Two years ago, Essex farmer’s son and personal trainer Tom Kemp created Farm Fitness – an outdoor gym like no other.
Commandeering a corner of the family farm used as a dumping ground for dormant machinery, 25-year-old Tom has transformed this patch of concrete into a unique and exciting training ground for people of all fitness levels and abilities.
Items commonly found around any farm, such as old tractor tyres, rope and chains, furnish the centrepiece of the Farm Fitness gym – a bespoke-made rig, with multiple attachments to use for countless different exercises.
Tom wanted to prove that expensive equipment is not essential when in pursuit of that perfect six-pack or flat stomach.
Training with the gym’s raw equipment and following exercises that replicate real-world actions, such as lugging heavy feed bags, gets results, make everyday jobs on the farm seem easier and can even help stave off common farmer ailments such as bad backs and weak knees.
Tom put Farmers Weekly’s Community Editor Oli Hill through his paces with a workout designed to help farmers improve their strength and fitness using items regularly found on the farm.
Watch the video to see how Oli got on and see a step-by-step guide to each exercise below.
6 simple exercises to keep fit on the farm
Each exercise should be repeated for 40sec, with a 20sec rest before moving on to the next move.
To do these on your farm you will need:
- A feed bag or rucksack filled with sand
- Two small tractor weights or small hay bales
- A heavy-duty towing rope or chain
- A ratchet strap
- A tractor tyre, size depending on strength
1. Ground to overhead with sandbag/feed bag
With a feed bag or sand-filled rucksack at your feet, squat down with your shoulders back and chest pushed out.
Grab the bag at either side, drive through your legs to a standing position and bring the bag to your chest.
Then drive the bag above your head, extending your arms fully. Bring the bag back down to your chest and then squat to place it on the floor.
2. Arm-over-arm tyre pull
Attach a rope to one side of a tyre and a ratchet strap to the the other side. Extend the rope fully, squat low with your legs bent 45deg and use the rope to pull the tyre along the ground towards you.
Once the tyre reaches your feet, run round to the other side and pick up the ratchet strap. Hold one end in either hand, stand up straight with your shoulders back, pull the tyre back to its starting position.
Run back to the end of the rope and repeat.
3. Tyre flip
With a tyre at your feet, squat low and grab the outer edge. With your shoulders back, drive through your legs keeping your back straight and powering though your hips to flip the tyre over.
Run around to the other side of the tyre and repeat.
4. Sandbag/feed bag squat
Bear hug a feed bag or sandbag and squat down.
Pause at the bottom of the squat and then drive through the legs to stand again, keeping your back straight and shoulders back.
5. Farmer’s walk
Squat down to grab a small tractor front weight or small hay bale placed either side of you.
Keeping your chest up and shoulders back, drive through your legs to pick the weights up and briskly walk forward.
After 25m, place the weights on the ground, turn around, pick the weights up again and walk back 25m.
6. Battle ropes/chains
Take a long length of heavy-duty rope or chain and wrap it once around the base of a gate post.
Hold either end out in front of you, squat down, bring your arms up and whip the rope or chain down to the ground.
Get a steady rhythm going, jumping slightly off the ground for momentum as you whip.