T Nation

Farmers Walks


are farmers walks good for forearm and trap mass as I would like to work on them throughout the next 2 months. hows your experience with them been?


Different movements probably effect different people in different ways, but for me, the answer would be yes.

I do a lot of farmers walks. I alternate light weight / long walk with heavy weight / as far as possible. My traps are one of the places I feel I have developed the most, and my forearms are pretty good.

The thing about farmers walks is they helped me in many, many ways besides just mass building. I think these benefits provided synergies which then in turn, helped me add more muscle mass. My posture will improved, my grip improved (which carried over to all my lifts, especially pulling lifts), it helped my core strength, my mental toughness, etc. But at the end of the day, yes, they added mass.

TBH, I would put farmers walks towards the top (if not the top) of the list of what has had the biggest impact on my training in terms of specific lift types.


does doing them with straps take away most of the goods that this exercise can provide?


Farmer's walks make me better at farmer's walks. I think they're a dandy way to make life terrible and become tough, and awesome for developing foodspeed with a heavy load, but if one's goal was to develop bigger forearms and traps, I feel it would be better for them to directly train these areas. If one wanted to improve their grip, I feel it would be better to directly train the grip.

The question of farmer's with straps was brought up. This is the only way I train them, mainly because the farmer's handles I built have too small of a grip area diameter and using heavy weight makes it very painful to the bones of the hands. That said, I like straps with the movement because I can focus more on footspeed and fatiguing my upperback/core and less energy worrying about my grip giving out. It's the same principle I employ with deadlifts.


Aou dis Frank Castle, you dis yourself.

But, you'll get different results in you train the farmer's walk as an event than if you use it as an exercise.

As an event, you want to get better at it. Max foot speed with minimum wobble of the implements. Traps and grip aren't the point, winning the farmers walk race is.

As an exercise, its all about the traps and grip. Grabbing some dumbbells and walking until your fingers pried open will build your grip. Shrug and hold your shoulders up as you walk and you will feel your traps. Try reverse curl/shrug/farmers walk "supersets."

And like Alive says, they help in other ways. If you job isn't physical, and lifting is exercise they are a great way to get moving around in a useful way.


I definitely agree that they're a great exercise for moving with a heavy weight. I've just never been a fan of indirect training with direct goals.

For grip, I employ the technique you talk about with the farmer's, just with a static load. On my deadlift day, I'll take 2 plates off my working weight and then pull double overhand and hold the lockout for as long as possible. Along with grip, this seems to really help develop my ability to hitch.


"If you dis" autocorrected to au dis. Sorry.

Great insight!
Great grip tip!
You're like the Frederick Taylor of the gym!


A 6' tall, 150 pound 15-year old doesn't need to, and should not, focus specifically on farmer's walks to build "forearm and trap mass". Basic hard training (for everything) and plenty of good eating will get you much further on track.

I suggest reading these and then decide on a plan:


What exercises to use really depends on how much room you have your program for specialization. For me, I try to keep my program to about an hour with no more than a two day split so there isn't a lot of room for exercises that do just one thing. In that scenario I think farmers walks are fantastic since you get grip, forearm, trap, ligament and metabolic work all the same time. On the other hand if you're doing a two hour workout with a five day split then they're probably not the optimal choice.