Old McDonald had a farm…and probably some pretty serious grip strength.
Farmer Walks. A great test of that raw, brute strength.
Lift and walk. It really doesn’t get much more simple than that, and it’s one of the reasons I LOVE farmer walks. A great total-body exercise that doesn’t require a lot of technique or skill to complete and for the most part can me done anywhere, by anyone. In fact, all you need to perform farmer walks is weight, and space.
Typically in strongman you’ll see handles made specifically for farmer walks. These handles are basically just shorter bars with a handle in the middle, and you would load them up with plates on both ends much like any other bar you would see in the gym. I had a buddy of mine actually weld these together for me.
Don’t have access to handles? Grab two dumbbells…grab two kettle bells…or even just two plates themselves. You wont be missing out.
Don’t have a gym? Grab two buckets and fill ’em…grab two bags and fill ’em…grab a couple suitcases. You see where I’m going with this?
Chances are if you’ve ever gone grocery shopping when it’s raining out, or if you’re like me and hate making multiple trips to the car, you’ve already done a farmer walk before.
see the resemblance?
So by this point I’m sure you’re saying “Ok..ok..I get it. It doesn’t seem like much tho, why would I want to add this to my training?”
- You’ll make some serious gains with your grip strength, and that will in turn improve almost all of your other lifts. Aside from the gym, this will help pretty much with any time you need to hang on to something. It sounds pretty general I know, but thats kinda the point..there are a ton of benefits to having a good grip.
- Farmer walks are extremely taxing and are not only brutal as far as grip strength, but core stability as well. Not only are we lifting heavy and standing upright, but we’re going for a walk. Maintaining a good upright posture while trying to stay balanced and cover ground requires pretty much a little bit of everything.
- These are great for your posterior chain/leg development. Who doesn’t love deadlifts right? Now think of taking that one rep max and walking 50 feet with it…its a game changer to say the least. Also, because you really can’t cheat when it comes to farmer walks..standing/walking with not only an upright posture, but extended hips is pretty much forced. This will in turn help gain strength while standing in a stable position for all other lifts.
Again..super simple and effective. Here’s how to get started:
Start just like your stadard deadlift..back nice and straight, weight back on your heels, shoulders and chest up, and hands right down at your sides.
Keeping your weight in your heels, you’re going to stand up while maintaining your good upright posture. Back stays tight, core stays engaged.
From there, once standing all you’re going to do is walk.
Key points to keep in mind:
- Railroad Tracks. A lot of times doing these walks (and this happens often while under a yoke) people tend to walk almost like they are on a tightrope. Try and keep your feet about hip width apart (standard walking/standing position) and maintain that distance between your feet.
- Straight arms. You’ll see some people bending their arms trying to carry the weight. Its not going to help, and if anything it puts your biceps at risk. Keep your arms straight and at your sides.
- Short, quick steps. When it gets heavy its obviously going to be hard to take bigger steps. The idea is to take short and quick steps (heel-toe, heel-toe, heel-toe).
- Keep moving. Once you’re standing and in motion, the last thing you’ll want to do is stop and try to pick up the pace again.
For the most part, thats pretty much it. Simple, and effective..just the way I like it.
Keep it heavy, keep it fun.