Rucking World Buyer's Guide
The act of rucking involves walking or trekking while carrying a weighted rucksack to strengthen the legs, core, and cardiovascular system. The term “rucking” is derived from the military term for the backpacks used to carry equipment during operations and maneuvers, “rucksacks,” which has Germanic origins. “Rucking” from one place to another occurs not just during operations. Still, it is also utilized as a training tool by the Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Forces to condition soldiers and Marines physically and mentally. With the emergence of RUCKING events, Spartan races, and other slow-paced adventure challenges in recent years, rucking has gained widespread acceptance to develop practical, functional fitness that extends beyond these enjoyable events and prepares the body for leading an adventurous life. Rucking is hiking with of additional weight and intensity for longer-term performance.
What makes you ruck, then? What advantages does rucking offer?
Advantages of Rucking
Compared to running, it is more effective (and better for your joints).
It helps with posture.
It increases muscle mass and burns calories.
It’s A Great Compound Exercise
Weight is distributed differently.
It's simple and beginner friendly.
How To Start Rucking The Right Way!
CHOOSE A QUALITY BACKPACK FOR RUCKING
Two characteristics that define the ideal rucking backpack
- Features enough support and cushioning to distribute the weight evenly and comfortably suit your torso size so you can ruck around without restriction.
- Purchase a padded waistbelt that helps you to shift the weight to your hips if you prefer to concentrate your rucking training on your legs rather than your shoulders and core.
The Ideal Backpack Has the Right Torso Length
The end of the backpack should be just over the top of your butt, resting on your shoulders. By adjusting the backpack to fit your torso in this way, you can be confident that it won’t obstruct your walking stride. Your stride will be hampered if the backpack is too tall since the foundation and weight will sit behind your glutes. A waistbelt is only effective if the backpack is short since it is too high for your hip bones to support it.
The ideal rucksack has a sturdy frame to hold the weight of your backpack
The backpack and padding should include a rigid/semi-rigid system for distributing the ruck’s weight across your back, either an external frame, an interior frame, or a frame sheet. This helps keep your back from getting pinched by any points (from a kettlebell or weight).
The ideal bag is sturdy enough for large loads.
The cushioning, seams, and shoulder straps should be constructed to hold big loads securely and pleasantly. The GORUCK Backpack Lines are as robust as they get with 400lbs+ ratings, and the Spec-Ops T.H.E. Backpack is a fantastic sturdy alternative that lasted me years in conflict zones.
The backpack should be made of durable, tear-resistant materials like 1000D Cordura, and the padding in the shoulder straps and back should be strong enough to support large weights. With tight, premium construction, the high-tensile thread should be used to stitch stress spots in the shoulder straps, handles, and seams. I strongly advise purchasing a military rucksack to obtain this level of resilience at a cost that won’t break the bank.
Broad and padded straps
Wide, padded straps guarantee comfort. Overpadding guarantees that the straps will conform to the curve of your body while still being comfortable when the padding contracts over time.
ADD A SUITABLE TRAILER WEIGHT
It’s simple to choose the correct kind of weight to ruck with. To make life simpler, the weight you put in your rucksack should satisfy the following requirements:
- It should not shift while you walk (so half-filled jugs of water create a problem)
- Should balance and rest flat inside your bag: The best weights are symmetrical weights like weight plates or rucking plates since they will keep the load evenly distributed between your bag’s left and right shoulder.
Bonus if soft: Sandbags are the finest rucking weight since you can use them without worrying about sharp edges biting into your back as the sand shifts. You can always use a cushion, some blankets, or a ruck weight pad to protect your back from rough, jagged edges.
How to Properly Setup Your Ruck
Setting up your ruck is a quick, easy operation that will spare you a lot of discomfort and angst. Place the weight of your backpack, so it sits as high as possible on your back and won’t shift while you’re walking. To help keep the weight in place, use blankets or pillows, and tighten the pack’s straps to prevent movement. Put the weight as high on your back as you can using an inexpensive yoga block or piece of foam. You want the weight to be high on your back; why? To maintain balance and adopt proper rucking technique and posture without stooping too low at the waist, you need to keep your weight high on your back. Second, carrying the weight high on your back and above your center of gravity makes it possible for you to move more quickly and effortlessly change directions.
BUY A DURABLE PAIR OF ATHLETIC SHOES OR BOOTS THAT ARE COMFORTABLE
Choose a pair that is sturdy enough to handle rucking, cushioned enough for the terrain you intend to walk on, and minimal enough to allow your feet to grow safely and healthily. The optimum footwear will be perspiration-wicking athletic sneakers that securely anchor your heel (to avoid blisters and hotspots). They will also be flexible enough to let your feet, ankles, and lower legs move as they should. They will also have enough space in the toe for your foot to spread naturally with each stride. Support is overrated; all you need is a snug fit in the heel with little to no friction and just enough cushioning for the terrain you prefer.
Ensure the toes don’t touch the front of the boot when going downhill (which will result in bruising the toe over long hikes). While walking downhill, ensure the heel is secured to prevent the foot from slipping inside the shoe since this will usually result in unpleasant hotspots and blisters. When rucking, keep waterproof boots off. Rucking causes your foot muscles to work harder than usual and produce more sweat than most waterproof shoes (even breathable waterproof shoes) can tolerate. Once trapped, this moisture either results in hotspots and blisters or funky feet and sports feet. Invest in a pair of breathable boots or shoes to avoid this problem.
What to look for in high-quality Rucking boots
Simply said, the finest shoes for rucking prevent knee, ankle, and usage problems while keeping your feet comfortable the entire time you walk. One of the pairs suggested in this article may be your “ideal rucking shoes” or your current favorite pair of gym sneakers stored in your closet. To decide, go through this list of specifications for the ideal rucking boot or shoe.
- Should secure the heel in position.
- When walking downward, toes don’t touch the front.\Although “minimalist vs. cushiony” is a matter of taste, adjust weight as necessary.
- Aim for minimal ankle support to increase lower leg strength and mobility during training.
- Ensure the shoes have ample padding if you’re rucking on “hardball” roads.
- Remember that newer isn’t necessarily better.
- Breathability: The shoes should be easily able to drain moisture.
- A spare pair of socks should also be remembered.
WARM UP BEFORE YOU RUCK!
Think of stretching and mobility exercises as a long-term investment in your overall “spryness,” mobility, and joint health. Remember to warm up your joints and muscles prior to rucking, then stretch your tense, flexed muscles as they relax following rucking. Stretching after an exercise prevents your muscles from “healing” and retaining a shortened, contracted position by allowing them to return to a relaxed, extended state. This post-workout stretching promotes flexibility, mobility, and joint health over the long term and speeds up recovery by increasing blood flow.
Warm-Up for Pre-Ruck
Use the “world’s greatest stretch” exercise to loosen up the hips by gently stretching the glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors (groin). To loosen up the lower thignleg and ankles, perform Stretches on your calfs, leg, and hamstrings. 1 minutes for each leg should be sufficient enough to warm up your lower body
Start out slowly to give your body time to warm up before you begin your ruck. Maintain a moderate strolling pace for the first three to five minutes to let your heart rate to acclimate to the activity and “warm up” your body, flushing the affected muscles with blood rich in nutrients in preparation for the upcoming workout.
The Best Rucking Equipments That We Have Reviewed! A Buyers Guide
The Best Rucking Bags
GORUCK Rucker 3.0 Rucksack
The Rucker 3.0 is one of GORUCK’s newest acquisitions, produced by the world’s most well-known backpack manufacturer. The rucksack’s lumbar support cushioning and ergonomic shape embraces the spine’s natural curve, and its specifically crafted fabric prevents friction burns when worn shirtless. It is one of the most comfortable rucksacks on the market and a significant upgrade from earlier models. The lumbar support is important. The bag has four sizable pockets, one of which is specifically designated for the rucking plate. The designated pocket helps prevent common rucking injuries by promoting good form.
Additionally, the rucksack is very water-resistant, allowing you to use it in inclement weather. If you get soaked, the bag’s two drain holes on the bottom will come in handy. The front of the bag also has a discreet black luminous stripe, a wonderful safety feature. The lumbar support and new material are the two main enhancements, which are considerable upgrades. Besides that, it’s a high-quality backpack from the largest name in the business.
SOG Ninja Tactical
One of the better-designed multipurpose backpacks is the SOG Ninja Tactical, which can be easily used as a standard backpack while still being a great rucking bag. It is a budget-friendly bag with everything you need to get started, partly due to its few features. The rucksack can contain a lot while remaining compact, thanks to the side compression straps. Even when completely packed, this is the case. With a few built-in pockets, the main compartment occupies most of the available space. There is MOLLE webbing available for extra pouches.
The hydration bladder pocket of the Ninja Tactical also has a tubing port. The shoulder straps are adjustable, and the cushioning is meant to be thick and comfortable. The bag is water-resistant and robust because it is constructed of sturdy polyester. two drainage holes are included on the bottom. The bag’s combination of robust materials and affordable price may be its best selling point. A benefit of the bag’s adaptability is that it may easily double as a decent day bag.
The RUSH24 is one of the greatest tactical military rucksacks on the market, designed to handle any circumstance. Its remarkable versatility allows it to be used as a multifunctional day bag, hiking bag, army backpack, or rucking rucksack. It has a large main storage compartment that can hold up to 37 liters and dual-zipping side pockets and is water-resistant. For durability, the grab-and-go handle is reinforced. It has a fleece-lined eyeglasses compartment, a hydration pocket, and a MOLLE platform all around the bag’s exterior. It has two drainage holes and a side water bottle pocket, just like the Rucker 3.0. When loaded, the bag is kept compacted by two compression straps. Additionally, the RUSH24 can use a wide range of extra attachments and features because it is compatible with the entire 5.11-tier system.
GoRuck Ruck Plates
GORUCK’s Ruck Plate is the most well-known ruck plate to start with. It is powder coated to prevent rusting and is made of iron ore. This will greatly reduce wear and tear damage and increase durability. It has rounded sides to protect your rucksack from damage. Additionally, it does have a handle, as seen in the image above, making it useful. Other exercises can be performed using this ruck plate (i.e., shoulder raises, shrugs, etc.).
This ruck plate comes in a variety of weight classes. The sizes are 10, 20, 30, and 45 lbs.
Additionally, it works with the GORUCK Rucker 3.0 pack and ruck plate carrier. Based on the dimensions given on the product page, there is still a significant probability that it will fit in your backpack even if you don’t have a GORUCK rucksack.
Synergee Ruck Plate
Cast iron, used to make Synergee ruck plates, has a 90,000-pound break strength (similar to the other ones mentioned above). Additionally, it features a black covering to prevent rust. The ruck plate also features handles so that it can be used for other full-body exercises and is easy to carry.
This ruck plate fits easily in your rucksack thanks to its 5.75″ x 8.5″ dimensions and 0.98″ thickness.
Yes4All Ruck Plate
Another well-liked ruck plate choice is Yes4All. It is made of strong gauge cast iron and has a black paint finish to prevent rusting and corrosion. It comes with handles as well, which is another noteworthy feature. You’ll find putting it in and taking it out of your bag considerably simpler. As was already said, the fact that you can utilize this ruck plate for other full-body exercises is also beneficial.
The Yes4All ruck plate has rounded edges to shield your backpack from harm. This ruck plate has four weight options: 10, 15, 20, and 25 pounds.
Ruck Exercise Ideas
When it comes to rucking, your major options are altering your weight; distance traveled, and speed. While rucking, you should never sprint or even jog; always stroll. You shouldn’t run; instead, you should accelerate into a speed walk. This will protect your joints, which would suffer if you ran while carrying a heavy load on your shoulders. Choose a lighter-weight, longer ruck if you want to improve your cardio. This is excellent for burning calories and getting into that “runner’s high” state where time just flows by. Try rucking with friends to distract yourself from the weight or even the idea that you are exercising at all. It will feel like you are just going for a walk while chatting.
Go for a bigger weight and a faster pace if you want to improve your muscle gains. As a result, rucking becomes more of a strenuous exercise that overloads the shoulder, back, and leg muscles. Finally, consider incorporating the components. For instance, some military training uses backpack obstacle courses to train recruits, requiring you to carry the bag through dirt, rain, or crawling to prepare you for any eventuality that may arise. An overnight camping trip or a trek while rucking can help you partially recreate the sensation.
FAQs about Rucking
What is the calorie burn rate of rucking?
Rucking generally burns 3–4 times as many calories as simple walking without the weighted bag. You can burn roughly 500 calories per hour when carrying 20 kg. knapsack.
What tools do I require for rucking?
You only need weight and a backpack. You can choose to use a specific rucking rucksack with a ruck plate, which is a particularly sized and weighted plate that fits into your rucksack optimally for weight distribution, or you can go as simple as a regular backpack with some heavy objects thrown into it.
Is rucking a Beneficial Workout?
Rucking is a great exercise that strengthens the shoulders, back, legs, and glutes. It is a fantastic aerobic workout that targets the heart with its low-intensity steady-state exercise. It is also a fantastic exercise for the aforementioned muscles to improve strength. Additionally, it is a simple compound workout to learn and begin using.
BUILDING BETTER AMERICANS
Gorucj Event began in 2010 as the proving grounds for all GORUCK gear, and quickly evolved to focus not only on the gear, but also the participants rucking the gear. No matter the difficulty of the event, we apply our lessons learned in Special Forces and challenge people to prove that they’re capable of more.