There are a precious few full body movement exercises out there that kick one’s butt. This might be why not everyone does them. You know, the deadlift, clean, clean and press, and squat and press to name a few. There is another one however that has been around for a while, and did not originate in the gym, but more so from hard labor out in the field.
The farmer’s walk.
The farmer’s walk is pretty much a deadlift but after you pick the weight up you walk with it for an extended amount of time or distance which makes it even more insane! 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.
This movement mimics work done out in the fields where someone is having to carry something heavy in each hand and walk a good distance. Someone got the great idea of incorporating this into the gym with either dumbbells or something else that can be picked up by each hand and walked with. It is maybe the simplest exercise one can do.
Here is a simple “how to” on performing a farmer’s walk:
- Arrange a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebell or anything heavy and put is on a ground.
- If you are trying farmers walk for the first time, make sure dumbbell weight is at least 40%-50% of your body weight.
- Lift them from the ground and walk for a specified distance. Distance could be anything from 40 meters to 1000 meters.
- Try your best to maintain correct posture, with a straight back, tight core, big chest, and tight shoulders.
- Supplement your dumbbells with additional weights to continue to see gains
Farmer’s walk is such a natural movement as well. With a straight back and tight core, getting stronger at performing this movement will help decrease the chance of injury in everyday life as well. This movement is also phenomenal at getting your heart rate up and making your lungs feel like they are going to burst. So, if you are looking at getting your stamina up, farmer’s walk is the way to go.
Some other eye pleasing benefits to this exercise is:
- Bigger forearms
- Bigger traps
- Bigger and stronger delts (shoulders)
- Weight loss
And maybe the best part of farmer’s walk is you can do them every day if you want. With the movement being so simple and natural, the body can continue to perform the movement day in a day out if physically able.