How To Do Farmer’s Walk Efficiently

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Do you usually lift heavy groceries with both hands on your way to the car? You’ve probably been indirectly doing the farmer’s walk, which is a great strengthening exercise. Here’s how to execute it properly for your next workout!

Farmer’s Walk: Step-by-Step Guide, Variations, and Benefits

What is the Farmer's Walk?

man performs exercise called farmers walk | farmer's walk
Also known as the “farmer’s carry”, the farmer’s walk is a type of exercise involving a loaded carry in each hand while walking. This movement engages the upper body, lower body, and core while enhancing your total body strength.

It’s the perfect exercise for beginners who want to incorporate weights into their workouts. It’s simple enough to include in most warm-ups, but it’s also very effective for more complex routines.

How To Do the Farmer's Walk

muscular sportsman doing farmers walk | farmer's walk

Step 1: Choose Two Dumbbells or Kettlebells of the Same Weight

Go for a weight that you are comfortable with, but it should have enough resistance to make the exercise more effective. You do not have to go for the heaviest dumbbells—start off with a few kilos first to familiarize yourself with the heft.

Step 2: Stand Tall With Both Weights on Each Hand

Lift the weights with a firm grip on each side and stand in place with your feet at least a few inches apart. Keep your shoulders tight, your back straight, and your core engaged.

Step 3: Start Walking

To initiate movement, begin with small steps while keeping your posture upright. Looking at a straight direction will keep your head up as you walk.

If you don’t feel your shoulders pulling back and your core muscles contracting, you might be doing it wrong. Try again until you feel the burn while walking. Continue taking steps depending on your desired distance and duration.

Step 4: Rest and Repeat

After completing your steps, rest for 1-2 minutes before beginning another set. Once you become used to it, you can increase the weight and speed up your pace for your next repetition. You may also add more steps for a shorter amount of time to turn it into a cardiovascular exercise.

Other Variations You Can Try

close male hands weights farmers walk | farmer's walk
The farmer’s carry can already be intense, but you can modify the exercise to match your strength levels as they progress. Here are some variations you can try if you are up for the challenge.

1. Overhead Carry

Instead of lifting the dumbbells or kettlebells with your arms on the side, you can try an overhead carry. This variation will challenge your shoulders to keep the weights from falling, but make sure they are not too heavy to keep the balance.

2. Unilateral Carry

This specific carry can be achieved using kettlebells. Hold the weights just like how you would lift a barbell in a clean and jerk form, but keep them close to your chest and at shoulder level instead of extending your arms upward.


3. Uneven Carry

As the name suggests, use different weights for each hand and exchange them after every set. You can also incorporate an overhead carry on the hand with a lighter dumbbell, while the hand with the heavier one can remain down on your side.

4. One-Arm Carry

Test your core strength and balance by doing the one-arm carry-on your next workout. It’s as easy as it sounds: hold a dumbbell on only one hand as you walk. Make sure to switch the weight to the other hand after every set.

Benefits of the Farmer's Walk

two muscular men during competition farmers | farmer's walk

  • Develops a strong core
  • Tones the arms, shoulders, and back
  • Improves posture
  • Helps build muscle mass
  • Strengthens grip
  • Increases cardiovascular endurance

Which Variation of Farmer's Walk Are You Going to Try?

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You might have not realized it before, but you might have been doing the farmer’s walk in some of your physical activities. Learning how to do it properly will come in handy for your next workout. Just make sure to use weights that you can handle to avoid injuries.

Do you have your own variations of the farmer’s walk? Let us know in the comments below!

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