Maximizing Your Rucking Workout on a Treadmill: Tips and Techniques for Safety and Effectiveness
by Tobias •4 minutes read
Last updated: 17 Mar, 2023
Rucking, or carrying a weighted backpack on a hike or walk, is a great way to build strength and endurance. Rucking on a treadmill, however, can present a few unique challenges. In this article, we will discuss how to safely and effectively ruck on a treadmill to get the most out of your workout, including how to pick the right treadmill and maximize the fitness benefit.
First and foremost, it's important to choose the right treadmill for rucking. Look for a treadmill with a sturdy, durable build and a weight capacity that can accommodate your backpack and weight. It's also important to consider the belt size, as a larger belt will provide more stability while rucking. A treadmill with an incline feature is also essential, as it will allow you to simulate the uneven terrain of outdoor rucking.
Before starting a rucking session on a treadmill, it's important to choose the right backpack and weight. A backpack with a waist belt and padded shoulder straps is ideal for distributing the weight evenly across your body. As for the weight, it's best to start with a moderate amount, around 10-15% of your body weight, and gradually increase it as your fitness improves. It's also important to properly pack the backpack, ensuring that the weight is evenly distributed.
When using a treadmill, it's important to adjust the incline to simulate the uneven terrain of outdoor rucking. A 1-2% incline is a good starting point, but you can gradually increase it to challenge yourself further. Keep in mind that the incline setting will also affect the intensity of the workout, so be sure to adjust your speed accordingly.
To get the most out of your rucking session during a treadmill workout, it's important to use proper form. Keep your shoulders back, core engaged, and head up. Your arms should swing naturally at your sides, and your feet should strike the treadmill belt evenly. Maintaining proper form not only ensures safety but also ensures that the workout is targeting the right muscle groups.
It's also important to pay attention to your breathing during your rucking session. Try to breathe deeply and evenly through your nose and mouth. This will help to oxygenate your muscles and increase your endurance.
Another important aspect of rucking on a treadmill is to vary your workout routine. You can do this by changing the speed, incline, and weight of your backpack. This will help to keep your body challenged and prevent boredom. Incorporating interval training, where you alternate between high and low-intensity periods, is an effective way to maximize the fitness benefit of rucking on a treadmill and has been shown to improve heart rate variability, a good indicator of heart health.
Rucking on a treadmill can be an effective way to burn calories and lose weight. The number of calories burned will depend on various factors such as your weight, the weight of your backpack, the incline of the treadmill, and your speed. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 155-pound person can burn approximately 7 calories per minute at a slow walk (2.5 mph) with a 20-pound backpack, 10 calories per minute at a moderate walk (3.5 mph) with a 20-pound backpack, and 14 calories per minute at a brisk walk (4.5 mph) with a 20-pound backpack. That's 420 calories in a 30 minute workout session. If you increase the weight of the backpack or increase the incline of the treadmill, you'll burn even more calories. As you become more fit, you can increase the speed and incline to challenge yourself further and burn even more calories.
In addition to rucking on a treadmill, it's important to also incorporate other types of exercise such as strength training, stretching, and cardio to achieve a well-rounded fitness routine. Strength training exercises like squats and lunges can help build the leg and core muscles that are used during rucking. Stretching will help to reduce the risk of injury and improve range of motion. Cardio exercises like running or cycling can help to improve cardiovascular fitness.
In conclusion, whether you are rucking on a treadmill at the gym or at home, it can be a great way to build strength and endurance. With the right treadmill, backpack, and weight, proper form, and a varied workout routine, you'll be able to safely and effectively ruck on a treadmill and get the most out of your workout. Remember to incorporate other forms of exercise, such as strength training, stretching, and cardio, to achieve a well-rounded fitness routine. As with any exercise, it's important to check with your doctor before starting a rucking routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
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