabilized the weight is in your hand. It’s more likely to not move around in your hand you walk. It also, brings other stabilizer muscles in the picture to help, it facilitates a body-mind connection, and it helps keep your body tight.
So the technique tips to keep in mind when doing any variation of farmer walks.
- Breathing properly and nothing your breath.
- Flex your abs
- Squeeze your glutes with each step
- Be erect as possible as walking(keeping your abs and glutes tight will ensure that you stay erect)
- Grip the object that you’re using as hard as you can
Ways to do them
- 5-gallon water jugs grabbing the top that gets punctured
- Cat litter containers full of water
- Pinching plates at the top with your fingers
- Holding the hexagon part of a dumbbell
- With kettlebells
- Deadlifting a barbell and walking with it
- Pressing a barbell over your head and walking with it
- Walking with two heavy dumbbells on a flat surface or up steps
I have demonstration videos on my YouTube channel if you want to visual see it.
Farmer Walks is an amazing exercise to do if you want to build raw whole body strength and grip strength. As I mentioned above, there are limitless variations that you can perform. Your mind is your limit. When I was doing these 3 times a week towards the end of 2014 to the mid-year of 2015 gave me a lot whole body strength and grip strength that allowed me to deadlift 500+ lbs at a bodyweight 160. I never grew in size, but I definitely got stronger.
If I was able to achieve tremendous body strength from putting in the work, then you should be able to do it too. If you want it bad enough, and maybe you’ll get more out of it than I got. Which I hope you do. So definitely give FW’s a shot and the other variations a shot in your workout regiment.
Until next time
– Larentay Walker
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