How to Ruck

At its most basic level, rucking is simply filling a backpack (or rucksack) with some weight, and going for a walk.  It’s harder than just walking (roughly three times more energy burned), but not as stressful on the body as running. 

To get started, follow these four steps:

1. Grab a backpack. 

Any pack will do to start, but ideally you want one that is 20-30L in size, with thick, padded shoulder straps. 

GORUCK makes the best rucking bags, specifically for rucking. They're expensive , but they come with a lifetime guarantee, and they will last. 

5.11 TACTICAL also makes a very good bag, and they're available in Australia from various stores.

2. Put some weight in your pack.

Start with 2-5kg if you don’t do a lot of exercise. Try 10-15kg if you work out regularly. You can use weight plates, sandbags, books, tins of food, bottles of water, or whatever you have available. 

3. Adjust your ruck.

Rucking engages your core and back muscles by sitting high on your back, not low on your hips like a hiking pack.  Adjust your straps to get the bag high (but not too tight),  and use a sternum strap to keep it steady if you have one.

Rucking straps are a handy tool to help adjust the load (particularly if you plan to regularly carry more than 15kg) while you’re on the move.


4. Go for a 30 minute walk. 

Aim to walk at about 5-6km/hr or 10-12mins/km pace. At the end evaluate how you felt. Was it too hard or too easy?

After your first ruck you should feel tired, but not exhausted. Your shoulders and core should be feeling the weight of the pack, but you shouldn’t feel pain. 

Adjust your weight, speed, and time according to how you felt. For example, walk faster or slower, choose a harder or easier route. Add more weight or take some weight off. 

In time, you will find yourself getting stronger and faster, and you may choose to add sandbags or other compound movements to mix up your training. 

If you want a simple, effective way to build strength and endurance, try a RUCKING STREAK.