Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeIsometric
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Quads, Shoulders, Traps, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dumbbell Farmers Carry Overview

The farmers carry is a total body exercise that builds strength in the forearms, traps, and core.

Carries are a foundational movement pattern and are important to include in your workout routines to build optimal strength.

The movement works through isometric contraction on the forearms and traps. It also provides a core challenge as you try to maintain a stable spine while walking the prescribed distance.

The farmers carry can be included in nearly any workout routine.

Dumbbell Farmers Carry Instructions

  1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip and stand up straight.
  2. While maintaining an active shoulder position, hold the dumbbells by your side and walk for a designated distance or amount of time.

Dumbbell Farmers Carry Tips

  1. When setting up for the lift, ensure you take a good deep breath to set your shoulder position. The weight will drive your shoulders into scapular depression so you want to ensure that your shoulders are set in a good position prior to lifting the weight.
  2. If performing an unilateral carry variation, ensure that you’re not leaning to one side as you complete the movement.
  3. Shrug the shoulders just slightly. Not enough so that it takes above a position of neutral but just enough to offset the weight pulling your shoulders down.
  4. Walk slowly and ensure a heel-toe pattern.
  5. Stabilize the weight and don’t allow it to drive you into overextension.
  6. Continue to breath throughout the exercise and don’t rely upon respiration for spinal stabilization.