Special Operations Forces are all the rage these days, from the recent films of “Lone Survivor” and “Zero Dark Thirty” in which Navy SEALs are the protagonists as well as “Black Hawk Down” where the Delta Force operators are, America can’t get enough.

So, if you aren’t going to enlist in the Armed Forces and actually become an operator, now the new rage is working out like one. And nothing builds character more than toting that rucksack around the woods and building up endurance and muscle by toting the pain pill. So everywhere you turn now the benefits of rucking are being touted as a healthy alternative to just plain old running.

Rucking is a way to exercise in a highly efficient manner, as it targets several key areas of fitness at the same time. You can transform your body with rucking in many ways, including:

  • building up your muscles, particularly your shoulders, core, and back
  • shedding fat as you burn three times as many calories as you could walking without the backpack and get the same benefits of running and jogging (with less risk of injury)
  • improving your overall posture as you strengthen your back muscles
  • relieving and preventing back pain
  • strengthening your hip and posture stability, making you less injury prone in general

Rucking effectively allows you to combine aerobic training and strength training while slicing your workout to a fraction of the time. The more you go rucking, the more you can notice its impact on the rest of your health. Your posture as you sit at your office desk is better. Your stamina is improved during your other workouts. Your pesky back pain decreases or vanishes entirely. Rucking provides lasting benefits affecting many areas of your health.

While we agree wholeheartedly that rucking is a great exercise (see our video tomorrow), it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And of course, I can’t wait to bump into another guy on the trail who is “just like Special Ops” because he rucks a few times a week. Heavens help us, we’ve gone mainstream.

To read the entire article from American Grit, click here:

Photo courtesy US Army