Farmer's Walk is an exercise I quite often like to throw in during a circuit of exercises for men and women. Compared to other exercises, picking up relatively heavy objects in each hand may not seem too taxing at first, but, when asked to walk with them for a set distance, it's another matter. Primarily, it's your forearms and traps that will feel it most, as you struggle to keep your grip and your shoulders elevated. Next to that, you realise how taxing it is on your entire supportive structure and cardiovascular system as everything is required to work in synergy to simply get you from a to b. It's an incredibly basic exercise that we've performed for thousands of years - pick up something heavy and walk with it. How many times have you picked something up, such as shopping or a heavy box, and thought "this is alright, I can handle this" only to stop before you reach your destination to put the object down for a rest? Well, Farmer's Walk is very much like this. With practise, you'll become much better and stronger and it has so much functional carry over to other lifts in the gym and activities outside of the gym; some days, I can even manage all the groceries in a single trip - I don't know why we feel the need to do this!
In a gym environment, the best objects to use to perform Farmer's Walk are dumbbells or kettlebells, some gyms may even have farmer's walk handles. Find a clear space inside or step outside in the summer sun. Of course, you can use other objects such as loaded bags or filled buckets. The latter can be fun, but less kind on the hands. To make the exercise easier or harder alter the weight and/ or distance.
The above photo was kindly taken by one of my Nephews, just before we did some sprint training :)
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Matt AKA Gym Professor