If you are looking for a great cardio exercise that you can incorporate into your workout routine, the kettlebell farmers walk is a great choice. This is a simple yet very powerful exercise that can help boost your overall strength and fitness.

What is Kettlebell Farmers Walk?

A Kettlebell farmer’s walk is a variation of a farmer’s walk using a kettlebell. The kettlebells are used as weights for this type of farmer’s walk. The farmer’s walk, also known as farmer’s carry, is a great cardio exercise that involves holding weighted objects while walking for a designated distance or time.

How to Do A Farmer’s Carry Using a Kettlebell

The kettlebell farmers walk can do a lot for your body when done correctly. Below is a guide on how to do the farmer’s walk using a kettlebell.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with the kettlebells beside your ankles. Do a hip hinge as you bend your knees while keeping your back flat.
  • Strengthen your lower back and stiffen up your abs before grabbing the weights.
  • Once you have gripped the kettlebells, stand tall with the weights out to the sides a couple of inches. Make sure they don’t touch your legs. Tighten your armpits as you reach the full standing position and ensure that your shoulders are pulled back to stimulate the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Lastly, start walking slowly with small steps. Maintain a firm form and grip while walking. Put the weights down and grab them again when going back in the opposite direction.

5 Variations of Farmer’s Carry

There are so many things you can do with farmer’s carry. You can vary this exercise to meet your fitness level or goals. Here are some variations apart from the regular kettlebell farmers walk you can try:

1. Trap Bar Carry

A trap bar is a type of barbell that is often used when performing deadlifts. It is called a trap bar because of its trapezoid shape. The trap bar carry is a much easier variation of the farmer’s walk compared to others such as the farmer’s carry handle because it is more balanced and prevents the shifting that is experienced when carrying handles.

2. Kettlebell Carry

The kettlebell carry is just the same as a dumbbell carry but it uses kettlebells instead of dumbbells. However, this variation is much more difficult than the dumbbell one because the handles are much larger. This is a great movement if you want to do a more challenging farmer’s walk.

3. Farmer’s Walk Handles

The farmer’s walk handles are designed for endurance training and grip strengthening. This is the original way of performing the farmer’s carry. These handles are much bigger than dumbbells and you can add more weight to them.

This is more difficult and needs a lot of skills and technique in order to perform the variation properly. The farmer’s walk handles variant is often used by competitive fitness buffs because it requires dynamic strength.

4. Suitcase Carry

The suitcase carry involves carrying weight by your side while walking for a distance. It is like holding a suitcase that’s why it is called a suitcase carry. This variation requires more core balance to stay upright because the weight may pull you to one side. This is a great workout to add to your workout routine to help boost your overall strength.

5. Rickshaw Carry

A rickshaw is a walk-in trap bar that is used by many athletes. This unique gym equipment is best used for shrugs, squats, bench dips and deadlifts. The rickshaw farmer’s walk carry variation provides more stability than the trap bar one during the initial lifting because the rickshaw has a metal frame that contacts the ground. However, this workout may be more difficult than a trap bar during the walking part.

Key Benefits of Farmer’s Walk

The farmers walk is a great full-body workout that you can add to your fitness routine.

Below are some of its key benefits.

Promotes Muscle Strength and Power

One of the most obvious benefits of the farmer’s walk is a stronger grip. Gripping heavy weights is the only constant thing that is present in the farmers walk irrespective of other variables.

You can change the distance, speed, weight, time and intensity but the grip requirements will remain constant. The benefits of a grip strengthened by this form of workout can translate to other big lifts such as snatch and the deadlift.

The farmers walk requires total body engagement. This means that it can increase muscle power and strength. It is also known to help strengthen forearms, shoulders, glutes, core and posture.

Farmer’s Walk is not the only exercise you can do with kettlebells, there are other kettlebell exercises like the Goblet Squat and more. If you are interested in learning about kettlebells, check out this post on kettlebells benefits.

Improves Cardiovascular Health and Endurance

The farmer’s walk is a great type of cardiovascular workout that can increase your breathing rate. It will definitely get your heart pumping. High-intensity workouts such as the farmer’s walk are good for melting fat and help reduce cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Know these common mistakes when performing the kettlebell farmers walk to prevent injuries.

1. Using the Wrong Weight

Do not lift heavy weights that can compromise your form. Take shorter distances if you want to lift heavier weights and lighter weights if you decide to walk a longer distance.

2. Leaning Forward at the Waist

Do not lean forward at the waist. This may cause pain in your lower back. Always remember to steady your core, stand straight and always look straight while performing this exercise.

3. Not Keeping the Core Engaged

To protect your lower back and other possible injuries, make sure that you are engaging your core. The support coming from your core muscles will help you move faster and protect you from back pain and injury.

4. Raising the Shoulders

Do not raise your shoulders during the exercise. People who have poor posture may have difficulty doing a farmer’s walk. Remember that your shoulders should be pulled down and back when performing this workout.

Watch out for your posture and make sure that your back is not hunched because holding kettlebells can create discomfort in your shoulders and neck.

What Muscles Are Worked During Farmer’s Walk?

The following are the major muscles that are targeted during the farmer’s walk:

1. Quads

The quads assist in lifting the dumbbells from the ground and are responsible for knee extension.

2. Hamstrings

These muscles are responsible for hip extension and knee bending movement.

3. Glutes

The glutes play a significant role in deadlifting the dumbbells from the ground and stabilising the hip joint throughout the workout.

4. Calves

Aid in stabilising the ankle while performing the movement.

5. Lats

These muscles are responsible for proper posture during the farmer’s walk.

6. Erectors

The erectors aid in core stabilisation and spinal extension during the movements.

Upper back and traps: The upper back and traps are responsible for keeping a tall posture by pulling back the shoulders up and back.

7. Abdominals

These muscles help to keep the core tight and stable all throughout the movement.

8. Biceps

The bicep muscles aid in grip strength and are responsible for arm bending movements.

9. Triceps

The triceps keep the arm extended during the movement and go hand in hand with the biceps to stabilise the arms.

10. Forearms and hand muscles

The muscles help you to grasp tightly during the farmer’s walk.

How to Perform Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk Safely

Always consult a physician before performing a kettlebell farmer’s walk, especially for people with pre-existing health conditions.

You must follow the correct exercise technique to ensure your safety and the effectiveness of the workout program.

But you can also modify the farmer’s walk workout to cater to your specific needs and goals. Choose the right weight that you can control and stop right away if you encounter discomfort and pain.

Final Thoughts

The kettlebell farmer’s walk is a great total body workout that targets a lot of major muscles. This variation of the farmer’s walk involves the use of kettlebells which are deadlifted from the floor while walking for a distance.

Some benefits of the farmer’s walk include the promotion of muscle strength and the improvement of overall cardiovascular health. Remember to always consult your doctor before performing adding this exercise program to your fitness routine.

1. How heavy should the weight be?

This will depend on your fitness level. If you are just a beginner, you should start with around 11 kg an arm but if you are an advanced lifter, you must be able to carry your total body weight for at least half a minute.

2. How long should you farmer walk?

Choose your duration according to your ability to maintain the right technique throughout the workout. You can start the farmer’s walk program by performing 2 to 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds.