The best day to do farmer’s walks is when you do deadlifts, or on your “pull” day in the gym. Because farmer’s walks are a basic exercise that works a lot of the same muscles as deadlifts and other pulling movements like rows and curls, you’ll get a great finish to your lifting routine on these days. With that being said, farmer’s walks are an incredibly functional exercise and work out muscles in other areas of your body as well. They also promote endurance and fat loss, and aren’t just used for strength training. This means you can still receive a ton of benefits if performed on any day.
What Muscles Do Farmer’s Walks Work?
One of the best things about farmer’s walks is that they are a single exercise that hits almost every muscle in your body. They also put a heavy emphasis on your back, forearms, traps, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and arms, and can be used no matter your fitness level.
By controlling aspects like your stride, speed, time, and weight carried, farmer’s walks can be an effective exercise to build muscle mass, full-body strength, and overall physical endurance. It can also be a great tool for building mental endurance as well.
- Farmer’s walks work a variety of muscles in your entire body.
- Speed, stride, time, and weight are factors leading to fitness gains with farmer’s walks.
- Improves your grip strength and core muscles.
Farmer’s walks are also great for building grip strength and core strength, especially when performed with heavier weight for longer periods of time. For example, perform a 75-foot farmer’s walk with a challenging load and you’ll feel it from your arms to your abdominal muscles, all the way down to your calf muscles. Perform this walk for 3-5 rounds and you’ll really feel it.
When Should You Do Farmer’s Walks?
Although farmer’s walks can be performed on any day in the gym, your “pull” day is usually best. Choose a day that will allow you to pair them with other exercises that work muscles like your back, biceps, forearms, shoulders, traps, core, and legs.
It’s also a good idea to perform farmer’s walks towards the end of your workout routine as an accessory to your larger, compound lifts. Just be sure to always maintain a tall posture, even if you’re tired from previous lifts. Bad posture can be harmful and it’s important to never risk your chances of injury.
- Farmer’s can be performed any day, but your “pull” day is usually best.
- Use farmer’s walks as a finisher at the end of your workout routine.
- The right weight and distance can help build muscle.
If you want to use farmer’s walks to trigger muscle hypertrophy and build muscle mass, try using a weight that is half your 1 Rep Max on your deadlift for a distance of at least 75-100 feet. Perform for at least 4-6 rounds total.
Best Exercises to Do With Farmer’s Walks
It’s best to pair farmer’s walks on the same day as some of the following exercises:
- Barbell Rows
- Lat Pulls Downs
- Seated Cable Rows
- Bicep Curls
With that being said, you don’t need to limit farmer’s walks to just the above exercises. Choose the day that fits your own personal goals and recovery needs.
Farmer’s Walks with PPL and Upper/Lower Routines
To get a better sense of how farmer’s walks fit in a strength training program, let’s look at two popular lifting routines: PPL and Upper/Lower splits.
If you are currently on a PPL, or Push/Pull/Legs, routine in the gym, the best day for farmer’s walks would look like this:
- Monday: Push
- Tuesday: Pull (add Farmer’s Walk)
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Push
- Friday: Pull (add Farmer’s Walk)
- Saturday: Legs
- Sunday: Rest
Alternatively, you could add farmer’s walks to your leg day instead of your pull day, especially if your grip is severely fatigued from deadlifts and you can’t get a tight grip on heavy dumbbells or weight plates.
If you are on a strength training program like an Upper/Lower routine, adding farmer’s walks in the gym could look like this:
- Monday: Upper
- Tuesday: Lower (add Farmer’s Walk)
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Upper
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Lower (add Farmer’s Walk)
- Sunday: Rest
As you can see, with both routines, farmer’s walks are incorporated twice per week when lifting, although you can increase or decrease this frequency as needed. For example, using a heavy weight with large strides for a longer period of time can be incredibly taxing on the body. In these instances, it’s best to keep farmer’s walks to 1-2 times per week to reduce your risk of injury.
Can You Do Farmer’s Walks on Leg Day?
Farmer’s walks can be incorporated with leg day because they work every single muscle in the legs. They don’t need to be reserved just for back or pull days. Performing as few as 3-4 rounds, to as many as 7-10 rounds of farmer’s walks can be beneficial on leg day. They can also be an excellent exercise if you’re having a hard time getting motivated for leg day.
Best Day for Farmer’s Walk
The best day for farmer’s walks is when you are doing exercises like deadlifts, rows, curls, and shrugs. The pulling movement of these workouts incorporates well with the benefits of farmer’s walks to provide a great finish when strength training. Additionally, because farmer’s walks can also be a great cardiovascular exercise, they can be performed on any day in the gym or as part of a circuit training routine.