When it comes to fitness, variety can keep you motivated (and injury-free!) Whatever kind of workouts you do, incorporating functional movements with versatile equipment can take things to the next level.
You’ve probably heard of sandbags and other functional training equipment. But did you know you can use weighted backpacks (aka ruckpacks) as a full-body training tool. Swing it, lift it, press it, push it… and ruck with it, of course!
Originally used in military training, a rucking backpack is a durable multi-tool that can boost your endurance, strength, and fitness. Let’s look at 10 effective exercises you can do with a rucking backpack and how to make the most of this versatile fitness tool.
How can you use a weighted pack as a workout tool
Ruckpacks are designed to carry weights (that’s what differentiates them from a regular backpack). But not all ruckpacks are the same great quality. If you get one – like ours – that has handles on the top and both sides – it can be much more than just a backpack.
Our ruckpacks have a separate internal pocket which holds weight plates securely, turning the ruckpack into a weighted item almost like a sandbag. And thanks to those top and side handles, you can lift, swing, squat, push, press, row, drag, carry, and even throw it for a varied full body workout.
Why use a ruckpack as a weighted workout tool?
1. It’s cost-effective – no need to buy dumbbells or gym membership
2. It’s versatile – use it for rucking, for carrying essentials, and as a training tool
3. It lends itself to a range of full-body strength building functional exercises
4. It’s hard-wearing and won’t rust, perish, or need maintenance
5. It can be used anywhere, any time, indoors or outdoors
Is a ruckpack like a sandbag?
The best way to visualise how you’d use a weighted ruckpack as a training tool is to imagine using a sandbag. There are some key differences, of course. A sandbag is filled with sand, so the weight moves as you use it. And a sandbag might not have handles on it like our ruckpacks do. But the idea is similar. You can use our weighted ruckpacks as a sandbag/med ball alternative that also fulfils its primary function of a ruckingbackpack!
Full body backpack workout with ruckpack
Here are 12 exercises you could do with your rucking backpack – indoors, outdoors, at the gym or during a ruck!
12 exercises to do with a weighted backpack
- Squats: add to bodyweight squats by wearing your rucking backpack. Wear the pack as normal, or hold it at your chest or even overhead for more of a challenge.
- Lunges: wear your rucking backpack and do walking lunges or static lunges, or press the pack overhead (both hands, or use the side handle to use one arm) for more of a challenge.
- Ground-to-shoulder: place the weighted pack on the ground and get it to your shoulder the same way you would with a heavy med ball – into your lap, clean it up, shoulder it.
- Bent over row: use the side handles of the pack to row the backpack into your torso for this classic back exercise.
- Upright row: use the top handle to upright row the pack, in a similar way as you would with a kettlebell
- Push ups: transform regular push-ups exercise by wearing your rucking backpack. Switch up your hand position to vary the stimulus.
- Pull ups: wear your ruckpack to make pull ups more challenging.
- Step ups: wear your pack and step up onto a solid surface, alternating legs. You could also hold the pack by one of the side handles in a suitcase carry.
- Planks: wear your pack for planks to add resistance to target your entire core and trunk.
- Swings: use your pack like a big kettlebell, holding one handle with both hands to perform eye-level swings.
- Russian twists: sit on the ground with your knees bent and your backpack at chest height. Lean back slightly and twist from side to side, tapping the pack on the ground by your hips.
- Bear crawls: Wear your rucking backpack and crawl on all fours forwards and backwards to train your coordination, strength, and mobility.
Best rucking backpack to use as a weighted training tool
Our ruckpacks have side and top handles making them a truly versatile training tool for endurance, strength, fitness, and more Check the Force Fitness store for ruckpacks inspired by the world’s elite forces and adventures.