Tip: The Figure-8 Farmer's Walk

No strongman implements? No room in your gym? Then do your loaded carries like this.


Farmer's walks are a game-changer for total-body strength and size. However, there's a good chance you don't do them because your gym doesn't have farmer's walk bars or a nice long strip of turf to do them. Enter the trap bar figure-8 farmer's walk.

The Benefits

  • Great for building your upper back and traps.
  • Easy to load heavy. Unless your gym has farmer's walk implements, you'll quickly out-grow this exercise using dumbbells or kettlebells.
  • They make turns easier. Even if you have access to farmer's walk implements, you'll find them very difficult to turn when the weight gets heavy. This can place a lot of extra rotational torque on your lower back. This isn't a big deal if you have a nice long runway. With a trap bar, you can easily do a figure-8 pattern in a relatively small area. This gives you a practical way to lift heavy weight AND extend your time under tension.


  • Dig your hands into the handles in the set-up. Don't just hold the weight – crush it! Maintain perfect deadlift technique as you lift the weight.
  • Resist the urge to rush. A slow, controlled pace makes the turns easier, reduces your risk of tripping, and extends your time under tension.
  • Keep your chest up even as you get tired.
  • At the end of your set, stop your body and the weight, then lower under control (again, think proper deadlift form).
  • Good alternative: Use heavy dumbbells or kettlebells – a temporary fix until you get your gym to buy a trap bar.
Andrew Heming is a strength coach, professor, and former Canadian University U-Sport head strength coach. Andrew helps athletes and skinny hardgainers get bigger, faster, and stronger. Follow Andrew Heming on Facebook