13 Benefits of Farmer Walk Exercise

If you don't do the farmer's walk or farmer walk as part of your bodybuilding routine, you are missing something.

This exercise targets muscles all over your body, including transverse abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, latissimus dorsi (latissimus dorsi), trapezius, posterior deltoids, biceps , triceps and forearms. And it strengthens all of those muscles while increasing your heart rate and cardiovascular health.

Read on to find out the benefits of this core exercise and how to do it to build head-to-toe muscle.

What is the farmer walk?

So called by English speakers (more precisely farmer's walk), it is a simple but very effective exercise that involves carrying a heavy load, usually kettlebells or dumbbells while walking. After you have traveled a given distance, you put the weights down on the floor and repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.

You can program it into your workouts as a dynamic warm-up, main exercise or to finish you off at the end of the session.

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How to properly do the Farmer's Walk Exercise

How to do

  • Squat down to grab the weights on either side;
  • Contract your abdominal strap and keep your back straight to get up using the strength of your quadriceps and glutes;
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and the weights held firmly to either side at arm's length;
  • Keeping your abs tight, press your shoulder blades down and back to stabilize the load;
  • Walk around imagining that there is a rope pulling the top of your head up to the ceiling in order to stay straight.
Adjustable dumbbells 24kg

Muscles worked by the farmer walk

This movement has a lot in common with the dumbbell deadlift for which I have already written a complete article. It is one of the most complete bodybuilding exercises.

1. The abdominal strap

This complete exercise puts a lot of strain on the abdominals and lower back. Think of it as a moving board. Your abdomen is responsible for keeping the body straight and stable as you step forward with a straight torso.

Most of the work goes to the transverse abdominis, deep muscles that support the spine and pelvis. They are essential to ensure cohesion between the upper body and the lower body. Of course, the rectus abdominis will also work, especially since you need to keep your abs tight almost all the time.

2. Back, shoulders and arms

During exercise, the upper back and shoulder muscles, including the traps, rotator cuff, and deltoids, work together to keep your shoulders strong and stable.

During this time, your arms are just as active. The biceps and triceps stay tight to keep the arms stiff, while the hands and forearms work hard to hold the load. If it's too hard for your hands, use lifting straps to help you hold heavy objects securely.

3. Hips, buttocks and legs

In your training plan, also take into account that the farmer's walk targets all the muscles of the lower body.

When you lift the load, your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves all work together to stabilize you and propel you forward.

Muscle gain with elastics

Benefits of Farmer's Walk

farmer's walk exercise
You don't have to wear that much to progress

This exercise will not necessarily help you find work on a farm 😋 But it will really improve your physical condition in many areas.

Let's see together 13 benefits of the Farmer Walk :

1. Improves posture

While many have jobs that require them to sit for more than 8 hours a day, it's no wonder most people have posture problems.

Fortunately, this can be corrected with good exercise habits. And that's where the farmer walk will come in very handy!

This movement is one of the strength exercises that improves your posture the most if done well. Indeed, it increases your awareness of your muscles and your body in general and forcing you to correct your position. On top of that, it creates stability and reduces muscle imbalances.

2. Reduces Risk of Injury

If you think a bit, you'll notice that the farmer's walk is actually quite a natural movement for our bodies (with lighter weights of course). It is quite natural for us to transport objects from one place to another by distributing the load on each side. I'm sure that's what you already do with groceries.

If you incorporate this exercise into your training routine in small increments, the risk of injury is low. This obviously involves keep in good shape and focus on what you're doing.

Although there is risk with any exercise, one of the benefits of Farmer's Walk is that it is less likely to cause injury than many other heavy lifting exercises.

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3. The farmer walk gives grip

Low hand and finger strength is definitely something you want to fix before you start taking deadlifts or other strength training techniques seriously. If you don't focus on your grip, you will never be able to reach your maximum potential in bodybuilding or other sports.

Luckily for you, the long list of Farmer's Walk benefits includes a improved grip strength. This exercise works your wrists, hands, forearms, shoulders, and back in unison. All of these muscles can impact your grip when properly trained.

Your wrists, hands and forearms, in particular, will be strengthened quickly with regular practice of the farmer walk because of the effort required of them (with proper form). Nothing will slip out of your hands.

Be careful not to drink from crystal glasses after a session 😂

4. Builds muscle mass quickly

The Farmer's Walk works surprisingly well for building muscle mass while being more affordable than deadlifts and squats.

This exercise works your muscles in a slightly different way than your typical strength exercises, making it the perfect addition to your workout routine.

Rather than requiring your muscles to push upwards against gravity, the focus is on lifting the weights and then carrying them without momentum. Indeed, you can hardly cheat by using the momentum once loaded like a donkey...

This movement further develops muscle mass by taking increasingly heavy loads and walking short distances.

The best tips for building muscle mass with the Farmer's Walk are:

  • Work on your grip first. Start with weights within reach and longer distances keeping your arms well at your sides (this will help you when carrying heavier weights);
  • As the sessions progress, gradually increase the weights, as you would for other strength exercises;
  • Do this alongside exercises like squats or deadlifts for best results. You will challenge your stabilizing muscles and progress in all these exercises!

5. Promotes Fat Loss

Whether you're a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or new to fitness, shedding excess fat is probably one of the Farmer Walk benefits you'll want to take advantage of.

This exercise promotes fat burning for the following reasons:

  • It is an exercise to high impact. You are carrying a lot of weight, which prevents you from slacking off during exercise! Your muscles are working hard and burning extra fat;
  • It's a complete exercise. Your entire body is put to the test, making for an intense, calorie-consuming workout.
  • The effort is relatively long and ask for concentration. Typically, a round takes around 60 seconds or more, which is intense enough for the whole body and does wonders for burning fat and speeding up metabolism. Your heart will pound hard, just as much as on a high-intensity cardio workout (notoriously good for melting fat).

6. It's high level core training

When you think of the benefits of this exercise, you easily imagine the development of the quadriceps, shoulders, arms, and upper back. You are right !

However, what you can't see when watching videos of this exercise is the tension in the abdominal strap. To get the most out of exercise, you should always engage the abs before starting the walk.

If you keep the core area of your body engaged throughout the exercise, you not only improve your chances of toning that area, but you also develop incredible stability there. You must be aware that the strength of the body comes above all from the abdominal strap.

This development will ultimately improve your chances of mastering more intense strength exercises.

7. Improves your athletic abilities

Athletics includes general fitness levels, agility and strength among others.

If you like to practice different sports or want to be fit in all situations of everyday life, you should definitely focus on the farmer's walk.

This movement will help you sharpen your concentration, coordination, mental stamina, balance, etc. I'm sure it will drastically change your overall abilities. 

8. Improves power and strength

We have already talked about core training or development of the abdominal strap. But it's so true that a solid core is important to excel in every exercise or physical activity. Without this core reinforcement, you limit both your power and your overall strength.

Not only will the Farmer's Walk strengthen your cladding, but it will increase your power and your overall strength in all other areas of the body.

Because your core will provide better support for the rest of the body, you'll be able to better engage the rest of your muscles at all times.

ALSO READ:  4 variations of the dumbbell deadlift or deadlift (videos)

There is perhaps no other exercise that uses the maximum strength of your muscles as much as the farmer walk. The heavier you can carry, the more strength and power you will develop. Try !

9. Builds Stamina

In terms of physical endurance, the benefits of the farmer's walk are almost limitless. If you want to train more for endurance than power, walk with slightly lighter weights and cover a greater distance.

It should still be hard on your muscles so they can adjust to the weight and distance as you progress, but not so hard that you can't. transport them safely over the set distance.

As said before, mental endurance is also developed by this exercise. And it's true whether you choose a shorter distance with a heavier weight or a longer distance and a lighter weight.

If you choose the option of shorter distance, your mental endurance will improve in terms of resistance to very intense and painful situations when it comes to playing sports or lifting heavy loads.

On the other hand, if you choose to run a longer distance with lighter weight, your mental endurance will improve in terms of pushing through longer but less impactful bouts of intense activity.

10. Builds abs and obliques

I want to talk here, no longer about the development of strength, but about the search for aesthetics in the abs. This morning again a reader told me about his difficulty in having apparent abs and getting rid of his love handles.

the development of rectus abdominis and obliques is one of the most sought after goals by those interested in fitness. The problem with actually achieving them is that most people are misinformed and spend all their effort training the muscles the wrong way. This leads to disillusionment and little or no results…

Luckily, this is where the Farmer's Walk comes in handy, especially as part of a varied weight training program. You can ditch most ab exercises if you focus on this one instead. And since it burns a lot of calories, you will more easily reach your goal of visible abs. 

Of course, this involves adopting a suitable diet like my “I'm learning to eat to lose weight” program. Don't forget that your line depends at 80 % on what's going on in your kitchen 😉

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11. Muscular forearms

Exercises that have a significant impact on the forearms are not so numerous. Most of the time, people just focus on the biceps and triceps and leave the forearms to fend for themselves…

This will no longer be your case if you do this complete exercise. The farmer walk benefits the forearms by exerting extra pressure compared to other weighted exercises such as deadlifts or various presses. This is particularly due to the fact that the load must be restrained against gravity.

Develop stronger forearms will benefit other exercises as your grip strength will improve. As your forearm strength improves, you will be able to ditch the lifting straps and maintain a better grip on dumbbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, etc.

Another benefit is that your forearms will gain muscle mass and look more toned.

12. Strong trapezes thanks to the farmer walk

There are exercises that work better for training certain muscles than others.

When it comes to developing those pesky traps, those pesky muscles that only seem to develop for bodybuilders, the farmer's walk is actually the most effective exercise to choose!

During the walk itself, the trapezius muscles must constantly remain contracted. Many say that the benefits of this exercise on these muscles are crucial. This is especially true if you're also doing dumbbell shrugs.

In most exercises for the trapezius, these muscles are used only in certain phases of the movement. This means that the farmer walk deserves the gold medal in this area 🥇

13. Strengthens the back and shoulders

The upper torso can be tricky to train when many exercises focus on the biceps, triceps, front, back, etc.

That's why the Farmer's Walk has so much to offer those looking to work their shoulders and upper back.

In terms of developing a strong back, this exercise helps by forcing the trapezoids to contract and keeping the shoulder blades in the correct position throughout the walk.

If you do it with the right form, i.e. squeezing the shoulder blades into their lowest position, the traps work hard alongside other upper back muscles to keep your shoulder joints stable. . It is this action that works them and ultimately strengthens the entire area.

ALSO READ:  Dumbbell shoulder muscles: TOP 7 exercises in video

As the function of deltoids is to allow rotation and abduction of your shoulder, they work during the entire exercise.

This will give a nice round volume in the shoulders and allow you to gain significant strength in this muscle group.

What equipment to use for the farmer's walk

Ativafit cheap adjustable dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells not expensive for the farmer's walk

In fact, you could start by just using buckets full of sand. But it's quite difficult in an apartment. 

The traditional choice you have is to use:

  • A pair of kettlebells. It's great for gripping, but has the downside of requiring you to have multiple pairs if you want to increase or decrease the load. In the end, it can be very expensive, but kettlebells have the advantage of being able to be used for many bodybuilding exercises. Fortunately, there are adjustable models like those of Sveltus .
  • A trap bar. This equipment is part of the special bars that are usually used for deadlifts or deadlifts. Again, the grip is very good. The problem is that it is expensive and you cannot use it for many exercises. In addition, you will have to invest in a lot of Olympic discs and the loading is quite slow between sets.
  • A pair of adjustable dumbbells. Although the initial investment is quite significant, it is the most versatile and efficient equipment for load changes between series. You will find models up to over 40 kilos for each dumbbell, which is enough for the majority of users. And you can of course use them for all your strength training.

Here are the best models currently available at Amazon (list updated regularly):

Visual
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Set D'dumbbells Bodybuilding Adjustable 2...
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell for Gym or Home (One...
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Description
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Dumbbell Set Adjustable Bodybuilding 2...
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell for Gym or Home (One...
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Our opinion
Good quality 7.5-15kg per dumbbell kits
A very good affordable adjustable dumbbell from 2.5 to 25 kg
An unbeatable price for a pair of 2 times 2.5 to 25 kg
Attention, the price of the Bowflex 552i of 24kg is per unit
Expensive for a 22.5kg pair, but it's solid
Our rating
3/5
4,5/5
5/5
4,5/5
4/5
Current price
Prix indisponible
186,99 €
364,99 €
249,90 €
435,48 €
Visual
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Set D'dumbbells Bodybuilding Adjustable 2...
Description
#DoYourFitness Dumbbells Dumbbell Set Adjustable Bodybuilding 2...
Our opinion
Good quality 7.5-15kg per dumbbell kits
Our rating
3/5
Current price
Prix indisponible
Click for more information
Visual
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
Description
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbells for Men and Women Weight 25 kg
Our opinion
A very good affordable adjustable dumbbell from 2.5 to 25 kg
Our rating
4,5/5
Current price
186,99 €
Click for more information
Visual
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell for Gym or Home (One...
Description
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell for Gym or Home (One...
Our opinion
An unbeatable price for a pair of 2 times 2.5 to 25 kg
Our rating
5/5
Current price
364,99 €
Click for more information
Visual
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
Description
Bowflex SelectTech 552i Variable Load Compact Dumbbell (price per...
Our opinion
Attention, the price of the Bowflex 552i of 24kg is per unit
Our rating
4,5/5
Current price
249,90 €
Click for more information
Visual
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Description
PowerBlock Sport 90 EXP Stage 1 Adjustable Dumbbells
Our opinion
Expensive for a 22.5kg pair, but it's solid
Our rating
4/5
Current price
435,48 €
Click for more information

You will also find some interesting adjustable dumbbells in the Avalon Gear store:

Farmer walk exercise – Conclusion

In fact, the heavier your pair of dumbbells or kettlebells, the more muscle mass you promote. However, you must find the right compromise between the difficulty of the exercise, your strength goal and your endurance.

Inevitably, if the load is very heavy, you will move a short distance, while a lighter load will allow you to travel a longer distance. You will also be able to work on your cardiovascular capacities by doing a greater number of rounds.

It is sure that after a farmer's walk session, a bodyweight session will suddenly seem easier. And in everyday life, everything will seem lighter 😉

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Last update on 2022-11-04 / Affiliate links / Some images are from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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