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Shoulder Pain and Farmer’s Walk Exercise

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Filed Under (Fitness, Shoulder Injury, Shoulder Pain) by Rick Kaselj



I had a great question from a Fix My Shoulder Pain customer.

He asked:

What can you do to protect the shoulders when performing a Farmer’s Walk exercise?

Here is the answer for Shoulder Pain and the Farmer’s Walk:

==> Shoulder Pain and the Farmer’s Walk

Let me take a little time to summarize what I went through in the video above.

What is the Farmer’s Walk?

Farmer’s Walk exercise usually is done with some sort of a barbell with weights on the end. You grab it and walk forwards or backwards. You can either do it bilaterally (weight in each hand) or unilaterally (one weight in only one hand).

If you want to do the farmer’s walk you can perform it with a barbell or it can be done with a special type of barbell that is specific for the farmer’s walk.

Two Things You Can Do for Shoulder Pain when Performing the Farmer’s Walk

But I want to talk about the two things you could do when doing the farmer’s walk which will help protect your shoulders but still allow you to get the most out of that exercise.

Two things that I want to do is:

  1. Make sure to activate those lats because that will help stabilize and protect the shoulder.
  2. The second thing is co-contracting the biceps and the triceps which will provide more stability and support in the shoulder area.

A Cue That Will Help

A cue that will help is pressing that upper arm up against your body. This will allow you to activate the biceps, triceps and lats more in order to protect the shoulder.

Try it out on yourself.

You can feel it on yourself, just stand up and try it. Activate the lats and that helps tighten up the shoulder.

If I bring the arm up against my body, it makes it easier for me to activate my biceps and triceps and that will protect the shoulder even more.

Common Mistake

A common mistake in farmer’s walking is people will relax the shoulders and let them hang. Doing this goes against one of the concepts that I talk about in Fix My Shoulder Pain. What you want to do is have ideal centration in the shoulder in order to help when it comes to shoulder injury and shoulder pain recovery.

And by keeping it centrated, it leads to optimal contact of the shoulder joint. What can help with centration is activating those lats, activating those biceps and triceps.

So there you go. If you give the farmer’s walk a try and you are recovering from shoulder injury try those two things: activating the lats, and activating the biceps and triceps. And the cue to use is pressing that arm up against your body.

Recommended Resource

Now if you are looking for a fantastic resource when it comes to the deadlift, I recommend Deadlift Dynamite. It is written by Pavel Tsatsouline (the person who brought the kettlebell to North America) and Andy Bolton (First person to deadlift 1000 lbs.) It is an amazing resource.

Take care and bye, bye.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you liked the above video then this one may intest you as well:

Shoulder Pain and the Deadlift

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