If you’re like me, you love the Farmer’s Walk. After all, who wouldn’t love an exercise that strengthens virtually every muscle in your body, while improving your work capacity and body composition?
The beauty of the Farmer’s Walk lies in its simplicity – pick up a pair of weights and go for a walk! While the standard Farmer’s Walk works just fine, I’ve been experimenting with a unique twist that provides some added benefits for athletes.
Let me introduce you to the “Stop & Go” Farmer’s Walk, aka, the “Deceleration” Farmer’s Walk. In this variation, the athlete will walk as fast as possible (without running) for 5-10 yards, then decelerate and stop for 2-3 seconds, before re-accelerating another 5-10 yards, etc. When you stop, the weights “swing” and attempt to “push” your body forward. This is applicable to contact sports where athletes are constantly resisting opposing forces that are attempting to move them. Your ability to counteract this “push” works wonders for developing real core strength.
But the true hidden benefit of this exercise lies in its ability to improve an athlete’s “agility”. Trust me, the resisted deceleration and subsequent acceleration will do a hell of a lot more for an athlete than performing some “quick foot” ladder drills! After all, an athlete’s ability to change direction is dependent on whether or not they possess adequate strength levels to absorb, accumulate, and redirect forces. I have found the “Stop & Go” Farmer’s Walk to be a great foundational exercise to improve these strength qualities.
Here’s a video clip of the exercise being performed.
NOTE: Don’t go so heavy that you’re unable to stand upright when walking with the weights. Your shoulders should be in line with your hips throughout the set.
To make this exercise even more “sport-specific”, a coach can yell “stop” at random intervals. You can also incorporate backward walks within the set.
Give these variations a try and let me know what you think!
P.S. – If you’re interested in learning more never-before-seen exercises, check out our EXTREME DVD!
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