What Is a Farmers Walk: Muscles Worked & Technique

man performing Farmers Walk

Looking for a superb strength training exercise? The Farmer’s Walk is the right one. You can easily perform it in your home gym. All you need is free weights and some walking space. This article reveals how to do Farmer’s Walks properly.

What Is a Farmers Walk?

A Farmer’s Walk is also called a Farmer’s Carry. The exercise is usually performed with heavy weights. You hold a weight in each hand and walk on a designated track. The Farmer’s Walk is a conditioning and strength training exercise. It hits almost all muscle groups when working out.

To get the most out of Farmer’s Walks, you have to know the proper form.

how to Dumbbell Farmers Walk

How to Do Farmers Walk

1. Set-Up

The Farmer’s Walk is a full-body workout that is simple to perform. If you’re new to fitness, start with lighter weights. Once you gain experience, you can add a heavier weight load or longer distance.

Athletes commonly use a pair of dumbbells to perform Farmer’s Walks. You can use kettlebells or a trap bar instead. These are common pieces for a home gym. Some advanced athletes may have Farmer’s Walk handles. This is specially designed equipment for a Loaded Carry.

Apart from the weights, you’ll need enough free room to perform walking. Look for space where you can do at least 10 steps on a straight track.

man squatting to Farmers Walk

2. Proper Form

Place a dumbbell or a kettlebell on the floor by your sides. Get down to the squat position. Your hips and knees are bent. Grasp the weight in each hand.

Lift the weights by extending your legs straight. When lifting, focus on your legs throughout the move, not back. Keep your back straight in a natural posture.

Hold the dumbbells with your hands in a solid grip. Each arm is by the side of your torso. Stand up and brace your core. Keep your shoulders and back tight.

As soon as you stand up, start walking. Move forward with your eyes straight ahead. When you finish the line, stop. Sit down again and place the dumbbells on the floor. Keep your posture and your core is squeezed. That’s 1 set. Make a pause for a minute or two and do another set.

The point of the Farmer’s Walk is to do the exercise quickly. Accomplish your steps as sooner as possible. With added weights in your arms, your steps will become shorter and quicker. That’s a real challenge for the full body.

It’s essential to remember to keep your spine in a natural position. Shift the load on your lower body to avoid back pain and injury.

man is doing Farmers Walks

Farmers Walk Muscles Worked

So, what muscles do Farmers Walk work? The Farmer’s Walk engages most muscle groups to build endurance and strength. These are quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, upper back, abs, biceps, and more. Some muscles are engaged more due to the movement pattern.

Forearms and Hands

Forearms (intricate muscles) and hand muscles play an important role in grip strength. These muscles allow you to grip the handle so you can walk with the gear of your body weight.


Biceps are responsible for arm flexion and grip strength. These muscles help to grip the loaded weights. Besides, they provide elbow joint stability while walking.


Triceps play a role in arm extension when bending your arm at an elbow. These muscles provide stability to your arms when they are extended. Triceps work together with biceps on extension.


The abdominal muscles keep the core tight throughout the movement. It helps to keep your spine in a natural position as required.

Upper Back and Traps

Upper Back and traps help to keep your posture upright during the movement. They partake in retracting your shoulders when performing the exercise.

man performing at Farmers Walk competition

Erector Spinae

Erector Spinae or erectors are the muscles around the spine. They help to extend the spine and stabilize your core when you walk.


The lats or latissimus dorsi are the biggest back muscles. They help to keep your spine in a natural position. So your back is upright during the training.


The calves provide ankle joint stability while you do the walk.


The glutes include the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. This muscle group is responsible for the hip extension. It plays a crucial part in lifting weights from the ground. The glutes support the hip joints during the exercise.


The hamstrings affect the hip extension and knee flexion. They are important when your lift equipment from the floor. The hamstrings stabilize the knee and hip joints when you walk.


The quads or quadriceps are responsible for knee extension. They assist when you lift weights and move forward. The quads are beneficial for knee joint stability.

two men performing Farmers Walk

Farmers Walk Before and After

So, what are the benefits of the Farmer’s Walk? It’s a full-body exercise that is advantageous for your health. Here’s a list of the main benefits you should consider.

1. Improve Your Posture

The Farmers Walk makes you think about your posture all the time. It helps to avoid imbalances in your body. Keep your back tight during such exercises.

2. Strengthen Your Grip

Strength training is beneficial for improving your grip. Solid gripping is needed when you lift heavy weight load. Uncover your arm potential with the exercise. Your forearms, hands, and wrists are working hard in this fitness routine. So you can do overhead lifts with no bar slipping off your hands.

3. Gain Muscle Mass

The Farmer’s Walk is focused on lifting weights and carrying them when you walk. The muscle mass is growing when you load weights gradually. Over time you’ll walk a shorter distance but with a heavier weight.

loaded bars for Farmers Walk

4. Burn Calories

The Farmer’s Walk is a high-impact exercise as you carry heavy weights. Your entire body is engaged when you walk. You have to work hard to carry the gear and keep the proper form. Your muscles are amped up and your metabolism is accelerating. Your heart rate is increasing with high-intensity training. All of these affect fat loss.

5. Develop Your Core

When you do the Farmer’s Walk, you have to squeeze your core. That puts a good strain on your abs. Brace your core before you squat and walk. This will help to keep the proper posture and foster core stability.

6. Improve Your Power and Strength

Core stability is beneficial for overall body strength. This helps to uncover your power abilities. You can efficiently engage the rest of the muscles when performing exercises. They’ll grow progressively with proper training.

The Farmer’s Walk takes the maximum of your force to improve your endurance. The heavier you load, the more power and strength you’ll build. As a result, you’ll manage to carry equipment of your own weight for a longer distance.

7. Strengthen Your Back and Shoulders

The upper body is also activated when you do the Farmer’s Walk. The exercise targets biceps, triceps, traps, and forearms. You can boost your shoulders and back muscles well with the exercise. When you carry the weight, your traps are engaged to keep the shoulder blades together.

Your upper back ensures the stability of your shoulder joints. The deltoids are responsible for the abduction and rotations of your shoulders. All of these are advantageous to amp up your back.

barbells for Farmers Walk

How Much Weight for Farmers Walk Do You Need?

If you’re new to fitness, start with 5 to 10-pound dumbbells or kettlebells. Advanced sportsmen can try 20 to 50-pound weights. If bells are no longer challenging, use a loaded bar or Farmer’s Walk handles for the training. Look for a short bar or a trap bar for a convenient performance. In case you lift plates, use straps to hold them with your hands.

Using free weights is enough for beginner athletes. Add load gradually to avoid injury. You can ramp up the Farmers Walk by prolonging the distance.

Farmer’s Walk Variations

Farmers Walk with dumbbells at gym

1. Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk

That’s a common variation that was previously described. You need a pair of dumbbells to do the exercise.

man doing Kettlebell Farmers Walk

2. Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk

This option requires a set of kettlebells. The form is the same as with the Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk.

You can do the One-Arm Walk. Place a kettlebell in one hand while another is clenched. Such a variation works on core stability more. One-Arm Carries can be done to avoid muscular imbalances. It’s when one arm (or any other body part) is improved more than another.

How to Do Zercher Carries

3. Zercher Carry

You need a barbell to do Zercher Carries. That’s the next level to the Farmer’s Walk. Get inside a power rack when the bar is already placed at your chest level. The barbell is in front of you. You look forward to the line you’re about to walk on. Load plates if needed before you grab the bar. You can use a barbell pad to make the grip comfier.

Place the bar on your arms like as you crook. Squeeze your core before taking the bar and keep your back tight. Once you’re set, walk in a straight line with the barbell. You can set either distance or time to do the Zercher Carry.

man holding one kettlebell

Suitcase Carry vs Farmers Walk

The Suitcase Carry requires weight in one hand. While the Farmers Walk is performed with a weight in each hand. Carrying weight with one hand is more challenging. As your body works harder to keep your posture upright. Suitcase Carries help to avoid muscle imbalances. Start with single-arm carries to get used to the workload. Then you can go on to the Farmers Walk.

man doing Farmers Walks outside

Farmer’s Carry for Strength Training

The Farmer’s Walk is an excellent all-around exercise for beginners and pros. It hits almost every muscle including quads, hamstrings, forearms, and shoulders. You may use any weight that you can carry. These are dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell.

The Farmer’s Walk has a range of benefits for our health. The exercise helps to improve your posture. It ramps up your upper and lower body. Your core strengthens that affects the overall power. Your grip is getting solid so you can lift heavy weights. The Farmer’s Walk has a range of variations to keep the challenge of the workout.

The squat position requires proper movement. You can train your lower body with the Squat Thrust or the Air Squat. Both of the exercises require no equipment.

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