A rucking workout incorporates rucking and the use of a ruck (weighted backpack) to perform various exercises. Rucking workouts have tremendous health benefits and, because of the limited equipment needed, can be done anywhere.
What is Rucking?
To begin with, rucking is simply walking with a weighted backpack (aka, ruck). By itself, you could consider rucking as a “workout” in the same sense that running is a workout. In fact, rucking is a great way to build muscle and burn calories.
That said, because a ruck is a backpack with weight in it, there are endless opportunities to get a traditional “workout” with it.
How Do You Workout with a Ruck?
Working out with a ruck is simple. Take any exercise that can be done with bodyweight, a barbell, or dumbbell and simply use a ruck.
For example, put on your ruck and do bodyweight movements like pushups, lunges, shoulder taps, or squats.
You could also do exercises that are common barbell movements like cleans, presses, jerks, thrusters, ground-to-overhead, and more.
Dumbbell and kettlebell movements can be done with a ruck as well. For example, curls, ruck swings, Turkish get-ups, and presses can all be done with a ruck.
What Are Some Examples of A Rucking Workout?
An example of what a ruck workout might look like could be the following:
Ruck 1 Mile
Then perform 2 rounds of:
10 Push-ups with Ruck on
20 Squats with Ruck on
30 Ruck curls
20 Ruck push-press
10 Ruck ground-to-overhead
after the 2 rounds:
Ruck 1 mile
Another ruck workout example is
In 15 minutes, do as many rounds of the following as possible:
Ruck 200m Fast
15 sit-ups with the ruck on your chest
15 lunges with the ruck overhead
15 ruck swings (like a kettlebell swing)
15 Russian twists
Ruck.Training is a great site that has training plans for people interested in doing a GORUCK Challenge. However, even if you’re not looking to do a GORUCK event, the training guides are still great for getting ideas for a ruck workout.
How Much Weight Should You Use for a Ruck Workout?
For many people a 20-30# ruck will be perfect. Of course, you’re welcome to go heavier or lighter based upon your current fitness level.
We recommend using a Ruck Plate for your weight. Their size and shape allow for them to be easily secured within your ruck during workouts.
What Equip do You Need for a Ruck Workout?
While you can ruck and workout with any backpack and weight, there is some gear built specifically for rucking and ruck workouts.
GORUCK is a brand devoted to the sport of Rucking and they have built a ruck designed speciffically for ruck workouts, the GORUCK Rucker.
The GORUCK Rucker has 4 handles on it, which makes doing any kind of barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell movement extremely easy. In addition, the GORUCK Rucker has a pouch on the interior specifically designed to hold a ruck weight. This ensures that the weight doesn’t shift around, risking injury as you work out. Finally, the Rucker comes with a lifetime guarantee. So, as you work out, beat the crap out of it! If it breaks, GORUCK will fix it or replace it for free!
For weight, we highly recommend the GORUCK Ruck Plates. These weights are designed to fit snuggly in the GORUCK Rucker, ensureing that the weight stay secure during your workouts.
Of course, you could just as easily use any ruck from a military surplus store and fill it with anything you want. We just recommend the GORUCK gear because this is what it was built for.
If you want to see what other gear you may want or need, check out our Rucking Gear Guide.
What are the Health Benefits of a Rucking Workout?
Rucking and doing ruck workouts are a great way to get fit. The added weight of the ruck increases load for all your physical movements resulting in increased heart rate while working, increased caloric burns, and increased time under tension.
More than just going for a walk or jog and doing some push-ups, adding a ruck allows you to perform similar movements with increased load, resulting in increased strength and cardiovascular health.
Are There Any Other Benefits to Ruck Workouts?
There are at least three great benefits to Ruck Workouts.
- Ruck Workouts only require a ruck and some weight. There is no need to barbells, dumbbells, benches, racks, and all the other equipment needed for gym.
- Because the ruck is your workout equipment, you can take it anywhere. You now have unlimited places you can go to do a workout.
- Ruck workouts are functional fitness. Moving odd objects and heavy load in many different ways is literally how we live our lives. Ruck workouts prepare you for everyday life.
Post any questions in the comment section below.
Photo Credit Dan Sell.