Next time you pick up a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells, skip the Curls. Instead, walk around the gym with them for three sets of 60 seconds, and repeat the exercise in subsequent workouts. You’ll be performing perhaps the most convenient and multifunctional (yet underutilized) exercise: The Farmer’s Walk.
Amid trendy state-of-the-art fitness equipment and exercise machines, this old-time exercise should be a staple of any workout program. The all-in-one full-body Farmer’s Walk builds bigger biceps, triceps and powerful forearms; increases upper- and lower-body size; and improves endurance, core strength and grip strength—all sports performance-enhancing facets!
Bonus: Focusing on properly and safely picking up dumbbells or kettlebells and walking several steps and lowering them to the floor also promotes good lifting technique inside and outside the weight room.
Additional Farmer’s Walk Benefits
- Shortens Workout Time. The Farmer’s Walk simultaneously engages several muscle groups in minimal time—saving you from performing various other exercises for individual muscles or wasting time changing plates or waiting for exercise machines in a crowded gym, thereby reducing workout time for busy student-athletes.
- An All-Purpose Exercise for In-Season Conditioning. When workout time is limited between academics and in-season practices and games, the Farmer’s Walk is the ideal go-to exercise.
The following workout takes the Farmer’s Walk to a more challenging and diversified level by periodically intermixing a set of Squats, or Single-Leg Squats, or Lunges, or Bent-Over Rows, or Upright Rows, or Push-Ups, or Suitcase Walks—with the regular Farmer’s Walk. Including a dynamic warm-up and cooldown stretches, this brief yet intense workout can be completed within 30 minutes.
- Two moderately-heavy (80% RM) dumbbells or kettlebells
- Water bottle
- Timer (optional)
- Do a dynamic upper- and lower-body warm-up.
- Finish with cooldown upper- and lower-body static stretches for greater flexibility and range of motion.
- Perform the workout on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
- Hydrate before, during and after each workout.
- Immediately perform one set of a different exercise following each Farmer’s Walk (as listed in the workout).
- Rest 30 seconds between exercises.
- Use good form when picking up the dumbbells or kettlebells and placing them down on the floor. Get close to the weights and slowly lift them from the floor by engaging your legs and hips—not rounding your back or bending over to pick them up.
- When placing them down, don’t drop the weights; slowly lower them to the floor by bending your knees and squatting down.
- Farmer’s Walk & Squats. Pick up the weights and walk 30 steps. Immediately follow with 10 Squats. Rest and hydrate.
- Farmer’s Walk & Upright Rows.Walk 20 steps, do 10 Upright Rows and rest.
- Farmer’s Walk & Push-Ups. Walk 30 steps, put down the weights, assume a push-up position with your hands placed on the dumbbell or kettlebell handles and do 10 Push-Ups. Rest and hydrate.
- Farmer’s Walk & Single-Leg Squats. Walk 10 steps, do 10 single-leg Squats on each leg and rest.
- Farmer’s Walk & Bent-Over Rows. Walk 15 steps and do 10 Bent-Over Rows. Rest and hydrate.
- Farmer’s Walk & Shrugs. Walk 10 steps, do 10 Shrugs and rest.
- Farmer’s Walk & Lunges. Walk five steps, do 10 forward Lunges and rest.
- Farmer’s Walk & Suitcase Walk. Walk five steps and put one dumbbell or kettlebell down. Immediately pick up one dumbbell or kettlebell and continue walking 10 steps. Put the weight down, pick it up with the other hand and walk 10 steps. Rest, hydrate, and finish with cooldown stretches.