Rucking On A Treadmill: Elevate Your Workout

Rucking, a simple yet profoundly effective workout, combines walking with the added weight of a backpack. Traditionally done outdoors, rucking can be adapted to a treadmill setting, offering a convenient and controlled environment for this challenging exercise. Treadmill rucking allows you to simulate the resistance and effort of outdoor rucking, making it a fantastic option for those looking to enhance their fitness routine from the comfort of their home or gym.

What is Rucking?

Rucking is a form of cardio exercise that involves walking or marching at a brisk pace while carrying weight, typically in a backpack. Originating from military training where soldiers carry heavy packs across distances, rucking has gained popularity among civilians for its simplicity and the significant benefits it offers.

Benefits of Rucking on a Treadmill

Rucking on a treadmill combines the advantages of traditional rucking with the convenience and features of indoor exercise. Here are some key benefits:

  • Controlled Environment: Treadmill rucking eliminates weather-related excuses, allowing you to maintain consistency in your workout routine.
  • Adjustable Difficulty: Easily adjust the incline and speed on a treadmill to increase the intensity of your ruck without needing hilly terrain.
  • Safety: Rucking indoors reduces the risks associated with uneven outdoor surfaces, traffic, and poor lighting.
  • Efficient Calorie Burn: The added weight increases the intensity of the walk, leading to higher calorie burn compared to regular walking or jogging.

How to Ruck On A Treadmill

To maximize the benefits of treadmill rucking and ensure safety, consider the following tips:


Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and use a sturdy backpack designed for rucking. The backpack should fit snugly, with the weight evenly distributed to avoid strain on your back. Brands like GORUCK specialize in high quality rucking gear.


Maintain good posture by keeping your back straight, shoulders back, and gaze forward. Proper alignment prevents strain and ensures the most effective workout.

Pack Properly

Start with a weight that is manageable for you, typically between 10 to 20 pounds, and gradually increase as you build endurance. Use water bottles, sandbags, or specially designed ruck weights to achieve the desired weight.

Mix it Up

Vary your workout by adjusting the incline and speed periodically. Incorporating intervals or hill simulations can enhance the challenge and prevent workout plateaus.

Choosing the Right Rucking Gear

Selecting the appropriate gear is crucial for an effective and comfortable rucking experience. Look for a backpack with padded straps, a waist belt for added support, and enough capacity to hold your chosen weight securely. Additionally, opt for moisture-wicking clothing to keep you comfortable during your workout.

Tips for Rucking on a Treadmill

To get the most out of your treadmill rucking session, keep these tips in mind:

  • Warm-Up and Cool Down: Begin with a 5-10 minute walk without weight to warm up, and cool down similarly at the end of your session.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keep water within reach to stay hydrated throughout your workout, especially as rucking increases sweat production.
  • Listen to Your Body: If you feel undue pain or discomfort, reduce the weight or intensity of your workout. Gradual progression is key to avoiding injury.
  • Entertainment: Since treadmill workouts can become monotonous, listen to music, watch TV, or follow a treadmill rucking workout video to keep yourself engaged.

Rucking on a treadmill is an innovative way to enhance your fitness regimen, offering a blend of cardio and strength training that is hard to beat. By following the guidelines for gear, posture, packing, and mixing up your routine, you can enjoy a safe, effective, and enjoyable rucking experience indoors. Whether you're a seasoned rucker or new to the concept, incorporating treadmill rucking into your workout routine can elevate your fitness to new heights.