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Other/Mixed How Do You Ruck?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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needsomegrip

Level 6 Valued Member
I bought my first kettlebell after only having access to the bells at the gym. I've enjoyed being able to take it to a nearby park to work on some movements outside of my S&S practice. I have also enjoyed throwing the bell in my backpack, putting on a podcast and going for a walk around the neighborhood for some good cardio on days my hands could use a rest.

A few questions for everyone about rucking:
  • My kettlebell is 20kg which is roughly 30% of my body weight. Would I see a major benefit of increasing the weight being carried?
  • I simply put the kettlebell in my backpack and go. Anything I should be concerned about regarding potential injury with this set up? I'm able to keep fairly straight while walking, not at all hunched over in order to counterbalance the weight on my back.
  • Any tips on carrying weight on your back or fun exercises I should try? Thinking standing on one leg would be a great challenge.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
I bought my first kettlebell after only having access to the bells at the gym. I've enjoyed being able to take it to a nearby park to work on some movements outside of my S&S practice. I have also enjoyed throwing the bell in my backpack, putting on a podcast and going for a walk around the neighborhood for some good cardio on days my hands could use a rest.

A few questions for everyone about rucking:
  • My kettlebell is 20kg which is roughly 30% of my body weight. Would I see a major benefit of increasing the weight being carried?
  • I simply put the kettlebell in my backpack and go. Anything I should be concerned about regarding potential injury with this set up? I'm able to keep fairly straight while walking, not at all hunched over in order to counterbalance the weight on my back.
  • Any tips on carrying weight on your back or fun exercises I should try? Thinking standing on one leg would be a great challenge.
It depends a lot on what you are training for, or your goals. As you are aware you can vary load, pace, distance, and terrain. How to best mix these variables factors into your objectives.

The majority of the time I do any serious rucking is when I am training for an alpine climbing trip. In these cases I do some base work with a load up to 40% bodyweight, but I end up doing most of my rucking with my target load and I try to mimic the terrain as close as possible. Think steep and rocky here...

Depending on the type of pack you have I wouldn't just toss in a KB and go. You might consider some padding at least. This becomes increasingly important with complexity of the terrain. With a heavier load you need to learn how to distribute the load in your pack properly.
 

needsomegrip

Level 6 Valued Member
It depends a lot on what you are training for, or your goals. As you are aware you can vary load, pace, distance, and terrain. How to best mix these variables factors into your objectives.

The majority of the time I do any serious rucking is when I am training for an alpine climbing trip. In these cases I do some base work with a load up to 40% bodyweight, but I end up doing most of my rucking with my target load and I try to mimic the terrain as close as possible. Think steep and rocky here...

Depending on the type of pack you have I wouldn't just toss in a KB and go. You might consider some padding at least. This becomes increasingly important with complexity of the terrain. With a heavier load you need to learn how to distribute the load in your pack properly.

Gotcha. I'll put some thought into concrete goals that I want to achieve, now I may just want to get a good sweat going after a :45 min walk. Climbing Machu Picchu is on the 5 year plan so it will be good to have this in the training plan for that.

Also, funny you mentioned the padding aspect of the pack... This morning when doing hip bridges during the warm up for S&S I noticed an unusual soreness in the small of my back. It didn't occur to me until I read your response that it's probably because I had a kettlebell banging into me for :45. Didn't hurt at the time but today I noticed it.
 

fractal

Level 6 Valued Member
I have a weighted vest, but don't use it every time I go out. My area is VERY hilly, so I get into what feels like the right (easy) zone without it typically. If I have extra juice in the evenings and have been a bit light on volume during the week, I'll use the vest on shorter walks of less than 45 minutes just to bring up my heart rate. Terrain is very important, when I lived in a flat area, I'd walk with 20kgs, I haven't put more than 8kgs in my vest since moving.
 

kiwipete

Level 8 Valued Member
I bought my first kettlebell after only having access to the bells at the gym. I've enjoyed being able to take it to a nearby park to work on some movements outside of my S&S practice. I have also enjoyed throwing the bell in my backpack, putting on a podcast and going for a walk around the neighborhood for some good cardio on days my hands could use a rest.

A few questions for everyone about rucking:
  • My kettlebell is 20kg which is roughly 30% of my body weight. Would I see a major benefit of increasing the weight being carried?
  • I simply put the kettlebell in my backpack and go. Anything I should be concerned about regarding potential injury with this set up? I'm able to keep fairly straight while walking, not at all hunched over in order to counterbalance the weight on my back.
  • Any tips on carrying weight on your back or fun exercises I should try? Thinking standing on one leg would be a great challenge.

Good day Sir!

# 20kg is perfect at 30% if you are already strong and don't go too far too soon, too steep, too often
# Gotta pad that lower back - maybe a foam sleeping roll mat, doubled over in the pack?
# If you want a fun way to break up the ruck march...

An idea from Tactical Barbell Conditioning:

Every 7 minutes stop and do 10-20 squats/ walking lunges with the pack on, next 7min stop 10-20 swings, next 7min stop do 5-15 push ups with the pack on. Rotate through this for an hour
Very much a 'Pavel-esque' aerobic strength session - and they are just fun!

Pete
 

needsomegrip

Level 6 Valued Member
Good day Sir!

# 20kg is perfect at 30% if you are already strong and don't go too far too soon, too steep, too often
# Gotta pad that lower back - maybe a foam sleeping roll mat, doubled over in the pack?
# If you want a fun way to break up the ruck march...

An idea from Tactical Barbell Conditioning:

Every 7 minutes stop and do 10-20 squats/ walking lunges with the pack on, next 7min stop 10-20 swings, next 7min stop do 5-15 push ups with the pack on. Rotate through this for an hour
Very much a 'Pavel-esque' aerobic strength session - and they are just fun!

Pete


Thank you for the detailed response. I like the idea of that Tactical Barbell Conditioning sequence, I may work that in.

The foam sleeping mat is a good idea, I have a few things laying around that may work well for padding.
 
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