Exercise of the Week: Farmer’s Walks

Pick up some heavy weight and walk with it.

Pretty simple right?

Too simple to produce any results right?  Nothing flashy, unique, or some new cutting edge piece of equipment is needed, so how can it be beneficial?

Sometimes keeping things simple is all you need.

It requires a lot from your body to carry a heavy amount of weight from point A to point B.  You will develop powerful legs, a strong and stable back, core strength, and grip strength to crush anything in your hand (well, not everything).  In a nutshell it is a full body exercise.

photo credit: kettlebooty.com

photo credit: kettlebooty.com

“The loaded carry does more to expand athletic qualities than any other single thing I’ve attempted in my career as a coach and an athlete.” – Dan John (one of the best strength and conditioning coaches out there)


The last thing you want to do is carry a large amount of weight with body as stable as a wet noodle.  So before you take your first step you want to get set up like, so…

  1. Pick the weight up off the floor like you would a trap bar deadlift.  Hips back, back straight, and tight through the upper back and core.
  2. Stand tall, with abdominals drawn in.  This also means to not extend through the lower back, so I cue “ribs down” which will help you feel your abdominals contract and provide spinal stability.
  3. Pull your shoulders back and down
  4. Walk with a heel to toe gait.
  5. Sit the weight down carefully if you have to turn around to finish the exercise or drop if you can drop the weight carefully when completely finished.
photo credit: T-nation.com

photo credit: T-nation.com


Training can be mixed up.  Your training factors will be the amount of weight, distance, and time.

Using heavy weights will result in less distance or time, as lighter, but still heavy, weights can be used for farther distances and longer time.  You can mix and plan these variations into your training for an overall weighted carry program.

  • Light weight and long distance (40-60m)
  • Mid weight and mid distance (20-30m)
  • Heavy weight and short distance (10-15m)

So lets get into some variations….



One-Arm Carry


Bicep Carry

About The Author

Kevin Fulton

Kevin Fulton is personal trainer in Pittsburgh, PA. His goal is to help his clients look, feel, and move better. In his spare time you can find him under a barbell or practicing jiu jitsu.

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