Farmers Carry Workout is a full body workout that will help you improve your strength and endurance. The exercise is done with two weights in each hand and requires you to walk, run, or jog while carrying them. Learn how to do the farmers carry workout with pictures and instructions.
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What is Farmers Carry Workout?
The farmers carry workout is a weightlifting exercise that was originally used by farmers to help them carry heavy loads from the fields. The farmer would hold two heavy weights and walk with them. This form of exercise has been popularized in recent times as a way to build strength, burn fat, and increase stamina.
The farmers carry workout can be performed with different weights, but the most popular weights are kettlebells. The weight should be heavy enough to make it challenging to carry the weight for a long distance.
The best way to perform the exercise is to walk forward with one arm at a time, switch arms and repeat. This will allow you to keep your back straight and avoid rounding your shoulders.
Farmers Carry is also called as farmers walk, but this term is also used to describe a different type of exercise.
Additionally, Farmers Carry Workout can be done with dumbbells or kettlebells in each hand. It can be done with one arm at a time or with both arms at the same time.
Muscles activated in performing Farmers Carry Workout
The farmer’s carry workout is a full-body exercise that touches the major and minor muscle groups of the body. Because all muscles are connected, its effect spans the upper body, shoulder, chest, pelvis and even includes the entire muscle groups in the posterior chain. It packs a lot of contraction and places pressure on these muscles. All in all, the farmer’s walk would give you a run for your money. Other than being able to build your abdominal walls for a six-pack, here are some muscles activated during the farmer’s walk:
The arm muscle groups are part of the primary muscles activated by the farmers walk. Although most weight is placed on your arms, they also work your shoulders heavily as well. The weight of the dumbbell activates the biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles. The bicep is responsible for grip strength and flexing the arm. As you execute the farmer’s walk, the dumbbells remain firmly gripped in your arms, ensuring that your biceps are activated throughout the routine. Coupled with the triceps, which help provide the elbow with extension and stability, it is no surprise that the farmer’s walk is the top choice for overall arm strength, mobility, endurance, and mass growth.
The forearm flexors assist in gripping the weight, and your biceps assist in balancing the weight. This significantly increases arm muscle strength, arm size, and grip strength, directly beneficial to the forearm flexors.
Shoulder muscles: The shoulders also play a role in keeping your arms stable. The weight of the dumbbells activates the scapula, which the biceps and triceps are connected to. The weight strain challenges the shoulder muscle and activates the shoulder stabilizer muscles to put the weight correctly on the joint. Muscles such as the deltoids and rotator cuff muscles are activated and are charged with maintaining stability during the performance of the farmer’s walk exercise.
Traps and upper back
The muscle is an intricate system of connecting the muscles, so it is no surprise that the trapezius and upper back muscles are engaged during the farmer’s walk. During the farmer’s walk, you are expected to maintain a proper posture involving erect shoulders. This would help carry the load and distribute the weight equally amongst the muscles to avoid muscle fatigue. This leads to the activation of the deep back muscles and traps.
The farmer’s walk primarily works the core muscles. Core strength is a necessity for navigating our daily life and the inside of a gym. Most high-intensity exercises require immense core strength; therefore, if you are looking to build strength in your core muscles, the farmer’s walk is an excellent option for you. Your midsection, which holds your core muscles, is charged with bearing the bulk of the weight during the farmer’s walk. Your transverse abdominis, multifidus, obliques, erector spinae, and pelvic floor muscles are engaged during the lifting of the weight and the walking across the room. The transverse abdominis, a deep core muscle that cinches your spine and pelvis gets the most out of the farmer’s walk.
The Latissimus Dorsi, which are the most predominant back muscles that are charged with postural movements, limited movements of the arm, and keeping the spine neutral, are equally activated during the farmer’s walk.
Hip and adductors: The hip and adductors help in movement and carrying the body weight. The hip flexors and adductors help to control the direction, and in doing so, they are strengthened.
Glutes are significant muscles required for walking, running, and jumping. They also play a crucial role in stabilizing the body. The farmer’s carry engages and strengthens the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus, the muscles charged with balance and coordinated movement. The strengthening of this muscle helps reduce the tension on the back, reducing the risks of injury.
Hamstrings and calves
These muscles of the legs help with mobility and balance. They play a massive role in the triple extension of the body. The calf assists in the flexion of the knee, and the hamstrings help in the extension of the legs. Together, they ensure better mobility and stability of the body.
Who can perform Farmers Carry Workout?
The farmer’s walk is an excellent addition to the general fitness population. Whether you are a beginner or a professionally competitive bodybuilder, the farmer’s work is tailored for all. One of the major sects of athletes that benefit from the farmer’s walk is the bodybuilders. It doesn’t matter if you are a fitness enthusiast or professional bodybuilder; the farmer’s walk can help you achieve a bigger muscle build by stimulating mass gain in these muscle groups. It increases overall mass composition, bone density, and body build.
Powerlifters or Olympic weightlifters whose activities revolve around lifting heavy gym equipment require immense upper body strength to achieve this. The farmer’s walk trains and strengthens the muscles of the upper body. It is a functional exercise that also improves grip strength, which makes it easier to lift heavier.
Why is Farmers Carry Workout important?
Farmers Carry Workout is an effective workout that can help you build your strength, improve your posture and even increase your endurance.
The farmers carry workout is a great way to build upper-body power and boost metabolism. The benefits of this exercise are endless. It not only works the muscles in the arms, shoulders, back, and core but it also improves mental clarity and promotes weight loss. It’s a workout that can help you take your fitness to the next level!
The farmers carry is a great way to build up your grip strength and core stability. The exercise also strengthens your forearms and fingers, which can help you avoid injury when lifting heavy weights.
It’s important to note that the farmers’ carry is not only for athletes or those who are looking for a challenge. The exercise can be modified for anyone who wants to get stronger or improve their physical strength.
Main Benefits of doing Farmers Carry Workout
The benefits of doing Farmers Carry Workout are numerous. This workout is great for building strength, endurance, and explosiveness. It also helps to improve grip strength and coordination.
The benefits of doing farmers carry workout are mainly:
- It strengthens your core muscles.
- It helps you to lose weight.
- It helps you to improve your posture.
- It increases the body’s endurance level and strength.
- You can do it anywhere, anytime, with or without any equipment.
- It improves your upper body strength, which will help you in your everyday life and at work
- It improves your grip strength, which will help you in your everyday life and at work
- It is a full body exercise that helps in muscle building
- It improves cardiovascular health, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduces the risk of heart attack
- It boosts metabolism for more fat loss
Disadvantages of doing Farmers Carry Workout
Some people might find it difficult to do a farmers carry workout. This is because their grip strength might not be strong enough to carry the weight for the entire time.
This is a type of exercise where you hold weights in each hand and walk around with them. It is not advised to do this if you are pregnant, have low back pain, or have shoulder injuries.
It can be very tiring and difficult to do. If you aren’t in good shape, you may find yourself in a lot of pain after just a few rounds. If your grip strength isn’t strong enough, you’re going to have a hard time holding on to the weights for the duration of the workout.
Also, it takes up a lot of space and it’s not easy to do at home, unless you have a dedicated room for weightlifting or are fortunate enough to live on an acreage with plenty of space outside.
One of the main disadvantages of doing Farmers Carry Workout is the amount of time that it takes to do them. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to complete a set, depending on how many you are doing.
Another disadvantage is that this workout can make your grip weaker. When you are carrying weight, your grip will be challenged and may become weaker as time progresses.
A third disadvantage is if you have any injuries or pain in your shoulders or back, this workout may not be for you because it puts strain on those areas.
Here are some disadvantages of doing Farmers Carry Workout:
- It can lead to injury if done incorrectly
- It can lead to pain in the back, neck, shoulders and arms.
- It can be difficult to find the right equipment.
- It can be hard to maintain proper form when doing the exercise.
Things to know before doing Farmers Carry Workout
Before you pick up any weights, make sure that you know these loaded carry principles. The exercise might be simple, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for error. Focus on form, and you’ll be in good shape to reap the benefits.
Pack your shoulders
Whether you’re holding the weight at your sides, overhead, or anywhere in between, keep your shoulders as tight as possible to improve joint stability.
Straighten your back
Think of carries as walking planks: Keep your lower back and pelvis aligned throughout the exercise.
A tight grip increases tension in your core muscles.
A shorter stride—your feet less than 12 inches apart—gives you a stronger support base.
Tuck your chin
Don’t crane your neck! Keep your ears directly over your shoulders and hips. This aligns your spine, keeping it injury-free.
Keep your ribs flat
If they flare out, you’re putting undue stress on your back. Breathe in through your nose and then forcefully out through your mouth. That helps push your ribs down and keep your core engaged.
Carries are self-limiting exercises. That means any weight that you can hold for the recommended distance or duration is safe to use.
Farmers Carry Workout Variations to improve Core Strength
Farmers Carry belongs to a family of exercises called loaded carries, which involve holding a weighted object and walking with it. Any time you carry an object, whether it’s one side at a time or both sides together, with one hand or two hands, by your sides or overhead, your body tries to compensate by shifting its center of gravity. It takes tremendous core strength and coordination to resist this compensation, which is why loaded carries build full-body strength unlike any other exercise.
If you don’t have any farm animals or bales of hay handy, try one of these seven variations to crush your grip, forearms, core and upper back.
Farmers Carry Handles
If you’ve ever watched the World’s Strongest Man competitions on TV, you’ve seen humongous men racing while carrying torpedo-shaped weights. These handles are specially designed for loaded carries, and several companies sell models that can be loaded with regular weight plates.
They’re especially useful, because you can load them as light or as heavy as you want. Plus, you have to stabilize the long handles to keep them from tipping forward or backward.
Tip: Grab the handles slightly forward of the middle of the grip. This lets you walk with a slight forward lean, which increases speed and prevents the rear weight plates from hitting your heels.
If you don’t have Farmers Carry handles, dumbbells work just as well. They have shorter handles and are easier to stabilize, making them a better choice for beginners or if you want to concentrate on grip strength.
Tip: For safety’s sake, grab the dumbbells out of the rack or off of a bench instead of picking them up off the floor. It’s too easy to let your back go around when grabbing a pair of dumbbells off the floor at the same time. If you must pick them up off the ground, grab one dumbbell at a time to spare your lower back.
Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Carries
Who knew loaded carries were good for your rotator cuff too? Just flip a kettlebell upside down (or in this case, bottoms up) and you’ll have a deceptively challenging shoulder stability exercise. Keep your wrists in a straight line (don’t flex them forward or extend them back) so the kettlebells don’t wobble. Keep your elbow parallel to the ground or slightly below to keep the tension on your rotator cuff and not your shoulders or lats.
Tip: Squeeze the kettlebell as if you were trying to melt the handle, but be careful not to flex your biceps. Imagine holding the weight with your shoulder blade.
How to do the Farmers Carry Workout properly
For the farmer’s walk, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 30–60 seconds. Choose your sets and duration based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout each set.
- Stand between two dumbbells with the handles of the dumbbells in line with the middle of your feet. Your posture should be tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight.
- Bend your knees slightly. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips with a neutral head and neck position. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin.
- Evenly distribute your weight, and grip the floor with your feet to create a stable position.
- Keep your arms long by your sides with a slight bend in your elbows. Pre-tension your shoulders, hips, and core.
- Inhale and exhale before lowering toward the dumbbells. Hinge your hips back, and bend your hips, knees, and ankles in order to lower your body toward the dumbbells.
- Grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip and your palms facing inward. Stand by straightening your hips, knees, and ankles.
- Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Maintain a tight upper back and strong grip on the dumbbells. All repetitions should begin from this position.
- Initiate the exercise by walking forward in a straight line. Take normal strides while maintaining your postural alignment and grip. Your steps should use a normal heel-to-toe walking pattern.
- After walking for 30–60 seconds, stop and lower the dumbbells to the ground by hinging your hips back and bending your hips, knees, and ankles.
Farmers Carry Workout Warnings and Tips
If you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.
In order to see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.
Some Farmers Carry Workout Routine
Grab a pair of 35-50lb (at most) dumbbells or kettlebells, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot for most people. Now walk with it for 1 mile. Trust me, it’s not easy and many of you won’t finish. You will likely have to go out on the track or have an outdoor course mapped out for this one. Don’t be one of those idiots who tries to do this on a treadmill.
Pick a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells you would struggle to walk about 50-yards. Try and put the weights down as minimal as possible during the 100-yard carry.
Grab a pair of 85 lb dumbbells (or less weight if needed) and carry them for 5 minutes. Then return the weight back to where you started from. Simple yet brutally tough. This is one you may need to do outdoors unless you can count all the laps you do around the gym in 5 minutes.
Grab a weight that is equal to your body weight in each hand. Most gyms won’t have dumbbells this big, if you are lucky enough to have a gym with the farmers handles you can use those. If they don’t have either of those, which most won’t, hopefully, your gym has a trap/hex bar. Load that with double your body eight plus 30-50lbs extra. The extra weight is because using a trap bar is a little bit easier than using dumbbells with the same weight. So the 30-50lbs should cancel that out. Now carry that weight for 50 yards. Carrying weight that heavy for that far should have you feeling like a total beast afterword, if not have your pulse checked to make sure you have one.
Summary and Conclusion
Farmers Carry Workout is a great way to build muscle and burn fat. The workout, which is also known as the farmer’s walk, can be done with two weights or with just one weight in each hand. The Farmers Carry Workout is done with a heavy weight in each hand. It can be done with kettlebells, dumbbells, or barbells and it strengthens the upper body and core. There are many benefits to the Farmers Carry Workout including increased grip strength, increased shoulder and arm strength, improved posture, and a better sense of balance.
I hope you enjoyed this article on the Farmers Carry Workout!