The Farmer's Walk

The beauty of the Farmer's Walk lies in its simplicity. Pick up something heavy and walk.  Set it down and repeat.  It is so simple that I think it sometimes gets over looked as one of the best exercises that we can do to strengthen our body.  There are many ways to program this powerful exercise but the easiest way is to start with two dumbbells of equal weight and to walk for 25 to 50 feet and work up from there.  

  • Light weight and long distance (40-60m)
  • Mid weight and mid distance (20-30m)
  • Heavy weight and short distance (10-15m)

There are many ways to carry the weight. The three most common ways to hold are by your side (suitcase), at the shoulders (racked), and overhead.  Strength coach, Dan John is recognized the most for bringing loaded carries into mainstream training recently. He claims that they can change your life.

This exercise engages all the muscles groups in one movement.  Without realizing it you may have been doing this your whole life by brining in the groceries, carrying bags of ice or beach chairs.  Next time you are picking up something heavy, check in with your posture and walk like you have a book on your head!  Make sure to keep your chest up, shoulders back and core tight.


“A word of caution: These activities are not magic. They don’t automatically install movement quality. They simply provide the opportunity should the individual be up to the challenge. Each of these activities imposes natural obstacles and requires technical attention. There is usually a coordination of attributes not often used together, such as balance and strength or quickness and alignment. These activities usually require instruction to provide safety and maximize benefits. If you do not respect them, they can impose risk.

— Gray Cook


The benefits of Farmer's Walk: 

1.) Strength in your grip - Someone with a strong grip is able to lift heavier weights and stay longer on the pull up bar.

2.) Strong and healthy shoulders - Heavy farmers carries have been shown to set the shoulder blades in a stable position.  Make sure to keep your shoulders back

3.) Core Strength - In Stuart McGill's research has shown how the farmer's walk activate the entire abdominal wall, obliques and create a strong and stable trunk. 

4.) Fat loss - This is a great challenge to accelerate the metabolism for fat loss.  It is high intensity which means a greater metabolic impact.  

Yours in health,