Farmer Walks: What? Why? When? Why again?

by Sean St. Onge

“Two bells, Farmer Walk…”

Four words echoed in every 212 Health and Performance member’s mind for potentially (hopefully) the rest of their lives. 

But why? 

Why do we have our clients do so many Farmer Walks? What is Farmer Walk? What do farmers call Farmer Walks? Just walks? 

There is always a method to the madness. 

There are specific Farmer Walks we utilize for each lift we have in classes.

Goblet Walks:

To prepare the anterior core and upper body loading to squat we utilize “Goblet Walks”.

It is a nice set up for moving the lower body and posterior chain muscles while bracing the core. Normally paired with any type of squat. 


Kettlebell Crosswalks:

To prepare the shoulders and “lats”.

No Ron, lats as in latissimus dorsi, or the largest group of muscles of the back. For these muscles we use Kettlebell Crosswalks or Overhead Walks. When performed properly with the right people in the right situations, these are a fantastic drill to get weight loaded properly into the back but get complete shoulder flexion with the bell sturdy overhead while, again, core contraction and lower extremity activation.


Farmer Walks:

“Just plain ole Farmer Walk.” 

Loading up two weights, dumbbells or kettlebells, hell, dare I say barbells! This is a fantastic warm up and finisher drill to help enlist the anterior core muscles, glutes, and lats. This drill helps hammer core stability, as it is very hard with weight in your hands to walk forward and allow hyperextension of the lower back. It is great for upper back strength and shoulder health as when holding the two challenging weights it is too hard to pitch forward as the weight will eventually pull you down so the upper back musculature has to stay “packed” back and the shoulders cannot shrug very high or at all allowing them to work within the happy gliding motion while you walk. 


These are just a few of the many walks you guys have tried out. Look for more interesting variations from us as we try out and concoct more ideas in the secret exercise lab that doesn’t exist because, despite popular belief, we are not laying awake late at night laughing maniacally to ourselves at your exercise demise. We like to sleep like you do. :)