For functional training, the trap bar farmers walk exercise is a great way to work on grip, abs, and lower body. The design and grips of the trap bar make the farmer’s carry very easy to load and repeat. In this guide we will discuss trap bar farmer’s walk benefits, muscles worked, and proper form.
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What Is The Farmers Walk?
The farmer’s carry also called the farmer’s walk is a strength and conditioning exercise. You perform the movement by holding a heavy weight in each hand and walking forward.
The movement initially gained popularity with competitive strongmen and strongwomen but has since then gained hold across the entire health and fitness industry.
It is one of the few exercises done in the gym that actually translates into real life quite well making the farmers carry very popular among the functional training community as well.
Trap Bar Farmers Walk Benefits
Here is why you should add this exercise to your workout routine:
Full Body Exercise
Trap bar farmer’s walk work for almost all the major muscle groups.
Muscles Worked During The Trap Bar Farmers Walk
Abdominal muscles: Help keep core tight and spine protected
Hamstrings: Stabilizes hip and knee joints through the movement
Quads: The quads are responsible for knee flexion. Help power with the forward movement.
Lower back: Help with spinal extension and core stabilization
Traps: The traps help to retract the shoulders back. The traps also feel a strong weighted stretch throughout the movement.
Biceps and Forearms: These Are responsible for grip strength and keeping the bar in place.
Lower leg muscles: Primarily your calves will help stabilize your ankle and propel you forward
Trains Muscle Endurance And Strength
The great thing about farmer’s walks is that they are both a strengthening and conditioning exercise. Depending on how you do them, you can target to improve your conditioning, strength, or a blend of both. Your strength and muscle mass will develop over time, especially in your forearms and traps as you progress in weight.
Meanwhile, your cardiovascular health will improve as your heart has to work hard to keep up with this demanding exercise.
There are plenty of the farmer’s carry variations that we will discuss later on, but one of the main advantages the trap bar has over those others is that it allows you to use more weight. When using dumbbells are kettlebells, working with very heavy versions of these can be quite hard to handle or deal with. With a trap bar, it is easy to load and unload the weight. Also, the set of neutral handles mean that you do not have to worry about the weight rubbing against you while you are walking.
How To Do Trap Bar Farmer’s Walk
How To Do Trap Bar Farmers Walk
- Step into the bar
After loading your bar, step into your trap bar
- Deadlift the bar up
Bend down and grab the handles, Deadlift the bar up by bringing your hips forward and pushing through your feet.
- Begin to walk
Make sure to keep your arms stable and begin to walk around. You should be engaging your core and back the entire time.
Shrug your shoulders slightly so that there is some tension on your traps
Take your time walking. Ensure a heel-to-toe pattern
Make sure your breath is in a nice and steady space. It can be hard to control your breath if you are not paying attention.
Be aware of your surrounding both behind and below so you do not run into anything.
Maintain shoulder positioning so you do not allow your shoulder to roll forwards or backward
How To Program Farmer’s Walks?
The number of sets and their duration will depend on your goals. Here are some general guidelines:
For Fat Loss or Conditioning: Two minutes of walking followed by 1 minute of rest for 10 sets
For Muscle Building and Fat Loss: Heavy walks for 1 minute followed by 1 minute of rest for 4 sets
For Strength and Size: Very heavy walks for 30 seconds followed by 2-3 minutes of rest for 3 sets
Farner’s Walk Variations
At the end of the day, the farmer’s carry is a fairly basic lift. While the trap bar is the best tool for this lift, there are lots of other variations you could try as well:
Dumbell Farmer’s Walk
The dumbbell variation is a great substitute if you do not have access to a trap bar. It just may be hard to find dumbbells that are heavy enough if you are already quite strong. You will also have to work harder with your arms to make sure you keep the weight controlled.
The kettlebell carry is very similar to the dumbbell variation. The main difference is that the kettlebell’s handle tends to be large in diameter. This will make the exercise even harder as it will be harder to grip the weight.
Farmer’s Walk Handles
Farmer’s walk handles were the original way of performing the exercise. These handles are plate loaded and already quite heavy just by themselves. Most strongmen gyms will have this but they are not needed to do a farmer’s carry.
The rickshaw is a special piece of equipment mostly used by strength athletes. The mechanics of the rickshaw closely resemble that of a trap bar.
The main difference is that the rickshaw has a platform that makes contact with the ground instead of the weight plates.
The suitcase carry can be thought of as a farmer’s carry but only one side at a time. In this variation, you take any weight you have but only carry it on one side.
This means that the other side of your body has to work very hard to stabilize the weight. This makes the suitcase carry a great variation to do in addition to your farmer’s walks.
Other Trap Bar Exercises
The trap bar is a very versatile bar with lots of benefits. There are tons of other cool exercises you could try with a trap bar. We have comprehensive exercise guides on these exercises for you to try:
The trap bar farmer’s walk is a great exercise that challenges both your muscles and heart. While the trap bar allows you to load more weight, there are still lots of other variations that you could try with other equipment. Whichever version you choose, just stick to it and you will see results and changes quickly.
Find The Best Trap Bar
After years of testing, we assembled a master list with the best trap bars for every home gym owner
Yes, the trap bar is a great way to do farmers’ walks. The ease of loading the bar along with the set neutral handles make the trap bar a great farmer’s walk tool.
The trap bar farmers walk is a full-body exercise that works your forearms, abs, traps, and legs primarily.