How You Are Leaking FORCE when You Move

January 7, 2013

Farmer walks will make you a better athlete.

They are one of the best exercise for “plugging the leaks” when it comes to transferring forces through your torso.  Smooth efficient movement is one of the most obvious traits of every elite athlete, and farmer walks could be your missing piece.

We have already discussed why farmer walks are a great core exercise (see Sparta Point).  Unlike bridges, bar roll outs, and other floor based core exercises, farmer walks are a dynamic core exercise that is done in a standing position which provides are great carry over to sports.  Additionally, farmer walks are a great opportunity for educating athletes about perfect posture and body position in a controlled setting that that allows for correction and adjustments.

Many coaches consider loaded carries one of the primary movement patterns that should be a staple of every training program.  At Sparta, we use the force plate to prescribe farmer walks for athletes who need EXPLODE.  This allows us to individualize training programs for athletes (like the swing pattern) who need an extra emphasis on trunk control and postural stability.  We also chose a 1 arm farmer walk variation rather than the two arm version because it provides greater core stability demands at lighter weights.

Coaching Keys:

  • Grip the handle in the middle to maintain balance
  • Pick up and set down the implement with a flat back and square shoulders and hips
  • Take small flat footed steps to avoid excessive swing

As our athletes learn good technique and increase strength, we progress farmer’s walks in both weight and distance based on each athlete’s level.

If you need to clean up some of the leaks in your ability to transfer force through the torso, try adding farmer walks to your training program. They are guaranteed to be unlike any “core” exercise that you have ever done.

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