Why don’t more women do farmer’s walks?
Though women in strongwomen competitions do farmer’s walks, you’ll rarely, if ever, see a woman performing farmer’s walks at a gym or health club. Why is this?
I don’t even see personal trainers having their female clients doing farmer’s walks, and that’s really strange, because this physical activity is probably the easiest strength training routine out there.
The farmer’s walk is easy because this routine does not require special form, balance or coordination.
All you do is walk around carrying weights in both hands, arms straight. How easy is that?
There is no bending or unnatural positioning.
There is an exceedingly low risk of injury, and minimal strain on the joints.
And there is no jarring, no jumping, no impact.
Farmer’s walks are very safe, and women should do them. The question is simply the amount of weight that should be used.
The weight should be heavy, so that the exercise is difficult right from the beginning.
The weights should be heavy enough so that going just 100 feet, or 1-2 minutes nonstop, is strenuous.
Farmer’s walks will strengthen a woman’s shoulders, back and legs. This exercise will translate to daily living, in that carrying luggage will become much easier.
So will carrying weighty groceries – the kind of bags that you carry with handles and straight arms.
Do farmer’s walks on a regular basis, and carrying anything heavy straight-armed will become significantly easier.
Any kind of weight can be used for this exercise.
This means dumbbells, of course. But a woman can also hold onto weight plates.
Some makes of rubber-coated weight plates have openings that make holding them a lot easier than the non-rubber-coated weight plates.
Kettlebells can also be used. And of course, a woman can use barbells. However, barbells will be cumbersome and require more room and an element of balance. I suggest sticking with the dumbbells, plates or kettlebells.
Start out with lighter weights first.
What’s your biceps curling dumbbell weight? Add 10 pounds each side and do a farmer’s walk for two nonstop minutes with this weight.
So if you normally curl 20 pound dumbbells for 12 reps max, then do a farmer’s walk with 30 pound dumbbells for a nonstop two minutes.
If this wasn’t that difficult, or if you know you could have gone longer than two minutes, then increase the dumbbell weight. Or use weight plates.
Farmer’s walks will not give women hulking shoulders, even though it will feel that way as you move around with a heavy weight load.
It is exceedingly difficult for women to build up their trapezius muscles. Farmer’s walks won’t do much to change a woman’s appearance, but they will sure make a woman a lot stronger.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.