Why We Farmers Walk (or do any carry)

You carry them at your side, hoist them over your head, carry them under your chin, one hand, two hands, right side up, upside down, kettlebells, sandbells, dumbbells, and a mixture of any of these. And you ask…

“Why do I do this?”

“How does this help me?”

“What muscles is this working?”

Well this is for all of you asking…

“Why do I Farmers Walk?”

Doing any carry or walk goes back to the basics of strength training and there isn’t anything fancy about it. Carries don’t require unusual equipment, intense coaching, or a lot of know how. Lift the weight, walk, and repeat. Carries are a functional movement that we use every day. How many grocery bags can you carry in one trip? How much does that baby carrier weigh? Ever hefted salt bags downstairs to the water softener? We carry things every single day; why not carry them easier and safer.


Carries have the ability to build muscle, cut body fat, and help increase strength in your main lifts… all by walking. All major muscle groups can be targeted during a carry and depending on how and what you use as weight some areas can be pinpointed even more. The key to successful walks is not what or how much is carried, but how you walk. Think about walking in the plank position. You should walk with your head held tall, shoulders down and back, short steps, and tight trunk. Eyes should be forward, looking straight ahead.


On any given day there are a variety of clients zigzagging through NSS carrying some sort of load. Some walk short distances with a heavy load, some walk further with a lighter load. With all the different variations it is difficult to know where to begin. Start simple and progress from there. At NSS we start with a standard Farmers Walk with weights in each hand at your side. From there you can move to bear hug or shoulder supported Sandbag Carries, one hand Suitcase Carries, Single Rack, Double Rack, and Overhead Walks. As you become more proficient with each one you can add weight and/or distance.

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