Why rucking is the hottest workout of summer 2024

Rucking is named in various fitness trend reports for 2024 – here’s why we think rucking is here to stay.

Is rucking a new fitness trend?

Fitness industry trend forecasts often feature the same favourites – HIIT, functional training, group exercise. But this year there’s a newcomer. Rucking.

Rucking has popped up in loads of fitness trend reports in 2024, but it’s far from new. In fact, rucking has a long military background. Rucking is essentially walking or hiking with a weighted backpack, and it’s used in training by military all over the world.


Why is rucking popular?

Rucking is enjoying a surge in popularity at the moment, and we think this is because it’s relatively cheap, accessible, and comes with a host of fitness benefits from strength to endurance and even stress management.

Rucking is cheap

The only thing you need to start rucking is a weighted backpack (ruckpack) or a rucking plate carrier which is a bit like a weighted vest. Of course you’ll also need decent footwear. But rucking is a pretty cheap activity to get started with. No gym fee, no fancy equipment. Just weighted apparel and off you go.


Rucking is low-tech

So many current fitness trends rely on technology, digital innovation, or complicated interventions. Rucking offers a comforting counter to all that newness. It’s the ultra low-tech fitness trend that ticks numerous boxes (cardio, strength, functional fitness, mental wellness).


Rucking burns calories 

If losing weight – or keeping it off – is one of your fitness goals, rucking can help. Walking or hiking with added weight (from external load) forces your body to burn more calories, and the low-impact nature of rucking means you can do it for a sustained amount of time. That’s the best recipe for torching calories.


Rucking is adaptable

Rucking can be done on trails, in the countryside, or around your local streets. You can do it where you live, on holiday, or when you travel for work.


Rucking is efficient

Time is precious, and we all want our workouts to do more for us. Rucking builds cardio endurance, muscle, and strength, and is a great way to tackle stress and get outside more.


Rucking gets you outside

There are so many reasons to love outdoor exercise, from Vitamin D sunlight exposure to mental health benefits. Rucking gets you outside in nature, tackling different terrains and getting away from screens


Rucking builds functional strength

Rucking builds real-world strength and stamina that translates into everyday life. By walking with a weighted pack, you're also improving your balance, stability, and coordination.


Rucking gets you seriously fit

Rucking can be scaled up or down to meet most fitness goals. You can ruck faster, seek out trickier terrain, or tackle steeper hills to build more endurance and cardio fitness. And all with less impact on your joints than running.


Rucking fitness trend 2024

According to fitness surveys and search engine data, rucking has experienced a big surge in popularity over the past year. The hashtag has over 20 million views on TikTok alone, and there’s been a 177% rise in online searches for rucking over the past year. It’s been cited as a fitness trend by the media (including the New York Times and Business Insider), by academics (including University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and in annual reports from fitness industry experts. We know rucking has been around for decades, and we’re confident it will stick around!


5 reasons to try rucking this year

1. It’s easy to get started – all you need is a weighted ruckpack or rucking plate carrier

2. No gym membership needed – you can ruck anytime, anywhere

3. It fits with your routine – several short rucks, one long ruck, whatever works for you

4. Rucking gets you fit - by building cardiovascular fitness and endurance

5. Rucking builds strength - especially in the legs, hips, back and core


How to get started with rucking 

All you need is some kind of weighted apparel. The traditional way to ruck is with a weighted ruckpack, but you could also use a rucking plate carrier or a weighted vest. 

Start with around 10% of your bodyweight in your rucking pack or vest. This means if you’re 80kgs, ruck with an additional 8kgs. Choose rucking equipment that can be adjusted so it fits well and doesn’t rub or move around as you walk.

Start with shorter rucks of 30 minutes and build up as you get fitter and stronger. Aim to ruck 1-3 times a week over varying terrain and speeds if possible.


Best rucking equipment UK

Force Fitness makes military-quality rucking gear for beginners and experienced rucking enthusiasts. This is a great place to start your rucking journey. Check out our rucking backpacks (which are loaded with quality metal plates for comfort), rucking plate carriers (thinner in design than a ruckpack) and weighted vests to see what will suit you best.

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