The Farmer's Walk is a fantastic exercise that trains the whole body. It promotes structural balance, helping overcome imbalances caused by single-side dominant sports, such as golf and tennis. It also trains the core, requiring you to stabilize the abs and lower back.
Getting the technique right is essential. This article covers Farmer's Walk training tips so you can make great progress with this unique exercise.
Train Like A Champion?
Although it’s usually a good idea to emulate the biomechanics used by the champions in sports competitions, the Farmer’s Walk is an exception.
In the competitive Farmer’s Walk, lifters use extremely heavy weights. How heavy? Strongman Hugo Girard of Canada established a world record in the event when he carried two farmer’s walk cylinders, each weighing 175 kilos, more than 25 meters in just over 21.39 seconds.
Such weights can force you into poor mechanics, such as rounding the shoulders or looking downward. For training purposes, you want to maintain an upright position, with your head upright and your shoulders in line with your hips.
Use Appropriate Equipment
Farmer's Walk implements consist of two handles attached to two larger, cylinder-shaped sections. Load them with weight plates. It's worth investing in equipment specially designed for the Farmer's Walk for several reasons:
You can load them precisely. This avoids overdoing it in more novice trainees while also ensuring continued adaptations as you progress.
It's easier to achieve proper walking mechanics. It is a mistake to believe that dumbbells are a good substitute because they impede your stride and bang against your thighs, causing nasty bruises.
Hex bars and trap bars are also poor substitutes because their design can restrict the range of motion of the legs and also create too much stability, thus reducing the training effect on a variety of muscles.
Technique Tips For The Farmer's Walk
The liftoff of the Farmer's Walk is crucial. It should be done in the deadlift style with a straight back while maintaining the natural arch.
The body should be in an upright position with a slight forward lean.
The feet should be directly underneath the shoulders.
Hands should generally be centered on the handles. This will result in tilting the weight forward towards the strongest part of your grip.
If the rear of your hand needs rehab or strengthening, the grip position can be shifted toward the forward part of the handle, tilting the apparatus backwards.
Tighten the core during liftoff and throughout the length of the carry.
Stride length should be a normal, fast walking gait. Overstriding will result in unnecessary turning of the hips, which could lead to injury.
A good distance is about 25 meters. If you cannot do this in a straight line, it would be better to walk in a large figure 8 rather than trying to turn with the implements, because this can create twisting forces on the spine.
The Farmer's Walk is a fantastic tool for overcoming weak links. It's great for breaking out of a training rut while ensuring you strive for structural balance and new PRs in your traditional lifts.