DIY Farmers Walk/Carry Handles

After tweaking my back and starting a push-only program which has a lot of accessory movements, I’ve been all about unilateral movements. Constantly using the barbell for lifting can create a lot of imbalances. One of the movements we do a lot is a Farmers Carry with kettlebells or dumbbells. Options get limited if you want to go heavier though. Picking up a barbell in one hand, or even a barbell in each hand, never works well. It’s not easy to balance an empty 7 foot long bar, let alone when you have some weight on it.

img_8965Companies sell handles you can attach to a barbell, bars with integrated handles, and straps you can loop through weight plates. Most of the barbell solutions I’ve seen cost $150+ and a nice set of strap handles can be $70!

I wanted to come up with something on my own, so I made a trip to Home Depot. I found a 4-pack of 6 foot tie-down straps for $9.97. In the plumbing department they sell 2 foot long pieces of PVC pipe in various diameters. I bought a piece of 3/4 inch for $1.97 and had an employees cut it up.

That’s what I call a successful shopping trip.

Works pretty well. For less than $13 I was able to make a set of handles for myself and a set for a friend. In the video I had no problem using a couple of 55 pound competition bumper plates. I tried two 45s and a 55, but the width of the plates was too much for me to get the handle back through the loop. Two 35s and a 55 might work. If you use thin metal plates you’ll have plenty of strap length and with these rated for 466 pounds, the limitation will be how much you can lift.

5 Replies to “DIY Farmers Walk/Carry Handles”

    1. I’ve used them a few times with up to two 55# competition style plates on one handle and there is no issue with supporting the weight.

      The thickness of 2 bigger plates in proximity to your leg is a bit awkward since there is some lean after you pick it up. The plates can rub your leg a little bit as you walk. It’s much better than trying to do farmers walks with a barbell though.

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    1. Mine are 6″, so I got 4 handles out of it. It’s pretty ideal, especially for the length of the straps I used. Longer handles would use up some of the slack and mean less room for plates. Shorter handles could make the straps too long and have the plates hitting the ground.

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