The Farmer Walk is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to build functional strength and mass. By simply picking up a weight and moving it from one place to another you can rapidly gain core strength, core stability, improved posture, grip strength, overall strength and endurance, mental fortitude, and overall muscular endurance.
As elite strength coach Dan John says, “…if I can get you to just the farmer walk…just the farmer walk…in 3 weeks you’re better.”
While the Farmer Walk is extremely simple, there are a few cues that will ensure that you carry the weight safely and get the maximum benefits from this challenging exercise. These cues are specifically for a one-sided fat bar Farmer Walk, but could be applied to any of the dozens of variations of the drill.
Keep your shoulders back and tucked throughout the Farmer Walk. This will reinforce a neutral spinal position and ensure that you avoid wasting energy “shrugging” the weight as you walk.
Keep your eyes on the prize! Pick a point 25, 50, or 100 meters away and focus on that spot for the entire Farmer Walk. This will help ensure that you reach the goal and take your mind of the pain that your body is enduring to get there.
Make sure you flex your abdominal muscles throughout the drill. This will encourage core strength development, stability, and protect your spine by reinforcing neutral alignment.
Keep your arm or arms locked out during the walk. This isn’t a bicep drill, it’s a full body exercise. If you are flexing your arms they will fail much sooner than the rest of your body, making you fail before you reach your objective.
Keep a tight, active grip on the weight. This will develop your crushing grip strength and muscular endurance in your hands and forearms. Eventually you be able to carry a lot more weight much farther.
Keep a steady pace during the Farmer Walk. This will allow you to gain the most from the drill, reinforce good posture and form, and allow you to more accurately judge your progress as your strength develops.
In line with your steady pace should be deliberate, controlled steps. Don’t step too far; try to keep a step that allows your body to remain as upright as possible.
It doesn’t take much to add the Farmer Walk to your existing program, and the benefits you get will translate into heavier lifts and muscle development. Simply add a 25, 50, or 100 meter Farmer Walk into your workout three times a week and become the strongman you want to be.
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