Farmers Walk

5 Reasons Why You Should Do The Farmers Walk

Dan John says, “If you are an athlete and integrate the farmers walk into your workout routine for three weeks, it will increase your performance of all other exercises and in competition.”

If you take a more detailed look at the fundamental human movements, the prime focus should lie on “loaded carries”. And the farmers walk is the basic exercise for the carries.

You are not an athlete? You are exclusively training for a stronger everyday life? In that case, you will benefit from this exercise as well.

The farmers walk is just one of those exercises that should not be missing from any workout routine.

Here are five big benefits of the exercise:

#1 Easy to perform

Find two weights, pick them up and take a walk with them. That’s it. This exercise is suited for everyone. And that’s what we do as well. I’m betting that everybody occasionally picks up something and carries it from A to B. Might it be one or two suitcases on a trip or a watering can in the garden when watering your plants. Shopping is also a relevant topic in this regard. Integrating this exercise into your workout should not be too hard.

#2 High carry over

The reason Dan John is stating that this exercise will make you perform better in three weeks, provided you have never done it before, is the high carry over to other exercises and sports. The connection of lower and upper body will be effectively improved. You will learn to keep your body stable while moving with weights in your hands.

#3 Full body strength training

That’s obvious. This exercise looks so simple that one might not initially know which body regions are being trained at first sight. Everything is being trained? Yes, exactly. Simply everything. Through the high strain and high intensity, (provided you’re carrying heavy weights) it triggers the whole muscular system of your body. From the ankle up until your neck and down again. Heavy farmers walks are positively affecting your hormonal balance as proven by studies (Ghigiarelli et al (2013). Effects of Strongman Training on Salivary Testosterone Levels In a Sample of Trained Males. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(3), 738-747).

#4 Mental strength

When you divide your body weight on two kettlebells in your hands and want to carry them over a certain distance, you will get an instant feedback from your brain. It will swiftly try to convince you to put the weights down on the ground again. It is fascinating how far you will be able to carry the weights if you get to ignore your brain for a while.

#5 Grip strength

After your brain, your grip will be the second thing you’ll notice protesting. Aside mental strength, the grip is another weakness for most when performing this exercise in general. Deadlift, hanging leg raises, pull-ups, heavy one-arm swings, snatches… it is always the grip strength posing as the limiting factor. Doing the farmers walk two to three times a week will do wonders regarding your grip strength. It will feel like magic the next time you try to do a snatch test or heavy one-arm swings.

How to perform:

1. Find two weights and pick them up from the ground.

2. Take a walk. Try to reach a certain distance or make a time challenge.

Frequent mistakes:

#1 Cleanly picking up the weight from the ground is a basic part of the exercise and can easily be done wrong. Same goes for putting the weights back on the ground. If you find yourself unable to put down the weights in a controlled manner, let them drop while making sure to get your feet out of the way.

#2 The body has to be in an upright position during the walk. Imagine you are balancing a glass of water on your hat or are pushing the back of your head through your halo. So extend yourself and try to walk in a calm, controlled manner. If that is not possible and your shoulders are being pulled forward or you continuously get smaller, don’t be a fool and take on less weight.

#3 The weights are too light. Carrying two 4kg kettlebells in each hand over a distance of ten meters might not trigger the ideal effect on your body.

It is a good idea to lift weights. Now you know, that it is an even better idea to carry around weights sometimes with the farmers walk.

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