This will be a short article because it really isn’t a hard sell to convince you the practicality of farmer carries.
The farmer carry is an all encompassing lift that you need to start doing. It’s really that simple. There’s probably no other compound exercise (exercise using multiple joints/muscle groups) that hits more muscle groups in a single movement. We’re talking upper body, lower body, and core. Trying to put on muscle? Do farmer carries. Trying to get stronger? Do farmer carries. Trying to lose weight? Do farmer carries.
If you don’t know what a farmer carry is. It is literally just walking while holding weight in both hands. You can do it with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a trap bar. That easy. Get a comfortable distance you like and a weight that is challenging but doable, then walk it down and walk it back. Do that for 3 or 4 sets and you’re good to go.
Let’s run through some benefits.
- Forearms/Grip strength — There may not be anything better for building forearms and grip strength. Lots of “bros” focus on wrist curls or rolling up that rope with the weight on one end and a stick in your hands. The reality is that carrying heavy weight while walking extended distances will build up up your forearms and grip strength better. Unless you’re using wrist wraps. Don’t use wrist wraps. If you have to use wrist wraps to do the weight, you’re doing too much and should drop down until you get used to the weight without wraps, then move up.
- Traps/Shoulders — Traps will be under significant tension the entire time, and shoulders are forced to stabilize the weight as you walk. The constant usage should lead to some solid muscle growth.
- Abs/Obliques — Abs are clenched while walking in order to support the lower back, so, similar to the shoulders/traps, your abs and oblique are constantly under tension while performing farmer carries. If you’re someone that doesn’t feel like doing countless crunches and sit-ups to achieve ab development, farmer carries are a solid exercise to substitute in.
- Legs — this shouldn’t be hard to believe, but you’re utilizing your legs a fair amount in farmer carries, as, well, you’re walking. Quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are all gonna be feeling it in this exercise.
Honestly, the farmer carry may be one of the most functional exercises in existence. Engaging the full body, this exercise can build strength and size while also giving you a decent cardiovascular workout. As the whole body is under tension, your lungs will feel the full force of farmer carries as well.
Honestly, just try em out. I can promise that you’ll feel them the next day. The post-farmer carry soreness honestly may be one of the most satisfying post-workout feelings there is. It’s like a full-body dullness that just constantly reminds you of the workout you underwent and the benefits that are coming.
It’s really your choice which day you want to put them into. I like to tag them onto the end of my leg days. I like the feeling of finishing a hard leg day with a nice full body exercise to sap the last bit of life out of my body. But, if you want to feel more fresh you can always start off the workout with them. There’s no wrong way to implement them. Just do them.