One of the best workout finishing moves that you can do to help build up your grip strength, as well as building functional strength from head to toe, is the Farmers Walk.
And this exercise is super simple, all you need to do is grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and go for a walk around the gym.
Most people think of the Farmers Walk exercise as a forearm workout (which it certainly is) but there are so many more muscles coming into play besides your grip and forearms.
Walking with heavy resistance will work all the small stabilizing and supporting muscles throughout your traps, upper back, spinal erectors, obliques, abs, core, hips, calves, ankles, etc. The Farmers Walk basically develops functional strength throughout the entire body.
Farmers Walk Instructional Video…
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If you’ve never done the Farmers Walk before, than just start off walking a couple laps back and forth the gym after your workouts. It’s best to wait until after you have finished your planned weight training workout before you do the farmers walk because if you were to do them at the start of your workout you would pre-exhaust your grip and your hands will be too fatigued to perform your normal workout routine.
Like any new workout or new exercise, start off slowly and build up gradually. Don’t get over zealous and do too much, too soon. Just start with a couple laps of the gym, resting at least a minute or two between each lap. Now the distance is going to vary based on how much space you have available, but shoot for a minimum of 50 steps per “lap”.
As for the starting weights, it’s going to depend on your individual strength levels. I would guess that most men who workout should be able to handle about 50 pound dumbbells for their first workout. But use your own judgement on this one. It’s much better to start “too light” and build up gradually overtime. Rather than starting too heavy, strain something, get injured, and then be set back several weeks while you wait for your body to recover.
Training With Progressive Overload…
Each time you do the Farmers Walk strive for some form of progressive overload. Be that walking for longer distances, such as longer laps or more laps per workout. Or strive to lift heavier dumbbells than you did for your previous workout.
One way you can build progression into your workouts is to take a pair of dumbbells that you can carry for approx. 50 steps and gradually work up to carrying those dumbbells for 100 steps. Then when you can get 100 steps, move up to the next heaviest set of dumbbells and start the process all over again.
|Advanced Farmers Walk Workout…
As you get more advanced you can even train beyond your natural grip strength by using lifting straps. This will allow you to carry heavier dumbbells and / or walk for longer distances. This advanced version of the Farmers Walk is a great way to build up functional strength throughout your entire body.
If you are going to do this, start off with a couple sets without lifting straps to build up your natural grip strength, then do a couple more sets with lifting straps to really push yourself.
Strive to do the Farmers Walk twice per week with at least 2 days in between each Farmers Walk workout. If you follow these tips here you will notice some big improvements in your grip strength, work capacity, and functional strength within the matter of a couple months.
If you have any questions, comments, or feedback – please share them below.
And if you like the Farmers Walk, than you’ll also like training with Heavy Grips Hand Grippers. They are awesome for building muscular forearms and strong crushing grip strength.
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