New York training legend, chiropractor and former Hard Gainer magazine contributor Doctor Ken Leistner was once asked by a reader what the farmer’s walk trains; he answered “Your body!” (Ken Leistner, “Asking Dr. Ken,” Hard Gainer January-February, 1996, 13) This exercise is a great example of functional fitness. Instead of isolating the forearms, back and legs loaded carry movements work your body as an integrated whole. You can use a whole range of implements and different workouts to get great benefits from the farmer’s walk.
Old Fashioned Training – Cutting Edge Results – Farmer’s Walk
Full-body workouts and functional training are hot topics right now, but exercises like the farmer’s walk have a long history of building muscle giving trainees a tough workout. Coach and former college athlete Dan John has high praise for this exercise: “The loaded carry does more to expand athletic qualities than any other single thing I’ve attempted in my career…” (source) It is the definition of simplicity: squat down and grasp your chosen implements, stand up with your arms at your sides and start walking. For the most basic version pick up a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells and walk around your gym, house or yard. Make sure your path is free of obstructions to avoid accidents.
Loaded Carry Workout Tips
The farmer’s walk is a simple exercise, but you can benefit from tips to improve your results. Your choice of implements includes:
- Sand Bags
- Jugs & Pales filled with sand or water
- Logs 7 “Torpedoes” (seen below)
Dumbbells are a common choice and will suit most trainees most of the time, but for those who want to experiment there is no shortage of shapes, sizes and grips to try while performing the farmer’s walk. Lifters or climbers chalk will help will help you maintain a firm grip, but check with staff before using it at a gym because some don’t want the potential mess. The loaded carry can be performed as a full body warm-up, as part of a circuit program or as a finisher to end your workout with a bang. Whichever way you decide is best for you the loaded carry can give your whole body a boost.