What is a farmer walk exercise?

Everyone knows that walking is a very beneficial exercise, especially when you add weights to it. Walking in a straight line with free weights is known as farmers walk. It is also referred to as a farmer’s carry, suitcase carry, or loaded carry and is a simple but very effective strength exercise. 

How is the farmers walk exercise done?

Wondering how to do the farmer’s walks effectively? Here is a step-by-step guide to farmers walk exercise explained in detail:

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Fold your hips and bend your knees to pick the weights off the ground. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells, a small barbell, or even a satchel filled with books. 
  • You can either carry weights in both hands or one hand. Holding two weights while doing farmer’s walks will challenge your trap muscles and a single weight will work out your obliques.
  • Remember not to stretch or pull your back while lifting the weight(s). Instead, use your leg muscles to pick up the weight(s).
  • Hold one weight in each hand and keep your arms by your sides. If you are doing the farmers walk exercise with one weight, then make a fist with the empty hand.
  • Stand tall, stretch your spine, and pull your shoulders back. Pull your chest slightly down and start walking.
  • Take small and quick steps as you walk the set distance.
  • Complete the set number of steps and repeat 2-4 times.

Are there any variations of farmers walk exercise?

There are several farmers walk variations that challenge your muscles and take your workout routine notches higher.

Here are some of the most effective farmers walk variations to try:

  • Zercher Carry: In this variation of farmers walk, the barbell is held in the crook of your arms. You need to ensure that your core is engaged and your torso is upright through your farmers walk routine. These farmers walk barbell variation focuses on your biceps, shoulders, biceps, and trunk.
  • Overhead farmers walk: The overhead farmers walk is an excellent variation to work on your abs and lats. In this, you need to carry weights in an overhead position where they are stacked directly over your shoulders. 
  • Kettlebell farmers walk: This is a variation to the dumbbell farmers walk where you use kettlebells. With their shorter handles and better grip, they make your walk more stable and improve the strength of your arms.
  • One-arm farmers walk: These farmers walk workout variation is a progression from the usual two-arm one. As the name suggests, you carry weights in one hand. This is an excellent exercise to strengthen the muscles in your core, abdomen, and traps. 
  • Inverted farmers walk: This is an excellent farmers walk variation for people who want to build their arms or those who spend too much time sitting at a desk. This exercise is done by holding one kettlebell in one arm upside down by its handle. This farmers walk routine works on your shoulder muscles and build your mobility.

What are the benefits of farmers walk exercise?

Farmers walk has numerous benefits for your posture, strength, flexibility, and functionality. Here is a roundup of some of the most important farmers walk benefits:

  • Farmers walk is one of the few very effective full-body exercises. It is a great way to target and strengthen your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, lats, abdominals, traps, biceps, triceps, forearms, and hand muscles. 
  • Farmers walk gets your heart rate up and challenge your cardiovascular system. This increases your aerobic capacity and strengthens your heart muscles. This helps in preventing cardiac problems such as stroke, arrhythmia, and heart attacks.
  • These days most of us spend hours in front of screens. This has a huge impact on our posture and causes pains and stiffness. Dumbbell farmers walk improves your posture and makes your core more stable, especially when you use two weights at a time.
  • One of the most important farmers walk benefits is that it mimics the natural movement of walking, albeit with weights. This helps in increasing your functionality for doing your daily tasks better.
  • Other great farmers walk benefit is that it promotes weight loss. This being a high-impact full-body weight loss exercise works on several groups of muscles and helps you burn more calories. This not just gives you a toned body but also prevents obesity-related health problems. These include diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems, and heart diseases. 
  • One of the most important farmers walk exercise benefits is for sportspeople and athletes. It works by enhancing your focus, coordination, power, endurance, balance, and focus. 
  • An essential farmers walk exercise benefit is that it helps release endorphins, which are known as happy hormones. It also reduces the production of cortisol (stress hormone). When practised regularly, these exercises makes you happier and lends a positive and confident outlook. 
  • This is a simple exercise that can easily be added to your routine of workouts at home. It doesn’t require fancy equipment or gym space. With just a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells, it can be practically done anywhere.

How do farmers walk exercise safely?

Since a farmers walk workout requires precision, focus, and balance, this exercise needs to be done cautiously. Here are some things to keep in mind while doing your farmers walk workout:

  • Use the right amount of weights depending on your capacity. Excessive weight may cause injuries and pains.
  • Be mindful of your posture while doing the farmers walk routine. Leaning too much at the waist and not engaging your core muscles may make you fatigued.
  • If you suffer from heart disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or have been recently injured, never do the farmers walk routine without consulting your doctor.
  • If you feel pain, dizziness, or nausea anytime during your farmers walk workout, stop immediately.


Farmers walk is a powerhouse of a workout that can be done by people of all ages. It can be easily customised to fit your daily workout routine. However, to ensure that you gain its benefits, make sure to learn the proper technique from an experienced trainer.

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May 12, 2022

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