Practicing the static hold and farmers walk will teach you more about your abs and core strength then anything else you might read on the internet.
The farmers walk will give your core and shoulders a much needed workout if you are stuck behind your desk full-time.
Put simply, pick up a weight in one or two hands, stand up straight, brace your core and keep your torso upright and stiff….. then WALK.
That’s it! nothing more, nothing less.
This exercise is about short bursts of walking while lifting a weight that’s giving you an element of resistance. Regular practice and progression will provide you with stability and balance as each muscle group is actively working when you walk.
You can get started by practicing the Static Hold first and then progress onto the more challenging Farmers Walk. Check out the video below where I talk about this.
Farmers Walk Muscle Groups Worked
Works all muscle groups in one movement:
Arms don’t get much workout resting on the table while you are cranking out code. Your fingers do yes, but your arms are simply resting on the table each day. By doing the farmers walk you are giving them a workout by supplying an element of resistance for them to work with. This will improve bicep and tricep strength as they will be working to stabilise the elbow and shoulders connectors.
Back and Shoulders
Looking at your screen all day long weakens your back and shoulder muscle groups. To counter act this, the farmers walk can be used to strength these muscle fibers as they have to work together in a continouse loop as you walk in an upright posture.
As you start to lift heavier weight due to progression in strength, your abs and back will get a greater workout as they will work harder in supporting your torso with the increase in weight. Ensure you keep your abs tight throughout doing the farmers walk to protect your lower back
Walking is something that becomes a chore when we get used to the comfort of sitting all day. The reason for this is that our leg muscle groups tend to adjust down to the lack of resistance being applied from sitting each day. Thus simply going on a walk starts to feel like more effort. The farmers walk will act like a catalyst to improving your leg muscle groups as your quads, hamstrings, glutes are calf muscles will be tested and strengthened.
Equipment Required for the Farmers Walk
Not a great deal is needed here, just a pair of heavy things that you can carry. A pair of dumbells, kettlebells, weight plates, or even a couple of buckets of sand!
You get the idea. As long as its heavy and safe to carry and provides some resistance, that’s all you need.
Progression with the Farmers Walk
Like I’ve said in other posts, In order to get better and stronger, we need to apply resistance in a systematic way, challenging our muscle groups one step at a time.
We can do this with the farmer walk very easily. For example, when first starting out, we could do the following:
- Week 1, hold a pair of 15kg kettlebells in each arm and walk to the end of the garden and back.
- Week 2, hold the same 15kg kettlebells and walk 6 times up and down the garden in week2.
- Week 3, increase the weight of the kettle bells and walk 3 times up and down the garden again.
- Week 4, with the same heavier weight, walk 6 times up and down the garden.
You get the picture…. keep track of how many times you walk up and down, keep track of how much weight you are able to lift each week.
Variation with the Farmers Walk
Once you notice your strength and endurance improving, you can start mixing things up. You can start holding unequal weights in each hand and perform the walk. For example, a 15kg kettlebell in one hand and a 20kg kettlebell in the other.
You don’t even need to stick to the same item. You could even hold a bag 10kg of rice in one and a kettlebell in the other, a dumbell in onehand and kettlebell in the other of unequal weights.
Your Form is key with the Farmers Walk
It’s all well performing the farmers walk and holding the weight and progressing. However, none of this is going to benefit you if you don’t do it with the correct form and posture. Failing to keep this in mind may result in injury and an in-balance .
When doing the walk, be sure to tense and brace your abs and entire core muscle groups. Ensure you are contracting and stiff throughout the walk to protect yourself from injury. Ensure you maintain a breathing rhythm while walking.
Using the correct form will be crucial when holding uneven weights or even when doing one-handed farmers walk as you will need to ensure you engage your core much more to stabilise your spine as the weight will pull you down onto the opposite side.