They look so unassuming, yet have so many benefits. Want to improve grip strength? Farmer carries. Want to lose fat? Want to gain muscle and get stronger? Farmer carries. Want to get your heart rate up really quickly? Farmer carries!
The farmer carry is another phenomenal grip builder and great for developing powerful legs, hips, strength through the core and a strong stabilizing back and shoulders. If heavy enough and the distance long enough, your whole body will start screaming at you. The Farmers Carry is also a useful movement for your everyday life – talk about “functional” fitness.
Probably one of the safest exercises you can do with weight is the “Farmer Carry” and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do them. You will not only feel these in your forearms and grip but also your neck, shoulders, back, abs and even glutes and quads!
The key is going HEAVY. All too often, I see athletes choose weights that are much too light to provide the benefit this exercise can offer. It should be a struggle to make it 50-100 meters with the weight you choose and if you can do 100 meter repeats without setting the weight down, you probably underestimated your abilities.
Grab two HEAVY weights – dumbbells, kettlebells, sacks of concrete, or whatever else you can find. To pick the weight up off the ground safely, half squat-half deadlift yourself to them with a flat back. Take a big belly brace and press your legs through the ground and to extension. The weight will now be at your sides with your palms facing towards your hips. Pin back your shoulder blades, make your spine as long as possible and walk as far as you can. Make sure you keep your belly braced throughout your walk. If you made it more than 200 meters, go back for a heavier load. I find it easier to walk with my knees slightly bent so I’m not bobbling around as much.
Another fun variation is the suitcase carry, which is a single-arm farmer carry that forces you to stabilize your midline. All the same rules apply here. Just alternate hands instead of using both at once.
Try them as part of your workout or as a post-workout fun finisher. I think you might be surprised at how sore your abs are the next day and how out of breath you get performing these two exercises!
Farmer's Walk How-to
- Stand between two sets of weights—dumbbells, kettlebells or custom barbells.
- Place your hands in the middle of the weights to avoid tipping them.
- Brace your core and glutes and drive through the floor to lift the weights.
- Straighten your posture, get tall, look straight ahead.
- Take small, quick steps for the allotted distance or time.
- Put the weights down in a controlled manner. For the safety of all involved, do not simply drop the weights on the ground.
The Farmer's Walk activates nearly every muscle group. The core braces and stabilizes the entire body. Grip strength in the hands, wrists and forearms is a necessity. The upper back works to keep the shoulders and chest from sagging. The legs obviously propel the walk, and the cardiovascular system is engaged throughout the entirety of the movement. As a result, your entire body is put to work burning fat and creating lean muscle stores.
That’s it for this week’s blog! Let us know what tips you have for mastering double unders and we’d love to know if any of our tips have helped you!
Stay tuned for more next week!
2017 Cycle 1 Day 26
Follow us on Instagram: @CrossfitHard and Join our CrossFit Hard Facebook group!!!
Are you an early bird or night owl?
1-Mile Run (Time)
Max Effort 1-Mile Run
High pace for the first 1200m, sprint that last 400m!!!
If you do not think you can run one mile in 15 minutes, run 800m instead and score separately.
Shoulder Press (5 sets of 4 reps.)
Every 3:30, complete 4 reps of shoulder press at 85% of your 1RM