Backpack© Unsplash

Why Only Walk When You Can ‘Ruck’ Your Way To Fitness?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Remember how we used to trudge to school every morning, carrying a mountainous backpack filled with schoolbooks and hastily done homework? The behemoth backpacks of yore have made a comeback with a vengeance, this time promising to be an alternative to sweating it at the gym.

‘Rucking’ is an alternative to regular walking that is slowly gaining popularity in the online fitness community.

Everything to know about ‘Rucking’

What Is ‘Rucking’?

If you’re someone who enjoys walking as a form of exercise then you should definitely pay attention. ‘Rucking’ is essentially walking with weight on your back. The term, and practice, originate from a popular military skill training exercise where new soldiers are asked to ruck march, or march with weighted rucksacks on their backs to increase endurance.


What Are The Benefits Of ‘Rucking’?

‘Rucking’ has been around for a long time but has recently started gaining popularity as an alternative method to putting in hours at the gym. It’s a low-impact, all-body exercise that maximises your efforts while just walking and boosting cardiovascular and muscular health.

It’s also a super effective way to burn calories. According to research, you can burn 30-45% more calories with ‘Rucking’ than just regular walking.

How To Start ‘Rucking’?

If ‘Rucking’ sounds right up your alley, then there’s no better time to start than now. However, you must practice caution and consult a fitness professional before trying out any new type of workout. It’s also to be noted that people with shoulder and back problems, tendinitis, or stiffness should not try this as it could exacerbate the issue. These are the few basic steps that can help you kickstart your ‘Rucking’ journey…

1) Don’t be too ambitious in the beginning. It’s prudent to start slow.

2) Start walking with an empty rucksack on your back first.

3) Gradually start adding weight to your bag. Start with a low number, like 10% of your body weight, and slowly add more.

4) Do not push yourself beyond your limit.

Man backpacking in the forest©Pexels

Things To Remember Before ‘Rucking’

Here are some important things to remember if you want to start ‘Rucking’...

1) Your rucksack should have wide and padded shoulder straps. Do not use bags that have strings as straps as they could cut into your shoulders and cause pain and discomfort.

2) Make sure the bag that you’re using has a waist strap. This will help minimize its movement and also evenly distribute weight.

3) Start with sandbags as weights as they can mould to your back. Don’t go for dumbbells or water bottles as they can concentrate the weight near your lower back.

4) Wear comfortable shoes. This is walking 101 but bears repeating!

5) Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

So if you want a fun and effective alternative to walking as a exercise, try giving ‘Rucking’ a go!