T Nation

Farmers Walk Injuries?


Is it possible to injure your back doing farmers walk?
We will be having a competition soon. I was wondering if I was to jog with the weights if my spine would get fucked up. The weight will be no more than 135/hand.


I would think that jogging with weights that heavy is going to be a really bad idea. Think about the stress and impact you take just from running without any added weight. It takes a long time to get someone to safely wear a weighted vest for jogging. But doing a "farmers' walk" in a jog, you're asking the weights to pull down on your shoulders with every step. Why not use the walk for what it's good for: grip strength, isometric stability across the whole of the upper body. I see no reason why you need to start jogging with it.


To reinforce what your saying to the OP, if your carrying the weight with your arms while jogging, the actual weight of them item is compounded by around 2-5 times, then also take into effect that the total weight value after its compounded is further compounded and applied toward your knee's, ankles, hips and core. So unless you are accustomed to doing this, which would take a while if its even possible, your looking to get hurt by just jumping into it.

Next, I have a 125 lb weight vest and its took me 3 1/2 months to even get up to jogging with it, let alone run or anything else, and even my "jog" is pretty damn sad but damn does it burn out my legs lol.


Last summer when we were doing it I was "walking fast/jogging" with the weights because they weren't too heavy. This summer we will be doing it again and i was just thinking about what effect it would have on your lower back.
You are right, I'm sure it really does put a lot of strain on the lower back.


I was in the marines for a bit, and we did alot of training carrying various crap, (ammo cans, logs, a "dead" friendly, etc), your lower back is engaged the whole time.


find some way to add more weight for christs sake. what the fuck are you doing if you can jog with that shit


haha well there are people of various ages, all the way to 14. And we do it tournament style with teams, so we need the same weight all across the board. Everyone needs to be able to lift it. So for the older guys it's really a matter of time. Grip and weight is not much of a factor.

Simpson, did that hurt your back or you are saying you were fine?


I remember reading an article (pretty sure it was on T-Nation) stating that jogging with weight is a bad idea for two reasons:

  1. A weight light enough to jog with isn't going to provide sufficient stimulation to improve your strength/size/work capacity that much.

  2. It places enormous stress on your joints, tendons and ligaments.

Considering the risk vs reward here, you're probably better of just training the traditional farmers walk and supplimenting with grip exercises


Trust me, you won't be able to jog with farmer's handles, regardless of the weight. Just focus on taking short, quick steps and you'll be ok.


No, I'm its a death exercise. I.e its way to hard on you for the gains and neuro stimulation that it actually gives, a different example would be this...

I can do 1500 lbs on legpress, do I ? No, because the resistance and muscle stimulation from Deadlifts, and squat variations is alot more beneficial.


I've always found the faster I try to go, the more I get pulled forwards. You might need to remember to stand tall, and even lean back a bit to do a fast walk. Never mind a jog!


I pulled a lat muscle before while doing the lift off.(a PR weight,managed to lift it and walk the desired distance)

The next morning,I couldnt get out of bed without great difficulty.Was out for squats,deads,overhead and rows for 5-6 weeks. Surprisingly,I could still do pullups with a lat strain.


Jogging will mess up your form.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of times that I don't go over 135 (less than 50%) per hand when working on speed, but I would never think of trying to jog with them.


I want to take a second to hijack this thread. I know farmers walks are a hugely popular strong man event, but are they at all helpful for powerlifting? I could see ways that the added grip and trap strength could help the deadlift, maybe bench? but I am just curious if anyone actually got any carryover from them.


You hit the nail on the head. The grip strength has exponential carryover into the deadlift.

The core stability you get also has profound effects on both squat and DLs.


It will help tremendous in your work capacity(read cardio/conditioning)as well


I'll throw in my input and say that I prefer longer walks with lighter weights, not necessarily faster. I wouldn't ever try to run with the weight, mostly because that isn't the footwork that is required once you go heavy. I agree with StonesAreFun, focus on short quick steps.

I don't have any real thought on the spinal forces. Strongmen do lots of stuff that isn't "safe" by conventional reasoning, so I'm not sure there is a lot of weight in the argument that it just isn't safe.