(This article is best enjoyed by watching the video here–some of the instructions can’t be told in words–but if you insist, below is the written version.)
The Farmer’s walk, AKA Farmer’s Carry, is an exercise that looks easy and downright stupid to some people. What benefit is there to walk around holding (heavy) weights? Plus, won’t it turn me into a giant powerlifter? No, it won’t bulk you up, but it will make you functionally strong and powerful. Turns out, there are tons of benefits to this full-body exercise. The fact that even beginners/inexperienced exercisers can do it– and absolutely should–is just an added bonus.
- It strengthens your core muscles.
- It improves your posture.
- It increases your grip strength.
- It works practically every muscle in your body (lats, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, erectors, upper back, abs, all of your arm muscles)
- It enhances your cardiovascular abilities.
- It works your rotator cuff muscles, leading to better shoulder stability.
- It will improve whatever sport you’re playing or engaging in.
- Last, but not least, you’ll finally be able to carry heavy grocery bags without much effort.
There are many variations of this exercise, but let’s start with the most basic one – bilateral or two-handed–carry. If you’re a novice exerciser, definitely start with this one.
HOW TO DO A BILATERAL FARMER’S WALK SAFELY.
- Choose a set of weights. Dumbbells, kettlebells, water bottles whatever you have available. A good starting weight is 15-25 pounds on each side. Don’t make them too light or there won’t be a point doing the exercise.
- Pick the weights up, using a hip hinge. (Told you, watch the video.)
- Walk 10- 15 steps in one direction in a straight line, put the weights down, using a hip hinge. Turn around, pick the weights up, and walk back to the starting point. Instead of counting steps, you can also just walk for 25-30 seconds without a break.
- Repeat two more times so you have done three sets total.
- Increase the weight/steps once it gets easy. Your heart should be pumping and you should feel somewhat depleted in your muscles after each set!
VARIATIONS OF FARMER’S CARRY THAT YOU SHOULD TRY (ONCE YOU’RE CONFIDENT YOU’RE STRONG ENOUGH.)
- The Suitcase Carry.
- The Racked Carry.
- The Waiter’s Carry.
- Rack and Suitcase.
- Waiter and Suitcase.
- Bottoms Up.