20 Exercises To Look and Move Like an Athlete

Build a better body fast with these exercises backed by modern research.

Farmer's Walks

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Farmer\'s Walks

Again, another exercise that probably won't earn you thousands of likes on Instagram.

But don't mistake flashy for functional.

The Farmer's Walk, an old-school exercise long favored by strongmen, is one of the most efficient exercises in existence.

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Again, another exercise that probably won't earn you thousands of likes on Instagram.

But don't mistake flashy for functional.

The Farmer's Walk, an old-school exercise long favored by strongmen, is one of the most efficient exercises in existence.

By picking up some heavy weight and going for a stroll, you light up muscle groups all throughout your body.

They're almost like a moving Plank, as your core must fire to stabilize your trunk and hips while you walk. The grip muscles in the hands, wrists and forearms are set ablaze.

The upper back works to keep the shoulders and chest from sagging. The legs obviously propel the walk, and the cardiovascular system is engaged throughout the entirety of the movement.

The heavier the weight, the more challenging the exercise. Some trainers suggest a range of 0.5 times body weight for beginners to 1.5 times body weight for advanced athletes. Starting light is good. It will give you a sense for the movement. From there, you can slowly increase the weight. Once you've mastered the basic variation, you can start getting a little more creative.

There are two basic ways to perform Farmer's Walks—for time or for distance. If you're going for time, your goal is to perform a constant Farmer's Walk for a set time, such as 30 seconds. For more structure, you can use a set distance. For longer distances, (40 to 75 meters), you should carry lighter weights. Shorter "sprint" distances (anything less than 15 meters) allow for heavier weights, often close to the maximum amount you can carry. You can use a medium weight for middle distances (15-40 meters).

How to Perform Farmer's Walks

  • Stand between two sets of weights—dumbbells, kettlebells or custom barbells.
  • Place your hands in the middle of the weights to avoid tipping them.
  • Brace your core and glutes and drive through the floor to lift the weights.
  • Straighten your posture, get tall, look straight ahead.
  • Take small, quick steps for the allotted distance or time.
  • Put the weights down in a controlled manner. For the safety of all involved, do not simply drop the weights on the ground.

Photo Credit: kenzaza/iStock


Topics: STRENGTH TRAINING | BUILD MUSCLE | GET FASTER | FUNCTIONAL TRAINING | GET IN SHAPE | GETTING STRONGER