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Farmer Walks – What and Why

Farmer Walks – What and Why.

May 23, 2012

Farmer walks – no it is not Old McDonald walking his way to the barn to do chores.  Well, we will do the walk part.  But, our farmer walks are a totally different animal.  Farmer walks remind me of my teenage years on the farm – hauling huge pails of warm water to the horse barns in the middle of winter.  The huge white pails were almost as big as me and once filled with water, it was one heck of an early morning workout.


Farmer walks or farmer carries involve a very simple movement.  Pick up something very heavy in each hand and go for a walk.  Sounds simple enough, eh?  Simple yes, easy – no way.  There is no muscle group left unworked in this simple, but effective exercise.

From forearms to upper back, your trunk (core), hips legs and glutes all get involved and are working hard.  When done correctly and maintaining a stiff and straight posture, the trunk muscles are highly challenged.  It is crucial that good posture and alignment be maintained.  Rounding shoulders and forward head posture need to be corrected.  The weights chosen need to be enough to challenge but not so heavy that you cannot maintain an upright posture for the duration of the set.

The most common form of farmer carry is carrying the weights at your hips like a suitcase.  But a farmer carry may also hold the weight at the shoulders or straight arm overhead.

Farmer Walks are a very high intensity exercise and an excellent form of fat burning.  They are physically demanding and an excellent conditioning tool.  The heavy loads force you to work very hard – these high loads = high intensity.  The higher the intensity the more metabolically demanding = ++ fat burning.

The farmer walk involves the entire body.  As mentioned above, there are very few muscles left idle.  Walking and turning under load involves strengthening our basic movement patterns.

This exercise is done for a repeated effort.  Several laps around the gym or measuring out a specified distance and be required to complete takes time.  This increased time of continued effort once again increases our metabolic output – all helping in the fat loss arena.

Farmer Walks are a great exercise that can be easily included in everyone’s workout.  They can be done solo at the end of a workout as a finisher or they can be done in a complex fashion incorporating other exercises that can take the metabolic demands through the roof.  Once again, great at the end of workout to really increase the post workout metabolic needs.

So pick up something heavy, and get walking!

Narina

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