If you’ve been on your strength journey for a while, chances are you’ve heard the words “ruck plates” tossed around.
Here at Fringe Sport, we want to help broaden your knowledge about not necessarily the newest rage in fitness, but certainly one of the most fun and maybe even super rewarding.
You’ve probably heard the term “rucksack” - which is a backpack used by folks to carry their gear in the military. You’ve probably seen pictures of our military hiking with loaded packs - this is “rucking” in the most original and basic sense of the word. It helped to build their endurance for whatever tasks might face them.
So when you “ruck” - you’re carrying weight on your back which will not only increase your stamina and endurance, but also help you lose weight. It’s one of the best aerobic exercises out there - but also one that you can take with you ANYwhere.
In fact, one of the best ways to describe it comes from one of our affiliates - Tim, over at Fit At Midlife. He says “Ruck”, short for “rucksack”, is military slang for a backpack. This is a cheap, simple exercise that burns calories and builds aerobic endurance due to the added weight. “ And that is a simple and easy definition to remember!
And the answer is just as simple as you might think. You put weight in a backpack and you walk - or hike - or run - or dance - or whatever.
So that leads to the next question - and one that might be obvious to some of you…
It sure does. Of course, we all know that exercise and movement of any kind helps. The more you move the better you feel. It’s why PK says “Lift Heavy, Lift Happy!”
So why does rucking help? In adding weight to your normal walk (or run), you are upping the challenge. You’re helping to increase your stamina because adding that weight will help you to push harder and work harder.
Plus, walking (moving!) with weights makes the workout more intense - it can burn more calories (which in turn promotes weight loss) but it also tones the muscles while you move. Adding the weight into a pack on your back while you are walking or running will help to increase muscle toning in all muscle groups.
Well, yes and no. Of course, adding ANY weight to a workout is going to add benefits from the first step. And if you’re just starting out, you don’t want to overload yourself and burn out quickly. It’s recommended to carry 10-15% of your body weight when you start rucking. For example, if you weigh in around 200 pounds, you would start with 20 pounds in the sack. (Less is NOT bad - this is just a recommendation!) Then, as the weight starts to feel like you're carrying cotton balls, add some more pounds 5 or 10 pounds at a time!
Rucking is a great change to the everyday normal walk around the block. You can add on a weight and walk the dog, the baby in a stroller or even your cat (if your cat is into leashes). Or you can even jump on a trampoline or dance by yourself to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”.
Whatever you do - add a ruck weight and watch your workout skyrocket!
Do you like rucking? Have you tried it? What is your favorite way to ruck? Tell us in the comments below and share with the rest of the Fringe Fam.
And, as always, lift heavy, lift happy!