Farmer's Walks are one of the best exercises for athletes. They're often used for developing core strength, hip stability, a strong back and grip strength. With my athletes, I've integrated this fantastic exercise into what we call our Abbey Walk of Faith.
The Abbey Walk of Faith is a 1-mile Farmer's Walk. Yup, you read that right. One mile! I have my athletes grab a set of 15-pound dumbbells, give or take a few pounds based on their strength.
As a team, they walk a 1-mile course, which has multiple benefits.
Holding the dumbbells makes the walk significantly more challenging. It elevates their heart rate and builds their aerobic conditioning base. Obviously there's also a huge grip-strengthening element and improved core control. And it's a mental toughness challenge—especially in a team environment.
But before you do this, there're a couple things you need to be aware of.
- It's important to maintain a tight core. It's impossible to tighten it to the max during the entire walk, but you need to brace your core to protect your back.
- Keep your shoulders down and back throughout the walk.
- If your grip begins to fail, briefly carry the dumbbells on your shoulders in the rack position, like you'd normally use for a Front Squat.
- There's a tendency for athletes to take short, shallow breaths. Make sure to take full inhales and exhales.
The 1-Mile Farmer's Walk doesn't require a huge explanation, which is one of its virtues. Simply grab the dumbbells and walk, keeping the above coaching points in mind.