Working out doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you’re stuck at home. We’re going to talk about five ruck PT (Physical Training) movements you can do at home with a rucksack (or any backpack). Actually, you can do these anywhere – in your apartment in NYC or in your garage in Jax Beach, Florida. Get some weight and do the work.
Start with your rucksack or backpack. Add weight – use a ruck plate, sandbag filler bag, canned goods, textbooks – whatever you got. Start with 10 or 20 pounds if you’re new. Hell, I’m not new and I’m doing 20 pounds. The goal is to keep moving, get your heart rate up, not to bog yourself down with too much weight. Less weight means you’ll keep better form for longer, too. If you get into the workout and it’s too much weight, transition to bodyweight only. That’s proof that it’s working, and that’s what you want. And when it gets too easy, that’s when you need to add a sandbag.
5 FOUNDATIONAL RUCK PT MOVEMENTS
A lot of these movements are named after traditional olympic weight lifting movements, so if you have a question on those, head on over here for a quick lesson. Some of them are more traditional military or exercise movements, like the push-up, which you should all be familiar with (or drop and give me 20, right now).
Standard squat with ruck on your back. For an added challenge you can hold the ruck overhead while squatting or to scale down perform air squats, with no ruck on.
With or without a ruck on. Modify to your knees as needed.
3. AMERICAN TWISTS
Start on your butt, legs off the ground and rotate the ruck side to side. To scale place feet on the ground.
4. PLANK PULL THROUGHS
Start in plank position and drag the ruck across your body, under your core. Switching arms each time and repeat.
5. RUCK CLEAN AND PRESS
Hold the ruck on the ground in front of you about shoulder width apart. Clean the ruck up to your chest then press overhead.
Now, Create Your Own Workout.
To put a workout together, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist. First, pick a couple songs you love and tee them up on a playlist. Then, create your own ruck PT workout:
- Pick three movements for today.
- 10 reps per movement, then go to the next one, 10 reps, then the next one, etc. (I like 10 because it’s not too many that you can’t knock that out quickly and maintain good form.)
- Don’t stop till you get through 2-3 songs. Call it 10-15 minutes.
- Don’t go so hard Day 1 that you can’t move tomorrow. The goal is small bites; do something challenging every single day.
- Then do it again tomorrow, but pick some different movements or switch up the order or number of reps.
Here’s an example of a workout I did the other day on my lunch break:
Bottom line: these are stressful times, it’s important to just admit that to ourselves. They remind me of being on deployment where you don’t have the same freedoms, your movement is restricted, and you have to adapt your mindset or you’ll go crazy. The successful approaches I’m seeing now, during quarantine, are from people who know how to manage that stress, to do what we can. View chaos and quarantine not as a prison sentence, but as an opportunity. You can control your attitude. You’re not traveling, so you have more time to focus on other projects, or goals. Focus on what you can control, think about others and how you can help, and take care of yourself. To do that, you need to move your body, and add some challenges to your daily routine. You can also incorporate your ruck when you go get groceries, if you have kids and they need to go outside (they do), or when you ruck the dog. Do what you can, when you can, where you can.
Take this whole thing seriously no matter where you live and take care of yourself. If you know anyone in healthcare, reach out and just say thank you. It goes a long way.