The farmer's walk is a strongman exercise that mainly works the lower body, core and forearms. The exercise is performed by grasping either a weighted piece of equipment in each hand, such as a dumbbell of a kettlebell, standing with your body uprigh, and walking forward quickly a specific distance. Once the distance is reached, the weights are put down, your can rest and can repeat the exercise in the other direction, leading back to the starting position.
The quadriceps is muscle group consisting of four muscles that flex the knee, which is a major movement of the farmer's walk. These muscles are the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius. The former originates the ilium, or hip bone, and the latter at the front of the femur, or thigh bone. All four of these muscles insert at the tibia, or shin bone.
The hamstrings work in opposition to the quadriceps, as they flex the knee, another major movement in the farmer's walk. This muscle group is made up of the biceps femoris short head, biceps femoris long head, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. The former originates at the back of the femur, and the latter three at the ischium, or hip bone. The biceps femoris short and long head insert at the fibula, or calf bone. The semitendinosus and semimembranosus insert at the tibia.
The gluteus maximus, or buttocks muscle, is also involved in this movement. It works to extend the hip. This muscle originates at the ilium and the sacrum of the spine. The gluteus maximus inserts at the femur and the iliotibial tract, or iliotibial band.
The calves comprise three muscles: gastrocnemius lateral head, gastrocnemius medial head, and soleus. The former two muscles originate at the back of the femur, and the latter muscle at the tibia and fibula. All three muscles insert at the Achilles tendon of the calcaneous. The calves function to plantarflex, or extend, the ankle. So, each time a step is taken forward during the farmer's walk, the calves are contracting.
Core and Forearms
In addition to the aforementioned muscles, which acts as prime and secondary movers, there are also several other muscles worked during the farmer's walk. These muscles act as stabilizers, and they include the core and the forearms. Among the muscles of the core are the rectus abdominis of the waist, and the erector spinae of the spine. The former muscle is a flexor of the waist, the latter is an extensor of the spine. As for the forearms, the muscle groups include the wrist flexors and the wrist extensors, which flex and extend the wrist, respectively.