Farmer’s walk: technique, benefits and muscles worked

The farmer’s walk is a key exercise in track and field competitions, such as the cross fit. It consists of walking with weight, more precisely with dumbbells, which is performed over certain distances. It is also known by its English name farmer’s walks and is practiced as a functional exercise thanks to its movements.

Although it is a very popular exercise among gym enthusiasts, it is not free from doubts, prejudices and errors when performing it. Today we teach you everything you need to know about it, so you can include it in your weight training routine.

Muscles worked on the farmer’s run

We still remember what the farmer’s walk consists of: steps that are taken for several meters holding a pair of dumbbells with outstretched arms. Choose the distance based on the capacity of the place, it can be from a couple and even 30 or 40 meters, as is common in competitions strong man.

For this reason, the workout involves almost every muscle in the body. Some actively and some passively (to keep balance). The most important ones that are worked on during a session are the following:

  • Buttocks: the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus allow for hip extension with each step. Their participation is active, even certain research suggest that it is the main beneficiary of a farmer’s walk routine.
  • Quadriceps: obviously it would be impossible to walk without the main leg muscle, the quadriceps. They receive most of the weight and prevent it from falling to your knees.
  • Hamstrings: Although they do not participate as actively as the previous ones, they are activated when the dumbbells are lifted off the ground and during the flexion of each step.
  • ABDOMINAL MUSCLES: keeping the torso straight is possible only with the help of the abdominal muscles. Everyone is involved in this exercise, from the rectus abdominus to the obliques.
  • Trapezius and shoulders: As the weight falls on the outstretched arms, the traps and, to a lesser extent, the shoulders contract to support it and prevent it from swinging sideways. The greater the distance travelled, the more they will activate.

Other muscles involved are the calves, lower back, erector spinae, forearms, biceps and triceps. As you can see, it is a multifunctional exercise in which you work the main muscle groups in one session.

How is it done?

The farmer's walk can be done in the gym
Due to the convenience of use, most people prefer to use dumbbells to perform the farmer’s walk.

At first glance doing the farmer’s walk seems very easy. The difficulty increases as you add more weight. The first thing you should do is clear the area where you will be doing this. In a gym this can be tricky, but if you’re doing it at home or in another space, make sure you don’t hit any obstacles along the way.

It also defines the exact distance you will travel. You can mark the exact point with a ribbon or even place an object (a disk, a bottle of water) that marks the end of the course. There is no minimum or maximum distance. You can start with 10 meters and then increase them to 15 or 20 according to your progress or your possibilities.

Once you consider this, you will proceed with the help of the following steps:

  1. Choose two dumbbells of the same weight. These should challenge you to go the distance, but at the same time allow you to do so without injuring yourself or compromising your posture.
  2. Place them on either side of your legs and stand with your back straight and your gaze fixed at the start of the finish line.
  3. Relax your shoulders and, looking at your back, bend over and pick up the dumbbells off the floor.
  4. Secure grip e start walking with your back straight and without hip imbalances.
  5. Try to keep your gaze towards the end (not at the dumbbells or feet). Also that your shoulders are pulled back, chest forward.
  6. Make sure your steps are regular. That is, each travels the same distance as the other.
  7. When you get there, bend over to drop the dumbbells. Rest 60 seconds and repeat the return journey.

If the load is very heavy, you can extend the rest time up to three minutes. Keep in mind that a streak is back and forth. Four or five are recommended based on your goals.

Common mistakes to avoid

If you apply the execution that we have indicated to you, you shouldn’t have problems with injuries or other muscle complications. What matters is the amount of weight you choose. You can do several trials to determine how much you can handle. Do it back and forth, only these are valid to complete a series.

In case you do any of these with imbalance towards your hips or uneven steps, the best thing is to remove a couple of kilos during the first session. You can then increase them based on your progress, so don’t despair if it’s your first attempt. Apart from this, other common mistakes that you should avoid when doing the farmer’s walk are as follows:

  • Don’t contract your shoulder blades.
  • Around the back.
  • Do not follow a straight line while completing the route.
  • Getting a bad grip on the handlebars (can throw you off balance or even allow you to let go midway).
  • Choose dumbbells that are not the same weight.
  • Perform the exercise with a barbell (although nothing prevents you from doing this, the classic execution is with dumbbells, discs or adapted tools).
  • Walk a very short distance (even if you do it with a lot of weight).
  • Don’t relax your shoulders and keep them close to your neck.

If you avoid doing all of these things, then you will farmer’s walks like an expert. Remember that you should always be looking straight ahead to avoid building tension in your neck.

Health benefits of the farmer’s walk

The farmer's march for buttocks and legs
The glutes are one of the main muscle groups that benefit from the farmer’s walk.

Being an exercise with functional characteristics, Farmer’s walk is helpful for improving balance and coordination. You can apply it in your day, from carrying purchases from the car to the closet with greater skill, to being able to hold your children or grandchildren and walk with them without tiring so quickly.

It can also relieve back, shoulder or neck pain. It will give you more vitality and strength to carry out daily activities. If your aspirations are narrowly focused on training, include a workout routine farmer’s walks it will help you as follows:

  • You increase your strength and endurance.
  • You improve the capacity of yours nucleus make stable movements.
  • You increase your lung capacity (if you do them at a certain speed).
  • You engage many muscle groups in one movement. This can be useful when you don’t have the time or interest to perform a specific routine for everyone.

Some Education have suggested that a multi-set farmer’s walk routine can engage muscles just as efficiently as if you were doing deadlifts. In short, it’s an exercise you can’t stop trying, whether your goals are to increase strength/muscle mass or simply improve some daily skill.

The post The farmer’s walk: technique, benefits and trained muscles first appeared in research-school.



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