Rucking: The New Fitness Trend Everyone’s Talking About

While a stylish rucksack may be a wardrobe game changer (oh hi, Whistles!) – we’ve never used it as a fitness accessory, until now. Yep, rucking which literally means walking with a weighted rucksack on your back is hottest new way to get in shape. This military-inspired workout, which increases your endurance, muscle tone and metabolism, is already huge in the US and loved by the likes of Anna Kendrick and Kate Hudson. And now coming to our shores. So how does it work?

“The amount of weight you carry really depends on your individual strength,” says Luke. “But we recommend that you don’t exceed 13kg.” So, if you’re getting back into the fitness game build up slowly, starting off with 5kg. And the best news? You don’t have to spend a thing. “There’s no point carrying around a token 5lb dumbbell”, Luke says. Instead pack your bag (packing each side equally to spread the weight) with bottled water, books, baked bean cans…who needs weights?

Anna Kendrick is all about the backpack


“Rucking engages your muscles and makes them work even harder,” according to Luke Wardrop, a senior trainer at British Military Fitness. “It’s a great way to improve your core strength.” And it’s more effective workout than your average stroll, burning more than three times as many calories. While a 30-minute walk burns off around 100 calories, strap a weighted backpack on and you can lose 350. We’re sold!

And like popular indoor classes from Pilates to Ballet, Rucking improves your posture too. “The straps pull your shoulders back which forces you to stand straighter and taller too,” says Luke. “Most have a tendency to carry their bag on the same shoulder and as a result your body can become unbalanced which can lead to muscle pain.” In other words don’t be discouraged if you suffer from back problems – rucking can actually help relieve and prevent back pain by keeping your torso upright.

Rucking is the simplest way to get fit


Any type of walking is beneficial, but walking upstairs or hills can add another element.

“You can do it absolutely anywhere”, says Luke. “It’s as simple as just strapping on a rucksack and going”. 

Maybe leave the Mulberry at home though…

British Military Fitness offer classes, including rucking at


By Morwenna Jones