Healthy Writer: Farmers Walks

As writers and as many people these days spend numerous hours sitting slumped over a desk each day, we often find ourselves with neck, shoulder and even back pain. The spine has a natural S-shape so a healthy spine should have a little curve in the lower back. When we use poor posture our sitting habits can reduce the flexibility of the spine and overstretch the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back.

Every time we slouch or lean our weight on elbows or to one side we put stress on the lower back, neck, and shoulders. The pain associated with these posture issues can become aggravated by a lack of exercise. We often try pain pills, self massage, and occasional stretching, which can all help in the short-term, but wouldn’t it be better if we could do a simple exercise that would take care of all the issues at once?

What is the miracle posture exercise…Farmers Walk.
farmer walk
A Farmer’s Walk is an event you would see in a strongman contest. Basically you take a heavy weight in each hand and go for a walk. I generally do this exercise 3 times a week, but you can do this exercise every day. I walk with a 70lb kettlebell in each hand for 50 feet then turn around and walk back to the start. I catch my breath then do the route several more times. You don’t need a lot of space, and if you do not have a set of kettlebells or dumbbells you can use gallon jugs filled with water or sand.

Why the Farmers Walk?

  • Easy to do it correctly without coaching
  • It develops grip and forearm strength…which for a writer means you can type longer without getting fatigued
  • It conditions the upper back and the stabilizer muscles running up the spine.
  • The constant shift in the weight activates the core
  • The exercise is especially shoulder friendly when using suitcase hold

Check out the video below for 3 variations. Start with suitcase hold and as you get stronger try one of the other two holds.

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