Farmers Walk With Dumbbells – Great Full Body Exercise!
In this article I will be exploring the farmers walk with dumbbells and how it is a great full body exercise that will benefit you in so many ways. Dumbbells are easily accessible – both in commercial gyms and home gyms. This makes this exercise very easy to perform for everyone.
You can also perform farmers walks with farmers walk handles or a trap bar, however these are not as accessible as dumbbbells. Trying to perform farmers walks with a trap bar in a busy commercial gym is also not the most practical.
Benefits Of The Farmers Walk
I will outline the benefits of the farmers walk first before I discuss the use of dumbbells when performing it.
The farmers walk is an incredible full body exercise that works the traps, forearms, lats, upper back, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. It is a really functional exercise that is very useful in real life. For instance when carrying a suitcase or groceries.
It strengthens the core and has fat burning benefits when done for long durations. When you use heavier loads and walk for less time you can strengthen your grip and also build your traps very big.
Alternating Between Heavy And Light Dumbbells
When doing farmers walks with dumbbells it is advantageous to alternate between doing walks with lighter weight and heavier weight. This way you can train your endurance as well as your power. By using lighter weights you can experience more benefits in regards to conditioning and fat loss. With heavier weights you will work your grip a lot harder and your muscles will be taxed more, inducing growth.
I personally alternate between the two, this way you get the best of both worlds. Most commercial gyms will have dumbbells up to 40-50kg, some will go as high as 70kg or more. For some people it may not be heavy enough and I will talk about ways you can make your dumbbell farmers walks a lot harder.
Fat Gripz Dumbbell Farmers Walk
An exercise that I really love to do are Fat Gripz dumbbell farmers walks. As the name suggest this is where you put fat gripz on the dumbbells and then perform the farmers walk exercise.
What this will do is limit the amount of weight that you can use, this will ensure that the heaviest dumbbells at any commercial gym will more than suffice. Your grip will work a lot harder when you are doing the farmers walks and it will get a lot stronger over time. The key as always is to respect progressive overload on this exercise.
When I perform the fat gripz dumbbell farmers walk I typically perform it as heavy as I can and I record how many laps I got with a given weight. I aim to improve the number of laps with a certain dumbbell before I move up to heavier dumbbells. The same process will be repeated with the heavier dumbbells.
If you want you can also use lighter dumbbells with fat gripz to work your endurance and also get a massive pump in your forearms.
Backdown Sets For More Volume
To get more volume with your farmers walks you can perform backdown sets with lighter weight as you would other exercises. This can allow you to accumulate more total volume with this exercise and improve your work capacity in the process.
You will experience great fat burning effects with this approach, the farmers walk is a demanding full body exercise that engages a lot of musculature and can help you to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. This is obviously contingent on having a healthy and clean muscle building diet in place at the same time.
You can either choose to do multiple backdown sets with lighter and lighter weights or do multiple sets with a lighter weight and keep the weight the same for all backdown sets.
Combining Farmers Walks With Other Exercises
For even better benefits in conditioning and fat burning you could consider doing “giant sets” where you perform farmers walks and then do walking lunges while still holding onto the dumbbells. This way you are getting even more bang for your buck.
I would advise doing that when you are doing lighter farmers walks, the goal with this variation is fat burning and conditioning. You will get a lot more fatigued when combining farmers walks with other exercises in the same set.
If you want to hammer your traps even harder you could do a set of shrugs while holding the dumbbells at the end of each lap of your farmers walks. It is a cool idea and one that would definitely help you to get some serious stimulation in your upper back and traps!
To conclude, in this article I have explored the farmers walk with dumbbells. I have looked at various ways you can program this exercise into your training. These include alternating between heavy and light farmers walks, using fat gripz to make your farmers walks a lot harder and incorporating backdown sets.
This will help you to get the best out of this exercise in your training. If you want a fun and different challenge you can perform giant sets by combining dumbbell farmers walks with other exercises like walking lunges in one big set. Your fitness will be greatly improved if you try this on a consistent basis over time.
If you have any questions about anything I have written in this article please leave me a comment below. I would love to know if you are currently doing this exercise in your training and how you are getting on with it.
Are you currently utilising any of the methods of training I have outlined in this article? Overall I believe that the farmers walk is a fantastic exercise and it is still underutilised in most commercial gyms. This is a big shame for an exercise that is so functional and has so many benefits.
As always, I hope you are enjoying your training and killing it!