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What Is Rucking? (Beginner Guide to Rucking in 2024)

what is rucking

What is Rucking?

Rucking is a form of military march that is done by carrying a backpack with weight in it.

It can be used as an exercise to get in shape for the military, but it also serves as a form of physical training in the field. A rucksack is often called a “ruck” and in some units, it may even be used in combat to carry extra gear like ammunition or water.

What is Rucking Exercise?

Rucking is a fitness activity that consists of carrying a weighted backpack over a certain distance. Rucking is commonly used in military physical training, and it can also be done as a form of fitness training. The most popular style is short-distance (2 kilometre) rucking where one carries his/her own pack from point A to B while walking on designated paths.

There are many variations of this workout. For example, you can choose to use your own ruck or you can buy a ready-made one. It would depend on how heavy your gear needs to be carried and what kind of terrain you will encounter.

Why Did the Military Start to Use This Exercise?

what is rucking in the military

One of the most commonly used exercises in the military is rucking. Military personnel uses this exercise to build endurance and develop muscle mass.

Rucking takes place when a person walks or runs with a weighted backpack, typically 20-40 pounds on their back.

This kind of exercise started to gain popularity among civilians too. It has become extremely popular amongst fitness enthusiasts all around the world.

How Do I Start Rucking?

In order to start rucking, you will need some gear. First off, you will need a rucksack to put your weights into. There are different kinds of rucksacks available online, including ones made by military companies, as well as others that are more affordable.

rucking rucksack

There is very little difference between a rucksack and a backpack for people new to this type of training. Both the backpacks and rucksacks have similar features, making them practically the same. Backpacks are usually the preferred bags for work and school but they can be used for rucking too.

If you are passionate about this type of exercise, it is more likely that you will want to purchase expensive, specially designed gear in the future.

You can also buy weights online but you can also use bricks, sandbags, and even rocks.

Footwear is also important. Deciding what kind of footwear to wear for a rucking session can be a matter of preference for some, although for others it’s a necessity. As long as there are comfortable shoes for what you want to do, it’s fine to wear them. Depending on the terrain you will be rucking on you might want to consider boots.

You will then have to determine an appropriate route (or path). If you are a beginner try not to go for a long route.

How Much Weight Should I Put In My Bag?

You may be tempted to begin carrying 50 pounds on your first rucking session and brag on social media, but that is a bad idea. It is recommended to start with 10% of your body weight. Using more than that can make rucking too uncomfortable and you might get injured.

The purpose of the ruck is to increase endurance and reduce fatigue. In order to do that you have to start slow and work your way up. Don’t get discouraged if you see others rucking with a lot more weight.

What are the Benefits of Rucking?

Studies show that rucking can be more effective than traditional exercises and also improve balance and lower the risk of injury. Some people may find rucking to be a cheaper and easier way to get in shape.

Rucking is also a great way to reduce stress as it is often done outside, where one can enjoy nature and fresh air. Rucking can improve your posture and posture is important for good health.

Rucking also promotes good cardiovascular exercise which helps to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Rucking is a compound exercise that requires you to stimulate and activate multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The leg muscles are activated when using a hip belt to carry the load. The deltoids are strengthened from carrying the rucksack.

Rucking is considered a great exercise to get into shape and can be fun when you join an event or group of people that enjoy rucking.

Who Should Ruck?

In order to help train for the physical demands of military life, rucking is an excellent option. It lets you practice carrying a weight on your back while giving you a chance to explore new areas and enjoy the outdoors.

In recent years, many civilians have jumped in on the trend and started rucking in their spare time. It’s also become increasingly popular for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are many benefits to rucking that make it an attractive option for people who enjoy working out.

Rucking improves cardiovascular endurance and strengthens the core muscles. Unlike running, which is typically done at a high intensity with short rest periods, ruck marches can be done at any pace and duration with no problems.

Why Ruck?

Rucking is a great low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere. It’s also a form of fitness training, as it builds strength and stamina. One of the best things about rucking is that you can do it with a group, so you’ll never feel bored or lonely.

Another advantage of this type of workout is that it is quite cheap. You can get started with a regular backpack and a brick or two. You can use things that you already have so you don’t spend any money on expensive equipment and weights.

Workout Ideas for Beginners

One of the best ways to combine fitness and adventure is by rucking, which is essentially walking heavily with weight.

Start with 10 percent to 20 percent of your body weight and walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you (no clock) for two to three miles to begin rucking.

Add either 5 to 10 pounds or a mile a week, but never both at once. This might be too much for a beginner. But, don’t feel as though you must increase anything in your exercise regimen weekly, just proceed at your own pace.

When you are going to feel like you can handle the weight you can also add full-body calisthenics to your workout.

How To Progress?

In order to progress with this exercise, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider.

Firstly, you need to devise your own workout plan based on your fitness level. Start with simple rucking exercises like carrying a brick or 10-pound weight in your pack, and work your way up to heavier packs.

Another great way to progress is to do a longer distance. Do not add more weight and a longer distance at the same time. It can make things very hard or lead to injury. Longevity is very important when rucking.

Start small when you are just getting started. You may be tempted to ruck every single day, but this can be a serious problem.

Apps for Rucking

There are many apps for rucking that can be found on app stores. If you are looking for a more specific app, you can look for mobile apps that support rucking or fitness walks.

You can use a regular GPS app as long as it can show you the distance and the time it took you to get there.

More advanced apps will also show you the calories burn, elevation changes, heart rate monitor.

The most popular apps are:

  • MapMyRun
  • Nike+
  • MotionX-GPS
  • RunKeeper

Apps are a great way to track your rucking evolution and are also quite fun to use.

Frequently Asked Questions


In conclusion, rucking is a great workout that has many benefits. It also serves as a great mental break for those who are currently deployed or preparing to deploy. The benefits of rucking are plenty, but it is important to be mindful of your limits so you can avoid injury.