Rucking is the latest “trend” in the fitness realm. It’s a low-impact exercise that combines cardio and strength training. It can be done on your own, or in a group setting. Rucking can be done indoors or outdoors. And because the trend is so versatile, we’re pretty sure rucking is here to stay.
Basically, rucking boils down to walking… with weights on your back. While that might not sound too impressive, this exercise is rapidly gaining popularity due to the numerous benefits involved.
Still with us? Great! Let’s take a closer look at this full-body workout and how it can help you crush your fitness goals in 2024 and beyond!
What is Rucking?
You may be surprised to learn that rucking got its roots in military training – with the much less appealing name “ruck marching”. Rucking is a versatile exercise that can be adjusted according to any fitness level.
Essentially, rucking is walking with a weighted bag on your back. However, as with anything military-based, this calculated routine generally has a set amount of time and a set amount of weight.
Benefits associated with rucking:
- There’s no gym membership needed.
- It’s a full-body workout that helps build muscles.
- You can burn up to 3 x more calories with rucking.
- It’s great for social fitness buffs and people who need accountability.
- Rucking is a low-impact exercise that anyone can do!
Generally, you’ll start off with shorter amounts of time and a lighter load. You can then work yourself to more intense routines as you feel comfortable.
What Do I Need to Start Rucking?
Not much! This high-endurance, low-impact exercise requires only two things – a rucksack (aka a backpack) and weights.
A rucksack should have a few key features, including:
- Comfortable, wide straps.
- A mid-section body strap.
- A hydration bladder (optional).
A weight for your rucksack can be anything. However, it is important that the weight is situated as high as possible to prevent back injuries or pain. This can be done by placing a towel, yoga mat, block, or anything lightweight you have lying around your home at the bottom of the bag.
What Benefits Does Rucking Have Over Simply Walking?
Rucking is a simple, full-body workout that’s fun to do. Walking alone is a great exercise that’s packed with benefits for your physical and mental health. Rucking has all the same benefits but offers a few extras. Let’s check them out.
#1 – It’s A Full-Body Workout
Rucking combines cardio with strength training that helps build lean muscle. Rucking can help cardiovascular health as well as muscular health. By adding weight to your backpack when walking, you’re able to fine-tune essential muscle groups on both the upper and lower body.
#2 – It’s A Low-Cost Exercise
One of the best things about rucking is that there’s no gym membership needed. Rucking is a low-cost exercise that can be done anywhere. There’s very little gear needed for rucking, either. Most items can be found lying around your house!
Take your favorite hiking trail and immerse yourself in nature. Opt to walk a few blocks around the city. Or, walk around your living room if it suits you. Your options with rucking are virtually limitless.
#3 – Rucking Increases Your Calorie Burn
Rucking allows you to burn up to 3 x more calories than walking alone.1 While you won’t burn as many calories as you would running, rucking is a much lower-impact exercise.
Many people find that they can endure much more rucking than running. This lower perceived exertion allows you to go longer and harder to achieve your goals.
#4 – Improves Posture & Back Pain
Rucking forces your body to be upright by pulling your shoulders back. Over time, rucking can help improve posture and overall back pain. If you have bad posture or are worried about it in the future, rucking might be for you!
Helpful Tip: Be sure to load your rucksack with heavy things at the top rather than at the bottom for best distribution. This can be accomplished by adding lightweight items to the lower portion of the bag.
#5 – Experience Improved Balance with Rucking
By adding a weighted backpack to your walking routine, you’re training your hips and ankles to be more stable. Core stability is also improved, making you much more balanced. Essentially, you’re forcing your body to work harder to balance the load you’re carrying. And eventually, that core training will be more balanced even without your pack.
How to Get the Most out of Rucking
One of the great things about rucking is the ability to adjust your routine according to your individual ability. If you’re just getting started with rucking, or you haven’t spent much time walking or hiking in the past, it’s a good idea to start slow.
If you’re just starting an exercise routine, it’s recommended to start with a 1-mile (or 20-minute) journey. You can then increase your time as you feel more comfortable.
If you’re used to regular walking (at least 4-6 weeks), you can start with a longer journey at a faster pace. Try rucking with 10-15% of your body weight for 2 miles at an 18-minute pace. Remember not to push yourself too hard too fast.
Rucking has been making waves in the fitness industry. And because it’s so fun and easy to do, we don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. If you’re curious about this new trend and want to give it a try, you probably have a few questions. Well, you’re in luck – we’ve got your answers!
Who Can Benefit from Rucking?
Almost anyone can benefit from rucking. This is an ideal exercise for getting your daily cardio in while also strength training.
There are 3 primary groups of people that can benefit from rucking:
1. Novice Walkers – If you’re already a walker, you can maximize your workout with rucking for enhanced results with little additional effort.
2. People Who Need Social Accountability – As rucking becomes more popular across the U.S., group rucking has become the go-to exercise for social fitness buffs.
3. Aging or Elderly – Rucking has been shown to reduce sarcopenia (muscle wasting associated with aging), osteopenia, and osteoporosis.
Additionally, if traditional gym-going intimidates you, you might be able to benefit from this low-impact exercise routine.
Do You Need Special Equipment for Rucking?
Nope! While some people buy special equipment for their rucking experience, it’s not necessary. In most cases, you can use items found around the house.
A few things to remember when getting your gear together:
- You’ll want a cozy backpack with wide shoulders.
- Weighted items should be placed close to the top of your bag.
- Closed-toe shoes are recommended for longer rucks.
For a better rucking experience, additional items like music, a water bottle, and a towel for sweat can be optional.
Can You Do Rucking Indoors?
Yes! You can ruck anywhere. Some people opt to do their rucking indoors depending on time and weather conditions. There is no drawback to rucking on a treadmill, on a trail, or just around the block.
How Often Should I Do Rucking?
Rucking can be done as often or as little as you like. However, you’re more likely to stick to it if you have a regular routine in place. If you can, rucking should be done as often as every day.
What Amount of Time Should I Go Rucking?
That depends on if you’re used to walking or hiking. Most people tend to start with 1-2 miles at an 18-20 minute pace for best results. You can increase the amount of time and pace as you see fit.
How Much Weight Should I Use When Rucking?
If you’re new to rucking, it’s a good idea to start with 3-5% of your body weight. After 8-10 weeks of rucking, you can work your weight up to 10-15% of your body weight.
Remember not to stack too much weight at once. Adding weight to your rucksack should be gradual and progressive.
Is There a Time of Day That’s Best for Rucking?
Nope. Rucking can be done anytime you can fit it into your schedule. Start your day off with a productive ruck or wind down the evening with a relaxing weighted walk. It’s up to you! However, some studies suggest walking directly after eating a meal provides the best outcomes.
Take Rucking to the Next Level for Maximum Impact
Rucking is already a great workout. But if you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, try our stimulant-free PrimeGENIX® Pre-Workout dietary aid. Take it 20-30 minutes prior to rucking and see benefits such as;
- Increased endurance
- More motivation
- Enhanced strength
- Improved energy
- & Faster recovery times!
PrimeGENIX® is here for you. This stimulant-free dietary aid is packed with the best possible ingredients to maximize your health and wellness. Add it to your rucking routine, and if you don’t see results within 67 days, simply return the unused product for a full refund – no questions asked!