I have often said that walking is a human condition, but I would like to correct it to be more precise: loaded walking — or rocking — human condition. Simple unloaded walking is an important part of being an active, capable person and lays the ideal foundation for a healthy fitness level. However, it can and should be promoted by occasional (or regular) walking while carrying weight.
For example, when hunter-gatherer hominids walked 12 miles back from a successful hunt, they carried on their shoulders a 40-pound deer অথবা or a woven basket full of tubers, fruit, and bees. The Roman Legionnaires also carried a packet weighing 45 pounds when traveling 18.5 miles a day. They then proceeded to build a defensive fortress for two hours. When kids went to school (before the ubiquity of the mile-long SUV-loaded drop-off line), they wore book-filled bags.
Hell, the full basis of compulsive binomialism is that it allows you to walk while carrying belongings – tools, building materials, shelter materials, weapons, food, meat, grazing plants and roots. These are all essential objects carried by bipedal humans, all of which increase the pull of gravity that you must resist.
Why you should rack
Today we load our food into the trunk of the car and drive home অথবা or, worse, we deliver it to our doorstep. We drop our kids off at school and pick them up. We drive on manicured trailheads, walk mile after mile, and our air-conditioned car waits for us to return home with a smoothie stop along the way. We park at campsites and complain about the 100-yard walk.
Now, these are not “bad”, but they are the fancy environments of the human genome that make us vulnerable and more vulnerable to stress in general. Like everything else, if we want to be better, stronger and healthier despite being modern comfortable, we have to impose arbitrary and artificial boundaries on ourselves. One great way to do this, and to replicate the ancestral loaded walking environment, is to do rocking. Racking is wearing a weighted backpack when walking and hiking. That’s it. And when you rock, you start to see some real benefits.
Creates rocking grit.
This is a total body workout that makes you strong, fit, fast and everything else, but lots of exercise does it. Heck, almost everyone does them. Racking creates a vague quality that I can only describe as grit or stiffness. Because rocking is Tough.
Rocking makes you stronger.
You’re overweight – the oldest recipe in the book for strength.
A rocking workout is a great way to increase cardio without speeding up.
This is a low / high intensity workout. This is high intensity because you are carrying more weight. It is low intensity because you are moving at walking speed. The ups and downs in particular are a fantastic cardio workout and, if you do it carefully, the joints are easier than you think.
If you stop reading right now and go out after a heavy backpack while walking and hiking, you’ll probably be fine. But I can give some additional details and tips that may be helpful to you.
1. Get a rucksack
You can shake with a sturdy backpack full of stones, sandbags, books or weights. But if you’re really serious about it, I’d recommend a dedicated rocking bag. These are stiff backpacks called Roxacks that are designed to handle and deliver heavy loads throughout the body. They usually have a proprietary weight that fits the rucksack perfectly, so that the load is balanced and even.
The best respected brand is Go Ruck. This is the only one I can recommend because this is the only one I have tried, but I’m sure there are others you can use.
2. Start small 5 5-10 pounds less than you think you can handle
You can always add more weight next time, but if you go into deep water with too much weight, you will have a bad time getting it back.
3. Choose the right path
A good rule of thumb is to start rocking on a walking or hiking route that you can do in your sleep. Choose one that is weightless for you and that you enjoy doing. Don’t think of it as a “workout”. Later, you can make it harder.
4. Perfect your gait and walking techniques
Any minor trouble with your walking technique or movement will be aggravated by the extra weight, such as damage to your joints or strain on your muscles.
Remember, rucking is loaded Walking. Don’t run A recipe for regular running injuries with 30-40 pounds on your back. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does happen to enough people that it doesn’t deserve to test your luck. Walking with weights and running for weightless outings is much better.
5. Don’t overdo it
Rocking is training; It’s not an event. When you train for something, you don’t want to fail. You don’t want to leave everything on the field. Doing everything like this is for competition (or life and death situations). Training is about empowering you so that you can handle those serious situations. Leave something in the tank.
6. Gradually increase your weight
Remember to start small and increase your weight once you feel comfortable.
- Beginner: The 10-15 pound rack is a route you’ve been comfortable with many times before
- Intermediate: Rack 20-30 pounds along a route that you have comfortably done many times before
- Improved: A 30-50 pound rack along a route that you have comfortably done many times before
7. Deal with the mountains
I find that climbing (and then descending) is an incredible exercise. Surprisingly, it feels better and more productive than rocking on flat ground.
You don’t have to buy a rocking backpack, or even wear a backpack. There are other options for load walking:
- Carry a large tree branch or log across your shoulders: The best part about this is that they are usually free to take a hike and you don’t have to bring it back home with you. Just find a suitable branch or log and carry it for as long as you want and then throw it on the ground when you are done. It works with large stones.
- Take a friend and a kettlebell with you: When one of you gets tired, pick it up. When the other person gets tired, it’s your turn again. Continue until the end of the walk.
- Wear a weighted jacket: This is a different kind of weight distribution, which puts some weight across the front part of your body, which brings its own challenge.
- Load a sand bag or duffel bag: You can fill it with sand or gravel and carry it during your walk. Switch from shoulder to shoulder, hug it with your body, carry it as if you were carrying a bride across the threshold, or hold it on both shoulders. Just put it there, whatever you can, and walk with it.
- Use a simple backpack with weights: It won’t be as comfortable as Ruksak. The straps will dig into your shoulders, not so much load will be distributed to the buttocks and the bag itself may break. But it is By Work if you are a pinch.
If you want to increase it step by step, place a loosely packed sand bag on top of your rack to take your workout to the next level.
There are dozens of ways to load your walk with weight, the rucksack is the most comfortable and accessible. But the bottom line is: include loaded walks in your schedule and see your fitness skyrocket and your connection to our ancestral past is getting stronger.
Take care, everyone. I’d like to hear about your experience with load walking or rucks.
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