Tip of the Week
Do you love boot-camp workouts? What about hitting all of your major muscle groups with military precision? Well, you can do it on a hike — Ruck-style.
A Ruck March, also called a “forced march” or a “hump,” involves walking at a fast clip over rugged terrain with a weighted backpack. The added resistance works your body harder and burns more calories.
Tips to get started:
Incrementally build: Put on hiking shoes, strap on a weighted rucksack (or regular backpack) and head out for the trails. Seek areas with rugged terrain and hills. In the beginning, start with a lightweight pack of 10 lbs. and just do a few miles. As your body gets used to the weighted hike, incrementally increase your load, miles and hiking speed. How to add weight? Try hand weights wrapped in towels, bricks wrapped in towels or even sealed water jugs.
Cross-train: If you want to improve your Ruck March, the solution is threefold: train your major muscle groups, condition that ticker and work on your stamina and endurance. Cross-train with running, core exercises and weight training to prepare your body to carry weight, keep form and tackle hills. A strong core is essential to avoid injury on the trail. Carry the rucksack closer to your body, and the reduced sway will diminish the strain to your back muscles.
Go “Biggest Loser:” Have you seen the TV show “The Biggest Loser,” where contestants strap on the weight they’ve lost and go out on a hike? Yes, that’s a Ruck March. They carry the extra weight so they can realize how much lighter they feel, and remember how challenging it was to carry it around in the past. You can challenge yourself by adding the weight you’ve lost on your next hike. Not only will it increase your total body workout, but you’ll also get a mental reminder that you don’t want those extra pounds to come back.
— Life Fitness
Number to Know
45: In the Armed Forces, participants carry at least 45 lbs. in their backpack, in addition to their helmet, canteens, shoulder harness and weapon.
— Life Fitness
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Health Watch: Try a Ruck March
Tip of the Week