Pick up a heavy weight or two and take that weight for a walk.
Seems simple and crazy, right?
This is the Farmers’ Carry. Farmer’s Carries have been used by strongmen, athletes, strength coaches and trainers to train the core, posture and upper back muscles like no other exercise.
An added bonus of this exercise is that it also charges up your cardiovascular system the longer you walk or the heavier weight you use. This exercise can be done with kettlebells, dumbbells or if you are lucky enough to have Farmer’s Walk handles, you can implement those as well.
I wanted to share this exercise using kettlebells and dumbbells, because that’s the most common equipment that women will be able to find at the gym or their training center. You can even do these at home with a little bit of outdoor space.
Here are the keys to the Farmer’s Carry
• Pick up a weight in each hand (using your legs to lift them off the ground safely)
• Pull your shoulder blades back and keep your arms straight at your sides
• Squeeze your abs and stand tall
• Squeeze the handles of the weights hard to challenge your grip
• Take a walk anywhere from 100 to 500 feet per set
• If you need to turn during this walk, tighten your body to avoid tipping the weight
• Walk briskly to increase your heart rate and force your body to control the weight
When do you perform Farmer’s Carries?
These can be built into any strength or metabolic circuit or used as a finishing exercise. If they are built into a circuit, perform anywhere from 3-5 sets with a distance of 100 to 500 feet. If you are using them as a finishing exercise, you can use the same structure and rest 30-60 seconds between sets.
Use a weight that is challenging and heavy enough that you have to tense your abs and shoulders. For most women, this will be at least 30 pounds in each hand. I’ve included a demonstration video to show you how the traditional Farmer’s Carry works.
Take a few minutes to watch the video and implement this exercise into your training program for a great combination of strength and conditioning.