What if I said you could drop pounds, get better posture and build muscle with a workout that doesn't involve a single curl, push-up or press?
According to GORUCK.com, rucking is:
To put weight on your back and go for a walk. More weight or more miles equals more results, more friends and more time together equals more fun.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
The word comes from what the military call "ruck sacks," or what you or I might call a backpack.
During military training, soldiers will walk 25 miles with a 200-pound ruck sack, but don't go back to Twitter just yet.
You don't have to walk from Manhattan to Westfield, New Jersey with 200 pounds on your back , or put on camouflage gear and boots to get the most out of rucking.
All you have to do is grab a backpack, load it up with as much weight as you want to carry around and head out the door.
Whether you walk five blocks or five miles, this one workout will have more benefits than you ever could've imagined.
According to Doug Kechijian, doctor of physical therapy at Peak Performance, and a former US Special Forces soldier,
Rucking is great for the average person. It's simple, and it delivers a lot of health and fitness benefits.
These are a few of the benefits you'll see after rucking.
See ya later, current and potential backaches!
Whether it's because you squat like a beast or sit in a non-ergonomically friendly office chair for eight hours a day, you probably encounter a backache or six throughout the course of the work week.
But, if you spend some time walking around with a weighted backpack, you can actually keep your torso up and relieve the pressure on your back muscles.
Stu McGill, Ph.D. professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said,
The net effect is that less compression is put on your spine, and the flexed forward posture that inflames the disc is reduced.
And it can also work disc gel back into the middle of your disc, reducing the bulge.
And helping to prevent the risk of future back pain.
Ready to walk to Westfield yet?
Goodbye, flab; hello, six-pack abs.
Believe it or not, you can burn three times as many calories rucking as you would walking.
A 130-pound individual walking at about 3.5 mph will burn roughly 85 calories in 30 minutes. A 200-pound individual walking at the same pace will burn about 120 calories in the same time.
Now, triple that amount and you'll see how many calories you can burn in just one half-hour ruck. Now, think about the results of rucking three to five times a week.
I don't know about you, but this definitely sounds like something I could get behind before it becomes too cold to stand outside my apartment, let alone walk half an hour for exercise purposes.
No crunches, no running and no judgmental faces at the gym.
Not only is rucking a cardio workout on fleek, but it can also build your durability.
While rucking, your heart is put to work by pumping blood into all the different parts of your body that are being used to complete the exercise.
And according to Jason Hartman, CSCS Special Forces trainer,
It builds up your hip and postural stability, and that makes you more injury proof in all your other activities.
Damn, the benefits of rucking be never ending.
And while the cardio results of rucking may be similar to jogging, rucking not only has a lesser chance of causing harm, but also makes you more immune to injury over time.
Rucking doesn't even have to be a separate activity, just work it into your routine.
When most people think "workout," yours truly included, they think they'll have to find 45 minutes or an hour to take out of their busy day in order to get the benefits and see results.
But, another great aspect of rucking is that you can do it while your completing your normal, everyday tasks.
Going grocery shopping? Wear a weighted pack. Walking the dog? Wear a weighted pack. Going to cop booze for the weekend or because it's just a Tuesday? Walk to a not-so-close liquor store and wear a pack!
You get the picture, rucking can become part of any activity you do during the week that requires walking somewhere.
And, not only is rucking a hell of a lot cheaper than the gym membership you use less often than you call your parents, but it gets you outside, which benefits your brain and your body.
I'm not saying rucking is the next ZogSports activity, but there can be a social component.
GORUCK, which was founded in 2008 by a former Green Beret, offers tons of group events across the country, where individuals come together to complete courses of varying difficulty as a class.
They've already held 2,500 events nationwide and have hundreds more scheduled through May of 2016.
You know, if you find out you really like this rucking thing and are looking to meet some like-minded individuals in the near future.
If you don't want to go that route, but are still looking to take rucking past the casual dating stage, there are a slew of workout plans available on the internet.
But, if all of that is too much for you, just grab your friend who you normally coerce into trying new stuff and see if rucking is the right thing for you.
Remember, if you're going to walk somewhere, you might as well say "ruck it," right?
Citations: The #1 Fitness Trend Of 2015 (Men's Health), How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 30 Minutes to an Hour? (LIVESTRONG), WHAT IS RUCKING? (GORUCK), Rucking (How to Ruck) (All Day Ruckoff)