Rucking is a military-inspired cardio workout that involves walking with a backpack. It’s an effective calorie-burner and improves muscular endurance.
For beginners, start with a low weight and distance. Then slowly increase the weight and pace each week.
If you’re prepping for a special-operations or “cool guy” course, rucking can improve your work capacity. But it’s important to do it correctly.
1. High-Intensity Rucking
Long before there were elliptical machines and fancy running shoes, humans were carrying heavy loads – meat from a hunt, water from a stream, and supplies for days of exploration or survival. Rucking is an effective way to strengthen large muscles and burn calories in the process. Rucking is also great for improving cardiovascular endurance. In fact, it’s the preferred training of Army Special Forces and is one of the most popular forms of strength and conditioning among outdoor enthusiasts and athletes alike.
High-intensity rucking, which involves walking or running with a loaded backpack, offers even more muscle-toning and strength benefits than low-intensity rucking. Since the heavier weight requires more energy to move, it will naturally raise your heart rate and increase the amount of calories you burn during a workout. If you’re new to rucking, it’s best to start with a light load and gradually increase the weight as your body adapts.
Adding rucking to your workouts can be as simple as swapping out your favorite form of cardio with it. If you’re a runner, try wearing a pack during 2 of your weekly runs and slowly add in 1-2 additional miles each week. Alternatively, you can incorporate rucking into your daily routine by tossing on a backpack when you go for a walk with the dogs or during commutes to work.
Ultimately, rucking offers the best of both worlds for fitness and lifestyle – it strengthens critical muscle groups while offering a fun and challenging alternative to traditional exercise. And, because it’s easier on the joints than jogging or working out in the gym, you can keep up with your rucking regimen without weeks or months of injury recovery.
2. Rucking with Weights
Rucking is an effective way to burn calories, but it’s also a great workout for your legs and back. This exercise is perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to add another layer of challenge to their workouts. It’s also cheap and easy to get started.
Rucks are an excellent cardio exercise that is much less impactful on the knees than running and can be done almost anywhere. If you’re looking for a way to increase the intensity of your rucking sessions, try adding some weight. Start by adding a small amount of weight to your pack and gradually increase the amount as you become more comfortable with the activity.
The addition of the extra weight will force your legs, core, and shoulders to work harder during the rucking session. This will help to build strength and endurance while also improving your balance and posture.
When rucking with a load, it’s important to be cautious and only ruck with a weight that is safe for your fitness level. If you’re a beginner, start by adding about 10% of your body weight to your rucksack and then increase this as your fitness improves.
Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced rucker, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a high-intensity exercise and will push your heart rate into the red zone often. As such, it’s crucial to stay hydrated during your rucking sessions. In addition, you should always wear proper footwear and take the time to stretch out your muscles after your rucking sessions. This will help to prevent injury and soreness. Rucking is an excellent way to improve your fitness level and burn fat, but it’s important to stay safe and follow the proper safety precautions.
3. Rucking with Friends
If you’re looking for a new cardio workout or a way to get outdoors, try rucking. Popularized by the military, rucking involves wearing a backpack filled with weight as you walk for a distance or time. This workout is scalable, meaning you can adjust the weight to match your fitness level. You can find ruck groups on Facebook or elsewhere and meet people with a similar interest in outdoor fitness.
Rucking can improve your fitness level by strengthening your muscles and bones while helping you burn calories. It also helps you build endurance, which can help you enjoy your favorite outdoor activities. For example, if you love to hike, rucking can prepare you for longer walks while reducing your risk of injury and fatigue. Rucking can also be a great alternative to running, which can be difficult on the knees and hips.
Rucking is a good alternative to other types of cardio, including cycling and indoor running, because it offers a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. However, it’s important to remember that proper recovery is key after rucking. This includes consuming protein-rich foods and drinking water. Additionally, it’s recommended that you use a foam roller to massage tight muscles and encourage blood flow during recovery.
Rucking is a great workout for anyone who wants to be more prepared in an emergency situation. It’s also a great option for those who want to get into outdoors fitness without having to purchase expensive equipment or pay for a gym membership. Plus, rucking is fun and social, making it an ideal way to spend time with friends while working up a sweat! Rucking is a great choice for people of all ages and fitness levels, so give it a try and see if it’s the right fit for you.
4. Rucking on the Trail
Rucking on the trail is a great way to get a full body workout. With rucking, the number of calories you burn goes up pretty quickly! It also burns more calories than running, depending on your pace and the amount of weight you’re carrying. Plus, it doesn’t put as much stress on your lower back and knees, so if you have any previous injuries, this may be a safer exercise for you.
When starting out, start with a light pack and slowly increase the weight and distance over time. Be sure to take breaks, hydrate, and eat after each ruck. It’s also important to stretch after each ruck, especially if you’ve added a lot of walking and running intervals. Be sure to stretch the groin/hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves, as these muscles are taxed heavily during rucking.
If you’re an avid hiker, rucking is a great way to build strength and improve your hiking skills. It also helps strengthen the supporting tendons and ligaments in your feet and legs, which can prevent overuse injuries. And, if you’re training for a specific event, rucking can help you build endurance and prepare for more difficult trails.
Overall, rucking is an effective and safe workout for most people. However, if you have any previous knee, back, or shoulder injuries, be sure to speak with your doctor before starting this type of exercise. And, as with any exercise program, it’s important to start slow and work your way up gradually. You can even use rucking as a supplement to your existing routine by adding a few bursts of ruck-running to your weekly walks or hikes. Just be sure to hydrate and refuel afterward to avoid overtraining or injury. Rucking requires commitment, dedication, and hard work, but it’s an extremely rewarding and effective way to boost your fitness level.
5. Rucking at Home
Rucking is a form of Low Intensity Steady State workout (LISS) that burns calories, which helps you lose weight. You can also improve your cardiovascular health by rucking, as it helps to reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
The best part about rucking is that it’s an exercise that anyone can do. All you need is a rucking backpack and some weight, and you can start your workout. Rucking is a great way to get a good cardio workout without having to go to the gym, and it’s also a fun way to spend time with friends.
Whether you’re a military veteran or just a regular civilian, rucking can be an excellent addition to your workout routine. Not only does it help you build strength and endurance, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind. Plus, it’s a fun way to bond with your friends and family!
While rucking can be done at home, we recommend going out in nature to maximize the benefits. If possible, try to find a trail that includes some hills or steps. These will provide a great challenge for your legs and back muscles, as well as give you a more varied workout.
Finally, remember to stretch after your workout to help your muscles return to a relaxed, elongated position. This will speed up your recovery and reduce the risk of injuries from pushing too hard too soon.