The farmer’s walk is the best exercise for the forearms and an excellent functional exercise for the whole body. Why is the farmer’s walk a good exercise for the forearms? The forearm muscles are directly connected to your hands. An exercise that builds grip strength will also build the muscles in your forearms. The farmer’s gait is far superior to hand-grip devices. Picture this, with the farmer’s walk he is holding over 100 pounds in each hand, with hand held devices he is putting a much smaller load on his hands.
There’s no comparison between farmer’s walks and isolation exercises like reverse curls and wrist curls. These isolation exercises are unnatural movements that put a lot of stress on the joints, especially the elbow and wrist. The farmer’s walk is a natural exercise. Human beings had to carry heavy loads in this way before the creation of our mechanized world. The farmer’s walk is a biomechanically sound movement with little to no stress on the joints if performed correctly.
At heavier weights, the farmer’s walk also works the legs and traps. A person’s grip is usually the weakest link in the kinetic force. Once you build your grip strength with the farmer’s walk, not only will your grip strength improve dramatically, but your forearms will also grow accordingly. Once you get to the point where you can hold a very heavy weight in each hand for long periods of time, this exercise becomes a full-body workout that also works your cardiovascular system.
To start the movement, place the dumbbells on the floor. You want to grip the dumbbells with a firm grip, in a neutral position. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and drive up with your legs. Use a deadlift position, keep your back straight, and look up. Remember that the main engine is your glutes, not your lower back. Once you’re upright, hold the dumbbells at your sides. Walk at a steady pace. Once you reach the end of your desired goal, walk back to your starting position.
To build stamina, practice farmer’s walks with 50-pound dumbbells for as many lengths as your grip will take. After 4 weeks, train to get stronger and use 100 pound dumbbells. If you feel like you are losing your grip, drop the dumbbells down gently, not slam them down. I’m sure you want to keep your gym membership. You can take this exercise to the next level by purchasing torpedoes. These are used in strongman competitions and can hold 200-300 pounds in each hand! Unfortunately, this equipment is quite expensive; it will cost you a couple hundred bucks.
Author of Gain Muscle NOW!