Farmers Walk Workout

Farmers Walk Workout Finisher

One of the best workout finishing moves that you can do to help build up your grip strength, as well as building functional strength from head to toe, is the Farmers Walk.

And this exercise is super simple, all you need to do is grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and go for a walk around the gym.

Most people think of the Farmers Walk exercise as a forearm workout (which it certainly is) but there are so many more muscles coming into play besides your grip and forearms.

Walking with heavy resistance will work all the small stabilizing and supporting muscles throughout your traps, upper back, spinal erectors, obliques, abs, core, hips, calves, ankles, etc. The Farmers Walk basically develops functional strength throughout the entire body.

Farmers Walk Instructional Video…

Note: if you can’t watch the embedded video clip above,
you can watch it right on my YouTube Channel by Clicking Here

If you’ve never done the Farmers Walk before, than just start off walking a couple laps back and forth the gym after your workouts. It’s best to wait until after you have finished your planned weight training workout before you do the farmers walk because if you were to do them at the start of your workout you would pre-exhaust your grip and your hands will be too fatigued to perform your normal workout routine.

Like any new workout or new exercise, start off slowly and build up gradually. Don’t get over zealous and do too much, too soon. Just start with a couple laps of the gym, resting at least a minute or two between each lap. Now the distance is going to vary based on how much space you have available, but shoot for a minimum of 50 steps per “lap”.

As for the starting weights, it’s going to depend on your individual strength levels. I would guess that most men who workout should be able to handle about 50 pound dumbbells for their first workout. But use your own judgement on this one. It’s much better to start “too light” and build up gradually overtime. Rather than starting too heavy, strain something, get injured, and then be set back several weeks while you wait for your body to recover.

Different Farmer's Walk Variations

Training With Progressive Overload…

Each time you do the Farmers Walk strive for some form of progressive overload. Be that walking for longer distances, such as longer laps or more laps per workout. Or strive to lift heavier dumbbells than you did for your previous workout.

One way you can build progression into your workouts is to take a pair of dumbbells that you can carry for approx. 50 steps and gradually work up to carrying those dumbbells for 100 steps. Then when you can get 100 steps, move up to the next heaviest set of dumbbells and start the process all over again.

Advanced Farmers Walk Workout…

As you get more advanced you can even train beyond your natural grip strength by using lifting straps. This will allow you to carry heavier dumbbells and / or walk for longer distances. This advanced version of the Farmers Walk is a great way to build up functional strength throughout your entire body.

If you are going to do this, start off with a couple sets without lifting straps to build up your natural grip strength, then do a couple more sets with lifting straps to really push yourself.

Strive to do the Farmers Walk twice per week with at least 2 days in between each Farmers Walk workout. If you follow these tips here you will notice some big improvements in your grip strength, work capacity, and functional strength within the matter of a couple months.

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback – please share them below.

And if you like the Farmers Walk, than you’ll also like training with Heavy Grips Hand Grippers. They are awesome for building muscular forearms and strong crushing grip strength.

Heavy Grips Hand Grippers

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • trevor

    will the farmers walk develop your thighs and hamstrings…I workout at home but cannot squat because of slipped disks in my lower back…not even dumbbell squats.

  • Tim rudd

    Lee good video, Lee how long should you walk for.

    Thanks a million
    Tim Rudd

  • rick

    Thanks for the video! Can’t wait to give it a try. I have always had trouble building my traps and hope this helps!

  • Paul

    Great advice Lee!
    Been doing farmer walk finishers for a few years now and they have helped me through DL plateaus and forearm development. This is what I like about your site and advice-simple and effective.
    Good job.

  • nkkie du toit

    hallo Lee , as a woman 53 years old I do this on a regular basis , I saw it on nia shanks website and yes it is hard but worthwhile for strength and stability all over my body

  • Keith

    Cheers lee I’m gonna include this in my workout starting Monday .Best wishes from Ireland 🙂

  • Bobby

    Lee, My name is Bobby I am a 42 yr old black male I am 6’3 220 pds.I am a former athlete In fair shape I have slight gynocamastia. I want to get rid of. Hormone fee food is a start I am on a Vegan and Raw diet. Also I want killer calf muscles and thighs. overall I want to be proportioned very well with a V-d out back. I have a boxers build like Evander Holyfield who could have used some leg work also. I want more of a Terrell Owens look please advise. How to lose fat and cut without losing strength or mass and gain explosive leg power..

  • val

    only when i go to walmart lee.

  • Chuck S

    Reply to Debbie Someone else used 7 gallon water jugs, 56 pounds each. You could fill them less than full. 1 gallon is 8 pounds.

  • Charlie

    Hello Lee, I am going to try this exercise today and thanks for the video 🙂

  • Henry

    Hey there Lee. Just great info for my clients. Its usually part of most of my clients training schedules. Occasionally I start a session with farmers walk….this is on hard days. Love adding it as a 4 way supper-set on kilker days with burpees, power cleans, turkish get ups & chin ups. Gets the heart-rate racing.

  • DJ

    what about with ones with back problem

  • Lee, I love the farmers walk, as you state its a great core exercise and very functional as well. Works just about every muscle in the body. Its also a good little cardio workout as well. Helps in jacking up the metabolism. I included them in my trap and shoulder workout and will use on leg day as well as a warm-up. It works for me.

  • Hilton

    Hey Lee,
    Stunning work! This is a stunning FULL BODY excercise, and it really gets EVERYTHING working!!
    Thanks again.

  • Sag

    Hey lee I wanna try this at home when I workout but the thing is I have a lot of stairs.would it be ok if I tried going up and down the stairs with dumbells or just stick with the walking laps?

  • Hey Lee great article. Farmer walks have a been a staple for my on shoulder/trap day for a while now and feel they have helped in lots of areas of my training. My friends always say I look funny but I just laugh at them haha.

  • Very interesting exercise. I think I could try this 🙂