*Disclaimer – I’m not a doctor, and didn’t spend the night in a Holiday Inn Express. Use common sense and do what works for you and your body.
I’ve only learned about rucking in the last few weeks, but so far from what I’ve experienced I’m totally jazzed! I heard it described as an activity for those who dislike running and gyms, but still want to incorporate cardio and strength training into their fitness.
RUCK•ING [VERB] // Walking with a weighted rucksack (aka backpack). It implies action, energy, and purpose. Rucking requires strength, endurance, and character — and builds it, too. (GoRuck.com)
Rucking is walking with a loaded backpack – and not just in the woods! “Ruck”, short for “rucksack”, is military slang for a backpack. This is a cheap, simple exercise that burns calories and builds aerobic endurance due to the added weight. (FitAtMidlife.com)
Rucking is a workout that involves walking while carrying a weighted rucksack/backpack. Sometimes referred to as ‘foot marching‘, Rucking is a workout that improves your cardiovascular system and strengthens your muscles. (RuckForMiles)
Benefits of rucking:
- burn 3x more calories compared to walking
- build strength, resistance training for your back, shoulders, gluten, legs
- improves posture
- elevates your heart rate
- clear your thoughts
- improves sleep
- socialize with a go ruck club
- anyone who can walk can ruck
- less stressful on knees then running
- improves balance and stability
- inexpensive to start
How do I do it?
- Get a rucksack (backpack)
- Put weight inside it. Start low and work your way up
- Synch rucksack tight so it sits high on your back
- Start walking
My experience so far
As I mentioned in previous posts, I found that I always experience a rush from mountain biking after pushing myself beyond discomfort. There is no faking it while going up steep elevation gains on a bike. Afterwards I’d be spent, but I totally felt “flushed” out of all the crap mentally and physically within and an overall peace would reside. When I stumbled upon Rucking I thought hey this could be another activity that would be similar to that same experience. Now I don’t want to scare you away from Rucking in regard to the discomfort. You should go at your own pace, not over do it, and build up gradually. I started off with a basic backpack and put in a 10 pound dumbbell and took off walking. I notice some bouncing of the weights, so I ended up buying a “ruck plate carrier” as shown below and purchased 10,20, and a 30 pound plate. You don’t have to do that though. Start cheap to see if you like it first.
I know I’ve been preaching a lot lately about getting outdoors and experience some physical discomfort. It’s done wonders for me in regards to removing depression, slowing down the negative internal chatter, and lit a fire within…a giddy excitement as cheesy as that may sound. At this point, you’ll just need to go try it to understand.