The Farmer’s Walk, a standard feat in strong man competitions, asks competitors to lift and carry weights up to 375 pounds in each hand around a 230-foot lap. A deceptively simple exercise, the Farmer’s Walk mimics the day-to-day routine of a farmer carrying buckets of water or bags of feed.
What fitness gurus refer to as a functional exercise, the Farmer’s Walk engages almost every muscle in your body simultaneously: testing your grip, upper back, trunk, legs and mental strength all at once. Many workouts that fall under the umbrella of functional exercises mimic activities performed (by some) in daily life. So who better to mimic than your svelte farmer? These exercises stress side-to-side motions, squatting, twisting, lifting and core strengthening. Many male and female farmers are toned and strong because they are in constant motion, they work outside and they fuel their bodies with good food.
If you don’t find yourself lifting calves out of spring mud, chopping wood for your stove, or moving tractor tires, try dumbbells instead.
If you don’t find yourself lifting calves out of spring mud, chopping wood for your stove, or moving tractor tires, try dumbbells instead. Step between two dumbbells (as much as you are comfortable lifting), squat down, grip tightly, and dead lift your weight up. Once upright, maintain your posture and core strength, and walk for as long as you can. Maintaining both your posture and breath is key.
If you get bored of doing the farmer’s walk as explained above, we suggest these two variations! Try an overhead weighted walk. Pick up a sandbag, water jug, or weighted plate and go for a stroll. Or, try a bear hug! Pick up a keg, water jug, or tree stump and walk, remembering to hold the object close to your chest while maintaining your posture.