8 Benefits Of The Farmer’s Walk Exercise

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Training your body can happen through many different methods. Find out what benefits you can get from doing the farmer’s walk exercise.

Farmer’s walks may not look the most exciting at first but challenging your body this way can offer some relatively unique and also more general advantages.

1. Farmer’s walks can grow and strengthen muscles

While this is not always the main goal of the exercise, the farmer’s walk has the potential to help you grow, strengthen, and improve endurance in a variety of muscles.

The main muscles worked in the farmer’s walk are your:

  • Forearm grip muscles
  • Upper trapezius aka traps (upper shoulder/neck)
  • Core muscles like your abs, obliques, and erector spinae

Additionally, farmer’s walks engage muscles like your deltoids, a variety of scapular muscles, pectoral muscles, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, hip flexors, hip abductors, and hip adductors to some extent too.

How much weight is good for a farmer’s walk depends on your training goals and strength level.

For example, training muscle endurance will only require light weights whereas improving muscle strength really requires farmer’s walk handles or other equipment that can hold a lot of weight.

Besides that, a resistance training beginner won’t need the same number of pounds as an advanced lifter to challenge their muscles enough.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the farmer’s walk is a relatively isometric (static) exercise. More dynamic exercises tend to be more effective for goals like muscle growth.

2. The farmer’s walk can help you burn fat

Losing weight and more specifically burning fat requires you to make it so your body uses more energy than is coming in from food.

One of the benefits of farmer’s walks is that they can help a nice amount in this process.

The first reason for this is that walking around with heavy weights tends to burn more energy than typical daily activities.

The number of calories burned with farmer’s walks will depend on a variety of details including exactly how much weight you use.

That being said, to give you some idea, a rough estimation would be that the average person burns around 126 – 216+ calories per 15 minutes of farmer’s walks with about 100 pounds (45.4 kg) during the workout.

Something else that benefits weight loss is building muscle mass. Farmer’s walks are not the number one exercise in this area but they can help.

That being said, if you want to as much fat as possible and the farmer’s walk is the only workout you do, you likely want to go for lighter weights you can use for a nice amount of time.

3. Farmer’s walks can improve grip strength

One of the muscle groups that farmer’s walks work deserves more attention and that is the collection of forearm grip muscles.

How long you can hold an object and how heavy it can be depends on the strength and endurance of these muscles.

By doing farmer’s walks consistently, you will likely see improvements in endurance and potentially even forearm grip muscle size.

Better grip strength is not only helpful for carrying around things. It can also help you avoid falling down since your stronger grip makes it easier to hold onto something.

This detail is especially relevant for somewhat older individuals but even when you are young this benefit could deserve your attention.

4. Farmer’s walks can improve your cardiovascular health

One of the more unique benefits of farmer’s walks is that they can be used as a resistance training exercise and a cardiovascular workout depending on what weight you use.

Your cardiovascular system includes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels. This system moves a variety of substances throughout your body to places where these are needed.

When you do farmer’s walks, this transport of substances will have to happen at a higher rate. In turn, your cardiovascular system will have to work harder.

This tends to be good because working your cardiovascular system harder (but not too hard) can make it stronger.

Having a strong cardiovascular system tends to reduce your risk of related conditions which are unfortunately relatively common (1, 2, 3).

Additionally, having better cardiovascular health will make it easier to walk around and climb up stairs without getting out of breath.

In simpler words, the farmer’s walk can strengthen your cardiovascular system which tends to be helpful for health and daily activities.

5. Farmer’s walks prepare you for daily activities

You can say that the farmer’s walk is a relatively functional exercise because it is a movement that happens regularly in daily life.

By strengthening your grip, trapezius, and core muscles and improving your cardiovascular health, these daily activities will be a lot easier to accomplish.

In turn, this can save you some discomfort and time.

6. The farmer’s walk can improve your coordination

The farmer’s walk is not the most challenging exercise in this area but it does require some coordination.

Especially if you use one-handed weights like dumbbells, you will have to time your steps and arm movements to stay balanced.

By challenging your coordination with a farmer’s walk, you can potentially see improvements in this fitness component.

This is not only useful for your farmer’s walk workouts but is again something that could make your daily activities easier.

7. Farmer’s walks can improve your bone density

Not everyone is aware of it but your bones are not just static material inside of your body. In simpler words, your bones can adapt to how you use them.

In the context of farmer’s walks, this is relevant because this exercise can actually help you strengthen your bones by putting these under safe amounts of pressure (4, 5, 6).

This will especially be the case in the bones in your arms and shoulders but to some extent many other body parts too.

Having stronger bones will reduce your risk of breaking them.

Even if you are not at the age where this worries you, strengthening your bones could deserve your attention. This is because as you get older, it becomes harder and harder to increase bone density.

By doing the farmer’s walk, and preferably other heavy lifts like deadlifts, with a lot of weight, you can save yourself a lot of issues in the future.

8. Farmer’s walk technique is not that complicated

In many sports and exercises, there is at least some type of learning curve involved.

This requires you to spend some type learning this technique or skill before you can get the full health benefits of the workout.

On the flip side, there are also exercises like the farmer’s walk which have a relatively straightforward technique.

You will likely not encounter this movement every single day but often enough so that you know how to go through the motion.

One thing to pay some attention to during the farmer’s walk is keeping your spine more or less straight up.

Besides that, you can just pick up some weight and start walking to get the other benefits on this list.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.