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Farmer’s Walk Tips

Written on July 5, 2010 at 3:46 am, by Eric Cressey

Today’s guest blog comes from Jedd Johnson of DieselCrew.com.  Here are seven tips for successful and safe farmer’s walk training:

Farmers Walk Tips

1.  Equipment Set-up: When you add plates, make sure they are tight.  Loose plates shift around and can throw your technique off.  Tighten them with collars, Pony Clamps, Wrist Wraps, or something else that will keep them tight.

2.  Stance: Make sure you take not of how you set up your feet.  Have the handles right by the legs and place the feet equidistant from the handles.  Stand near the center of the handle, or maybe even slightly forward of center, whichever feels best for you.

3.  Grip Position: Depending on how you pull and how strong your grip is, you will either want to grip the handles right in the center or shifted slightly back.  It is better to have the handles leaning down in front than down in back.  Slightly down in front shifts the emphasis to the first two fingers.  Down in back shifts it to the last two (and weakest two) fingers.

4.  Chalk: Chalk up well.  Chalk the inside of your palm and fingers as well as the thumb and the back of the fingers.

5.  Thumb: Wrap your thumb up over your index finger, middle finger, or both, depending on what is comfortable.  This contact will secure your grip and it is also why you want to chalk on the back of your fingers.  If they are wet, your thumb will slip and that is no good.

6.  Heels and Glutes: Push the heels into the ground when you pull the handles up, just like you would a narrow stance deadlift.   When you near lockout, fire the glutes instead of the lower back.  You’ll last longer this way and be able to do more sets.

7.  Short Choppy Steps: Take short, choppy steps when walking, especially the first few.  This allows you to conserve energy and stay balanced during your stride.  Once you pick up momentum, you can take longer strides, but it is almost always easier to maintain control with short choppy steps.

Farmer’s Walks are great for building Grip Strength, and that is something that is important for all sports, as well as many other lifts in the gym.

Interested in learning more about Jedd’s unique grip training ideas?  Check out his new e-book, Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball.


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  • All,

    Where in your programs do you include implement carries?

    Regards,
    Carson Boddicker

  • Wow! That video was intense! I noticed that like you said, short choppy steps are key. It is easy to get your momentum going forward too fast and you get awkward or trip yourself up.

    I need to step it up a knotch! After watching that, I think that I am slacking a little!

  • Sam Leahey

    Carson – Speaking of the 2-Handed version, I see them primarily as a single leg exercise and will place it accordingly which is obviously after bilateral work. Categorically I put them in the same category as walking lunges (accelerative & decelerative). As long as we can justify the “why” of implementing an exercise then fitting it into your progressional thought process maybe an easier task.

  • Sam Leahey

    Also, for someone like yourself dealing with runners you may consider as part of a “special strength” progressions (as apposed to “general”). One beginning with farmers walks and ending with sled pushes.

  • How’s the gait generally look during these? I can’t figure it out and my knees absolutely kill when doing these, so they’ve become a contraindicated exercise for me, although I’d like to change that.


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