Stronger Steps With a Farmer’s Walk
The farmer’s walk, also called a farmer’s carry, is as simple as it is effective. Pick up an object with some weight. Hold it with your hand(s). Go for a walk. Try not to set it down. Repeat often. Build serious functional strength and an iron grip.
You can use kettlebells (my preference), dumbbells, sandbags, a trap bar, water buckets, etc… Whatever the weapon of choice is, find something with weight and take some steps. Or if you’re like this guy, carry two Dinnie Stones (combined weight of over 700lbs) as far as you can. He made it 14 feet, 10 inches, setting a world record.
The farmer’s walk utilizes your entire body. You develop core stability, lower and upper body strength, and a powerful grip. Walking with additional weight also strengthens your cardiovascular system and improves proprioception, which is your body’s ability to sense and react to movement, action, and location.
The “As You Go” Option
- Start with one weight to carry. For men, I’d recommend either a 12kg or 16kg kettlebell to start, depending on current strength levels.
- Rest by alternating hands as the grip on one hand fatigues. Try not to set the weight down.
- Target 10-20 minute walks while carrying your weight.
- Continue with the same weight until it “feels light”. This might take a few months.
- See if you can get up to 30 minutes.
- Add in exercises periodically. I.e., every 2-3 minutes perform 10 swings, or 10 cleans, or 10 around-the-worlds, etc…
- Start over with a heavier weight, and begin with 10-20 minute walks. Continue with this weight until it “feels light”. See if you can get up to 30 minutes.
- Remember this is “as you go”. I’d recommend 3x a week to start.
- Walk in the morning before work to prepare for the day.
- Walk during your lunch break if you’re working at home.
- Walk in the evening to unwind and clear your head.
- Pray while walking, recite Scripture, listen to a sermon/podcast, etc…
- Take your dog, kettlebell in one hand, and leash in the other.
- Walk with your wife. Maybe she’ll want to join (my wife will carry her kettlebell occasionally!).
- Walk with your family. Push your kids in the stroller in one hand, and farmer’s walk with the other.
Remember to just start. Get outside, and move!
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Ready to get started?