Whether you are trying to compensate for extra seasonal calories or just want to revamp your fitness routine, there is something to be said for old-school lifting motions.
Farmer’s walk handles are a great way to engage large muscle groups. These are steel bars that allow you to lift, carry, and walk around with massive weights on each side, the way farmers and construction workers have been for centuries. Think of the strength used to carry massive suitcases with no wheels, but with added symmetry for balance and posture.
These walk handles provide a great way to return to the basic movements that most impact the body. When used properly, they will engage all major muscles in your shoulders, core, back, and legs. They will also strengthen your grip and help you stand taller and prouder. Farmer’s walk handles will quickly develop your overall silhouette, giving you that “big and strong” profile that would take years with fancier Nautilus machines.
Their relative low-tech appeal also translates into very affordable prices. If you look around, you can get top-notch quality at a fraction of what a “home gym” usually costs. Here are the best farmer’s walk handles.
These sleek bars differ a bit from the standard design that one expects from farmer’s walk handles but offer increased balance and safety in exchange. The straight pipes on each side can still be filled with different weights but will protect you from any clips or protrusions from becoming stuck on your surroundings or even your clothes, which could result in a potentially abrupt end for your new workout plan.
This model offers up to 36 inches in length on each bar, with a 12-inch Olympic sleeve added on each end. The handles are also adjustable and can be raised up to 6 inches off the pipe. They are sold as a pair, naturally, and provide 80 pounds of their own weight. In addition, they can be loaded with up to 1,000 pounds (nearly 500 per side).
For those of us who are trying to make the most out of limited space – especially when life and long commutes make home gyms a necessity – we need to think about the small and portable. The Titan Mini Farmer’s Walk provides such an option without skimping on materials or comfort.
This minimalist tool comes in a pair, with retractable poles that can be extended up to 10 inches each. The diameter meets the standard Olympic plate specifications, which will let you adapt your existing equipment quickly. By themselves, they weigh 18 pounds, but these bars can carry up to 45 pounds per side. This makes them a great option for those who are just getting started in the world of weightlifting.
The Xtreme Monkey 4202 model was created for rack veterans who are seeking to adapt quickly to a new activity or exercise. This is why they were made from the same materials and steel grade as standard gym power racks and squat cages.
The main length of the pole has also is designed to be switched with normal dumbbells easily without sacrificing balance or posture. A quick flip will just take you from pushing to dragging. The handles can also be adjusted and exchanged quickly, which will allow you to implement quick variations to your workout and engage different muscle groups.
This model’s versatility is further enhanced by its relatively light construction. Each handle weighs just 22 pounds when unloaded, which will allow you to add or subtract plates as needed for more accurate progress tracking.
Strong, rugged, simple – these are three adjectives that can easily describe powerlifters and strong man competitors, so it makes sense for Valor Fitness to instill the same qualities in their farmer’s walk handles. This set of 60-inch farmer’s walk handles offer few special features. Instead, they focus on offering the simplest way to achieving a powerful workout while still standing firmly in “reasonable price” territory.
Each bar measures 12 inches in length and can be loaded with up to 300 pounds, for a total of 600 (not counting the 24.5 pounds of the handle set itself). They are made from heavy-duty steel, but the handles are carefully textured to ensure a comfortable grip that will nonetheless demand extra effort from your hand muscles (which we so easily forget about!). Four spring clips, a bumper, and an Olympic plate are included.
Ader is not merely a decent supplier of commercial-quality gym equipment; it is also a brand that has built a well-deserved reputation by relying on actual fitness enthusiasts and athletes to improve their designs. This attention to design is noticeable even when talking about something as straightforward as a set of farmer’s walk handles.
The construction-grade steel used for these handles weights a total of 42 pounds (for the entire set), but it also allows you to load them with up to 800 pounds of weight (400 per side). Each handle measures 12 inches and is equipped with Olympic sleeves. The handles have a total diameter of 30 mm, which will let you grip them securely and fits most hand sizes. For added safety, Ader has reinforced the collars with chrome.
It only takes one accident for many powerlifters to develop and unavoidable distrust of collars and flimsy clips. This should not be the sole reason to stay away from exercising with farmer’s walk handles, especially if you can safely turn those handles into a set of foolproof racks.
The Titan HD Upright Walker manages to accomplish just that. This one-piece set is built from heavy-duty steel tubing and includes four points where standard Olympic plates can be evenly piled up and adjusted to your current goals. The rack itself weighs 121 pounds and can be loaded with up to 500 pounds, which places this tool in the “expert lifter” category.
It is also 34 inches long and 21 inches wide, as it needs to allow its user to stand inside. This bulk can make it hard to conceal or store away in a small house. To compensate, you will get the chance to play around with asymmetrical loads, which can yield some surprising benefits on your overall musculature.
Weightlifting may be powerful and efficient, but it is rarely portable. Most weightlifting equipment won’t adapt well for frequent travelers and backpackers, as most farmer’s walk handles will not fit in the standard luggage limits set by airlines, even if you have access to plates and dumbbells at your destination hotel.
This set of carrying straps can offer a good alternative. Rather than playing around with foldable bars (with all the risk that entails), this set of elastic carry straps can be rolled up and placed in any carry on or gym bag. Then, it will take you barely 3 minutes to set it up and add any available plates you can get your hands on. This strap can withstand a total of 300 pounds – not enough to prep for a competition, maybe, but a great way to prevent loss of muscle while on vacation.
If you can afford to invest in your equipment and body, then you will be able to reap the benefits of this high-end set of farmer’s walk handles. The CFF Pro HD offers superb balance and durability, combined with an elegant look that one does not usually find even when browsing the equipment at a high-end sports club.
Made from a proprietary steel blend and coated in a grippy black powder coating, these bars measure 60 inches each and offer 20 inches per side of loading space. They can handle up to 600 pounds each (for a whopping total of 1,200 pounds). They weigh 48 pounds each, so you can get a decent workout before you even start adding weights.