The Farmer’s Walk an Old School Strongman Exercise to Increase Your Lifting Performance

Every exercise has certain risk factors. If performed wrong, it can injure you, and the farmer’s walk is no different. However, it’s one of the exercises with slim chances of getting injured and with an ability to build muscles fast, increases strength, performance in big lifts, and also super helpful in losing body fat.

Furthermore, the farmers walk workout is the one that quickly targets and fries up multiple muscles quickly, for example, shoulders, back, and grip while making your lungs feel like you’ve gulped down a gallon of flammable jelly.

wilder fitness

The farmer’s walk is one of the meekest workouts. All you’ve to do is pick some heavyweights and walk as far as you can and repeat the same.

But, that’s also true that it’s not seen often done in the commercial gyms or say many ignore this exercise. The number one reason could be that it’s a simple exercise. On the other hand, people are more interested in performing trendy workouts than essential exercise.

With Farmers Walk Muscles Worked Are

By performing the farmers walk workout, you’re engaging different muscle groups in one single movement. It’s an old school strongman exercise that helps to build grip strength along with coordinated body effort. The farmers walk workout is the rare one that takes your real physical and mental endurance test.

Here is the breakdown of the different muscles involved with the farmers walk, namely Arms, Back & Shoulders, Core, and Legs.


Let’s look into each one by one.


By lifting heavy weights relentlessly, within a minute, your arms will be on fire. It’ll try separating your shoulders and elbows from the shoulder sockets. Along with arms, your forearms will also get an intense workout helping your grip strength and using your biceps and triceps for stabilizing the elbow and shoulder joints.

Back & Shoulders

Back and shoulders, especially traps, are other heavily targeted muscle groups whenever you perform farmers walk. The muscle groups work together for continuous contraction and keeping your shoulder blades together and down while keeping your shoulder joints stabilized.


It helps you develop tighter, more muscular abs. Farmers walk workout hits core muscles quite hard also back, and abdomen works in synchronization for supporting your torso and that additional weight. Another thing to note is that it’s better to keep your abs tight while performing farmers walk exercise as it helps protect your lower back while preventing vertebral buckling or any unusual stress.


Yes, legs also equally work. As the name implies, farmers walk is performed by walking. It means your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus minimums, gluteus medius, and calf muscles are also used extensively, and that loaded weight does create extra tension.

Here’s How to Do Farmers Walk Workout

Yes, it’s only walking. But, it’s equally important to know how to perform the farmers walk. Though it doesn’t carry any serious threat of injury, it’ll be good if everyone knows how to perform this farmer walk workout properly, so better results can be achieved.

The farmers walk initially loaded carry, which is easier to perform. With the set of dumbbells, kettlebells, a trap deadlift bar, or specific equipment, farmers walk handles, and you can perform it.

First, arrange a pair of heavy dumbbells or other equipment you’re using like farmers walk handles and put it properly on the ground.

  • If you’re a beginner who hasn’t done farmers walk, it’s suggested to use dumbbell as weight which is at least half of your body weight.
  • Lift them from the ground with a deadlift position and walk for a certain distance. The distance can vary from 50 M to 1000 M depending upon how much you’re capable of doing so.
  • Maintain your posture correctly, with a tight shoulder and straight back while walking.
  • To get stronger progressively with modest gains, you start adding additional weights as you start getting used to with the current weight you’re doing.

The Farmers Walk Benefits

Many lifters promote some expected benefits of farmers walking from years, but still, many people haven’t tried this exercise. Farmers walk one of the simple yet effective workouts that helps you build some serious muscle mass while helping you shed those extra body fats.

Strengthens Your Grip

Farmers walk an epitome of grip strengthening exercise. It helps to strengthen the ability to grip, hold, and pull anything with your hand. It’s helpful with keys strength exercises such as the deadlift. Eventually, helping you build strength, lift heavier barbells and objects while maintaining proper control and technique.

Hypertrophy & Muscle Mass

The ability to stay under load and perform for a longer duration using heavy weights can impact muscles’ strength and size.

Controlled Postural Strength

Postural control and strength are needed for allowing to properly integrate farmers walk movement, especially when you’re carrying big loads in various environments. And by walking using such big weights, you’re also making your spine vulnerable to injuries. By doing carries, you’ll be able to train deeper tissues around your spines. Ultimately enhancing your movement patterns, postural strength, and control in exercises like presses, deadlifts, and squats.

Big Trapezius Muscle

Whenever someone performs farmers walk workout, their traps get stimulated due to time under tension. It’s one of the most effective exercises for trapezius workout.

For instance, whenever you perform farmers walk workout, the traps start getting trained, because it remains contracted entire time. Many even suggest performing farmers walk along with dumbbell shrugs.

In other words, in other traps exercises, muscles are trained in a certain part where movement takes place. But with the farmers walk, it covers your whole trapezius muscle.

Helps in Weight Loss

Whenever someone performs strength training, along with muscle building, weight loss comes as a bonus. Whether you’re a newbie, a pro bodybuilder or powerlifter, strength training always helps shed extra body fat, and farmers walk exercise is no different.

Reasons behind it are like:

  • Compound Exercise: As mentioned above, it covers multiple significant muscles, and definitely, it’s challenging for it too, which makes it a great compound movement. And, compound movements are great for weight loss.
  • Higher Metabolism Rate: Farmers walk is excellent for building muscles. It’s similar to a full-body workout. Ultimately, it leads to increased metabolism, which means higher chances of weight loss.
  • Intense Workout: Generally, farmers walk is performed within one minute or over, making it an intense burst of activity for your whole body. If you use a weight heavy enough, it’ll also increase your heart rate, making it one of a high-intensity cardio workout, which is quite useful for losing weight.

Stronger Core

Whenever someone thinks about the farmers walk benefits; usually, they think that it’s best for shoulders, upper back, and arms. However, it’s not that true, and we don’t even blame you for that, keeping into consideration how it looks.

As mentioned above, it involves core to be precise; it keeps your core engaged throughout, which equally improves your chance of toning that area. But it also helps in developing stability as well.

Stronger Back & Shoulders

When you perform farmers walk workout, it forces your trapezius muscle to contact and support your shoulder blades for the entire farmers walk session.

When you hold it in the correct form, i.e., shoulder blades aligned together and in their lowest position, your traps will work with other muscle groups of the upper back to ensure that your shoulder joints are in a stable position. Ultimately, strengthening the entire area.

Furthermore, as the deltoids are used for rotating and abducting shoulder, it’ll benefit from farmers walk for the entirety of the exercise.

Also, farmers’ walk exercise will help build that nice round appearance while stacking significant muscle mass and strength in that particular area due to heavyweights and other existing free weights training sessions.

Different Variations of Farmers Walk

Some of the variations you can integrate apart from standard farmers walk are like

Zercher Carry

If you want to try something different instead of that standard farmers walk, you can opt for Zercher carry. Yes, it’ll help in hypertrophy. For performing Zercher carry workout, take out a barbell from a rack by placing it in between the arms crook.

Also, brace your core before lifting and also keep your torso tight and upright throughout the movement. For protecting your arms, you can put a pad on the bar. It’ll be fine. Now, walk according to a set distance for a time, 40 to 50 seconds will be enough to make it challenging.

Kettlebell Carries

If your gym doesn’t have its specific equipment called farmers walk handles, no need to fret kettlebells will be fine. They’ve shorter handles, and also due to their size and shape, it’s relatively easier to keep it stable.

However, it may not be challenging if you’re looking for some hardcore farmers walk. But yes, it’s a good option for progressing. Also, kettlebells are good for grip strength.

Trap Bar Carries

Mostly all the gyms have this trap bar. If dumbbells are not enough, you can try standing inside a heavy trap bar loaded with the needed weight and grab the two handles and stand up and walk as much you can.

Here’s How to Integrate Farmers Walk Into Your Session

The farmers walk workout is quite simple. You can add it to any training session and benefit from it. Here below are some of the version of loaded carry which you can integrate at the end of every strength training session.

  • Day 1: Push Day – Perform one set of standard farmers walk.
  • Day 2: Pull Day – Perform one set of Zercher carry.
  • Day 3: Leg Day – Go for kettlebell carries.

Workout to increase the time or else load of the set. For instance:

  • First week – Walk 25 feet (one side is 25 feet) for three times.
  • Second week – Walk 30 feet (one side is 30 feet) for three times.
  • Third week – Try increasing the weight and walk 25 feet again.
  • Fourth week – Walk 30 feet with that new heavier weight you chose.

If possible, keep a note of the weight you lifted and how much distance you covered and try to improve every week. Try rotating your workout every week. For instance, if you have access to farmers walk handles, use that, and then also look for other options such as Zercher carry, kettlebell carry or trap bar carries.

Essential Things to Remember While Performing Farmers Walk

Another critical point to note is that you don’t see success with farmers walk by lifting heavy weights, but how you walk using the given weight matters the most.

Walking With Proper Posture

Every exercise demands proper form. Ego often comes in between, and we also give into it. Farmers walk no different. The temptation to perform a heavy farmer’s walk can adopt to a head forward or rounded shoulder posture.

But performing farmers walk exercise in such a way may lead to considerable stress on your neck, joints, and upper body. For making it safer while keeping it challenging, it’s suggested to first work on your positioning, even if maintaining your tall spine comes at lifting small weights instead of those heavy.

Never compromise your posture with a pair of heavyweights. Always perfect with a load and try to make it challenging while progressing without losing on your form.

Heavy or Light Weight

It’s the obvious question in most of all the exercises. Many tend to lift the heavyweight even if it compromises form. Though, even if you can lift heavy with proper form, lightweight does have its benefits.

For instance, if you do, farmers walk for a more extended time using lightweight. It’ll make it challenging and give similar effects that you get on cardio sessions, something similar to sprints while completely working on other loading and neural demand. Also, it’ll help to lose fat, and it’s a good finisher workout, too.

On the other hand, if you go for a heavyweight, slowly by loading weights after weight, it’ll become a strength-based workout, which will increase your upper body while increasing your grip strength dramatically.

Closing Thoughts

Farmers walk one of the well-known workouts, which is iconic in the World’s Strongest Man event. If done correctly, it’ll make you bigger and stronger while helping you lose fat. It’s the brutal workout, which gives great results, and it shouldn’t be underestimated.

Satinder Chowdhry Avatar

Satinder Chowdhry