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Rucking For Weight Loss: How Many Calories Does It Burn?

Looking for a low-impact exercise that torches calories? Discover the calorie-burning benefits of rucking and learn how to maximize your with our and safety considerations.

What is Rucking?

Rucking is a form of exercise that involves walking while carrying a weighted backpack or rucksack. This activity is common among military personnel, but it has gained popularity in recent years among fitness enthusiasts. The weight of the backpack typically ranges between 10 and 45 pounds, depending on the individual’s fitness level and goals.


Rucking is a low-impact exercise that involves walking at a moderate pace while carrying a weighted backpack. It is a versatile activity that can be done anywhere, from city streets to nature trails. The main goal of is to improve endurance, strength, and overall fitness.


Rucking provides several benefits for both physical and mental health. Here are some of the benefits of rucking:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance: Rucking is a great way to improve cardiovascular endurance, which is essential for overall health and fitness. The activity involves walking with added weight, which increases the intensity of the exercise and helps to improve endurance.
  • Strength Training: Rucking is also an excellent form of strength training. The added weight of the backpack challenges the muscles, particularly the legs, back, and core. Over time, can help to increase muscle strength and tone.
  • Weight Loss: Rucking is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. According to research, a 150-pound person can burn up to 300 calories in 30 minutes of rucking. The calorie burn increases as the weight of the backpack increases.
  • Mental Health: Rucking also provides several mental health benefits. The activity can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost overall mental well-being. Rucking in nature can be particularly beneficial for mental health, as it provides an opportunity to connect with nature and disconnect from the stresses of daily life.

In summary, rucking is a low-impact exercise that provides several benefits for physical and mental health. It is a versatile activity that can be done anywhere and can be customized to meet individual fitness goals.

How Many Calories Does Rucking Burn?

Rucking is a great way to burn calories and get in shape. But just how many calories does it burn? The number of calories burned during rucking depends on several factors, including your weight, pace, and the weight of your rucksack.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn

  1. Weight: The more weight you carry, the more calories you’ll burn. Carrying a heavy rucksack requires more effort and energy, which translates to a higher .
  2. Pace: The faster you walk, the more calories you’ll burn. Walking at a brisk pace requires more energy than a leisurely stroll.
  3. Terrain: The incline of the terrain also affects the number of calories you’ll burn. Walking uphill requires more effort and energy than walking on a flat surface.
  4. Distance: The longer you ruck, the more calories you’ll burn.

Comparison to Other Exercises

Rucking burns more calories than walking or jogging on a flat surface, making it a more effective workout for . According to a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, a 150-pound person can burn an average of 346 calories per hour while rucking. This is compared to 204 calories per hour while walking on a flat surface and 408 calories per hour while jogging on a flat surface.

Rucking is also a low-impact exercise, making it a great alternative to high-impact activities like running. It puts less stress on your joints while still providing an effective workout.

How to Calculate Calorie Burn During Rucking

Rucking is a fantastic way to burn calories and improve your fitness level. However, the amount of calories you burn during a rucking session can depend on various factors, such as your body weight, the weight of your backpack, and the distance you cover. To know how many calories you’re burning during rucking, you can use a calorie calculator or manually calculate your calorie burn.

Using a Calorie Calculator

Using a calorie calculator is the easiest and most accurate way to determine the number of calories you burn during rucking. There are various online calorie calculators that can help you estimate your calorie burn based on your body weight, the weight of your backpack, and the distance you cover. Some of the popular calorie calculators include MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, and MapMyFitness.

To use a calorie calculator, you need to input your body weight, the weight of your backpack, and the distance you cover during your rucking session. The calculator will then estimate the number of calories you burn based on these inputs. Keep in mind that the accuracy of the calorie calculator may vary, so it’s crucial to use a reputable calculator and input accurate information.

Manually Calculating Calorie Burn

If you prefer not to use a calorie calculator, you can manually calculate your calorie burn during rucking. The formula for calculating the number of calories burned during is:

Calories burned = METs x body weight (kg) x time (hours)

METs, or metabolic equivalents, are a measure of the intensity of physical activity. The MET value for is around 8.0, which means that rucking burns eight times as many calories as sitting quietly.

To manually calculate your , you need to know your body weight, the duration of your rucking session (in hours), and the MET value for . For example, if you weigh 70 kilograms and ruck for two hours, your calorie burn would be:

Calories burned = 8.0 x 70 (kg) x 2 (hours) = 1,120 calories

Keep in mind that this formula provides an estimate of your calorie burn, and the actual number of calories you burn may vary based on your individual factors.

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn During Rucking

Rucking is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your overall fitness. However, if you’re looking to maximize your calorie burn during , there are a few that you should keep in mind. Here are three ways to get the most out of your rucking workout:

Increasing Weight

The more weight you carry during rucking, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s as simple as that. If you’re just starting out, you may want to begin with a lighter weight and gradually work your way up. As you become stronger, you can increase the weight of your rucksack or backpack. The added weight will increase the intensity of your workout, leading to more calories burned.

Adding Inclines

Another way to increase the intensity of your workout is to add inclines. Walking uphill while carrying weight is a great way to challenge your muscles and burn more calories. Find a hill or incline in your area and incorporate it into your rucking route. You can also adjust the incline on a treadmill if you’re rucking indoors.

Incorporating Intervals

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be an effective way to burn calories and improve fitness. You can incorporate HIIT into your workout by alternating between periods of high-intensity rucking and periods of lower-intensity . For example, you could ruck at a moderate pace for three minutes and then increase the intensity for one minute before returning to the moderate pace. Repeat this pattern throughout your workout to increase your calorie burn.

By increasing weight, adding inclines, and incorporating intervals, you can maximize your calorie burn during rucking. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to avoid injury. With these , you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

Safety Considerations for Rucking and Calorie Burn

Rucking is a demanding physical activity that requires proper preparation and precautionary measures to avoid injuries or health complications. In this section, we will discuss some of the safety considerations that you need to keep in mind when rucking for calorie burn.

Proper Form and Technique

The right form and technique are crucial when rucking to ensure maximum calorie burn and prevent injuries. When rucking, keep your shoulders down and back, your chest up, and your core engaged. Make sure your steps are short and fast, and your feet are landing flat on the ground. Avoid overstriding, which can increase the risk of injury, and maintain a consistent pace throughout the activity.

Hydration and Nutrition

Proper hydration and nutrition are essential when rucking to maintain energy levels and avoid dehydration or other health complications. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after rucking to stay hydrated. Additionally, eat a healthy and balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to fuel your body during the activity.

Preexisting Conditions to Consider

If you have preexisting health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, or joint pain, consult your doctor before engaging in rucking. Rucking can be a high-impact activity that can put stress on your joints and muscles, so it’s essential to make sure it’s safe for you to do. Additionally, if you’re pregnant or have a recent injury or surgery, avoid rucking until you’re fully recovered.

To summarize, proper form and technique, hydration and nutrition, and preexisting conditions are essential safety considerations when rucking for calorie burn. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and effective rucking workout that maximizes your calorie burn while minimizing your risk of injury or health complications.

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