Do you remember watching Tom Hardy play the AWOL U.S. Marine Tommy Riordan in Warrior (2011) thinking, how on earth did he build those traps? and how can I do it?
Have you ever heard of the farmers walk? Essentially you are required to pick up something heavy and walk in a straight line. By incorporating such an exercise into your regular routine you will absolutely see increases in both your strength and size.
So why don’t we see more guys walking up and down the gym with some heavy dumbbells in each hand? Often the simplest method is the best, however inherent in most of us is an oddly illogical attraction to complexity, and this applies to performing exercises in the gym as much as it does to everyday life.
The more outrageous the exercise, the more attention it gets (you only need watch some of the buffoonery posted on youtube for proof of this). Let’s face it, picking up a heavy object and simply walking to one end of the room and back again isn’t exactly thrilling, but what the farmers walk lacks in excitement, it certainly makes up for ineffectiveness.
The most obvious benefit to incorporating the farmers walk into your routine would be the improvement in grip strength, which ultimately will help you improve on other movements such as the deadlift, shrug, and pullup/chinup.
Research has also shown that the farmers walk is a great exercise for training your core as your abdominal wall and obliques must work to stabilise your trunk throughout the movement. Variation in the movement, for example working unilaterally (one-sided), bilaterally or with uneven loads will all create different stresses for your core to adapt to.
Want a massive back? Heavy carries are an excellent way to produce high levels of muscular tension on the upper back and traps. Many well respected strength coaches utilise various forms of the exercise to pack muscle onto their respective athletes.
The bottom line, if you want to build that physically imposing and impressive body, you’re going to take some time away from your exciting yet needlessly complicated exercises and get back to your primal side – pick the heaviest thing you can find and go for a walk.
*The views and/or opinions expressed in the blogs are not necessarily those of Training Nation, but of the author