Farmer walks have made their way from strongman training into athletic workouts for their functionality and core integration. Strengthening the back body and abdominals is one of the best ways to avoid injury during a sport like football, while also developing grip strength and gait.
WHY USE FARMER WALKS?
Farmer walks fall into the category of gait since you are walking while holding a weight. This can be a variety of objects including trap bar deadlifts, farmer walk handles, dumbbells, or even a yoke. This exercises is great for strengthening the muscles of the cervical and thoracic back including rhomboids, erector spinae, serratus’, lattisimus dorsi, trapezius, deltoids, infraspinatus, teres major and minor, and scapulae amongst others.
The core and forearms should also be fired up during farmer walks if you’re walking with good posture. If you’re looking to get a full workout in, check out this post on how to program upper body training for athletes.
How to Perform Farmer Walks?
Farmer walks could be one of the easiest drills to set up for. Begin standing with your weights on either side of you resting on the floor. From here, you’ll push the hips back into a hinge position and bend the knees until you’re low enough to grab onto both farms walk handles or dumbbells, etc.
From here brace the core and get tight through the spine and abdominals as you straighten the legs to stand. Next you’ll simply go for a walk over whatever distance you’ve programmed.
It’s easy to succumb to the weights in your hand, so a lot of guys who are new to this drill or don’t have the core strength just yet will tend to round forward through the upper back and shoulders. Make sure to fight this by keeping your torso upright and tight, pulling the shoulders back and maintaining good posture.
Farmer walks are a great addition to any upper body or full body workout session, especially for the upcoming football season. I typically will have guys do farmer walks as a superset to another drill like bench press or a barbell row. Try walking with the weight for either time (30-60 sec) or distance (20-40yds).
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