It is said that everything eventually comes a full circle, and so is now the case in the world of exercise and fitness. From the basics such as walking to the development of high-end exercise machines that work every muscle of the body, and back to the simple farmer's walk, exercising is now coming back to the basics to keep fit and healthy. One such basic exercise is the farmer's walk, which is usually identified by a farmer walking while carrying two heavy buckets of grain or animal feed or water in either hand. This kind of walking is known to provide a total body workout, tone the muscles, and keep the body fit and injury free.
In this FitnessVigil article, we will discuss the exact benefits of this kind of workout, and the method of performing it effectively.
Performing the Exercise
Fortunately, you don't have to be a farmer or go to a farm to be able to perform this exercise. All you need are two heavy weight dumbbells, each of which you hold in each hand, and walk a distance that you find comfortable. The following steps will tell you exactly how to perform the exercise.
- Choose an area to walk on that has a flat, even surface. It should be free of any obstructions.
- Ideally, the weights that you carry in your hands should be equal to your body weight. However, since you are just starting off, carry weights that are slightly heavier than those you are comfortable with, so that you can feel the pressure. You may use dumbbells or kettlebells to perform the exercise. As you perform this exercise regularly, you will be required to increase the weight you carry.
- The idea is to carry any kind of weight. You too can carry two buckets of water or sand if you don't have dumbbells at your disposal.
- Place the weights on the floor. Keep your shoulders and back straight, with your feet shoulder's width apart. Now, lower your body by bending at the knees while keeping your back straight, and pick up the weights in your hands by your side. Avoid slouching or you may develop back problems. Wear shoes that can absorb the pressure you are putting on your knees and feet.
- Start walking on the even obstacle free surface up to a distance where you can no longer hold the weights. Ensure while walking that you are exercising your gluteal muscles (muscles in the buttocks) rather than those in your lower back. Some experts suggest just dropping the weights when you cannot hold them any longer. However, you have to be careful while doing so. Leave the weights, rest for about 30-45 seconds, and start the entire process again. Once you have walked the desired distance, walk back to the starting point in the same manner.
While many of you may undermine the physical benefits of manual labor and prefer just working out in a gym, you ought to know that these natural laborious exercises work the body in amazing ways to make it fitter. The benefits that you derive from doing this exercise are numerous, and have been enlisted here.
- The first benefit of the farmer's walk is that it strengthens the core muscles. Strong core muscles equal a strong body that is less prone to developing injury.
- You develop a great sense of balance and control over your body by performing this exercise.
- Your stamina and metabolism only increase as you continue doing this exercise regularly.
- The exercise utilizes muscles all over the body. These include those in the arms, shoulders, abdominals, legs, glutes, and back. Further, it can be performed by men to develop muscle mass by using heavier weights, and by women to tone their bodies by using slightly lighter weights.
- Apart from the aforementioned benefits, the farmer's walk also helps develop ankle and grip strength.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.