One of the most effective yet overlooked strength building exercises is a loaded carry. This is most commonly referred to as a farmer’s walk. Essentially you are walking for a specified distance or time with moderate to heavy weights while maintaining as much muscular tension as possible throughout the body, specifically the upper back and core muscles.
Fixing Strength Leaks
This exercise is ideal for fixing “strength leaks”, which is the inability of a muscle group or series of muscle groups from generating maximal force due to weakness and lack of muscular coordination. Farmer’s walks require you to exert muscular strength and stability through locomotion and emphasize the muscles of the hands/forearms (which improves grip strength), the upper back (which improves shoulder stability) and the core/hips (which assist with the transfer of power from the lower body to upper body).
Performing the Exercise
To perform a Farmer’s Walk:
- Grab a set of dumbbells (start with a combined weight of both dumbbells equaling roughly 50% of your body weight)
- Stand with an erect posture focusing on squeezing the shoulder blades together/downward with your chest out, shoulders back and your midsection as tight as you can get it.
- Walk for a distance of 30 to 40 yards, rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat for a total of 3 to 5 repetitions (once the weight you are using becomes easy, increase it by 5 to 10%)
While this tip is directed at baseball players, anyone looking to increase their full body strength can benefit from it. The video below will give you a visual of what the exercise looks like.