Does Rucking Make You Shorter?

I am a person that loves spending time outdoors and rucking is one of my favorite exercises. Over time, I have committed to researching the effects of rucking on my body.

Rucking has various benefits for your general health as a form of exercise. However, owing to the fact that you are placing weight on your back, you may have effects on your back and lower extremities.

Does it make you shorter? Here is a quick look at rucking and its effect on your height.

You Cannot Get Any Shorter for Rucking

If you do ruck as a grown-up, there is no chance that the weight will cause your backbone or lower extremities to shrink.

Biologically, when you have formed bone, there is no way that it can shrink in size to carry loads on the back.

Therefore, the apparent change in height could be a result of other effects rather than irreversible shrinkage of bone length in your back and legs. Let’s look at some other effects of rucking that may affect your height.

Rucking Improves Posture

Most people that do sedentary jobs are always slouched at their desks for long periods. This can affect their posture and cause them to look a little shorter as they move about.

Rucking can actually improve your posture and enable you to stand upright. This has the effect of making you look taller and avoiding back pain in the long run.

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Heavy Loads May Cause Slouching

If you carry very heavy loads, you may have issues with your back that may cause you to slouch forward. This effect is also aggravated by carrying a loose backpack, which puts pressure on the lower back.

Slouching makes you look a little shorter than you are. Over time, this posture may cause muscular pain, skeletal problems and pain in the legs.

Attempting to carry too much weight may cause painful muscle tears and sprains. You could also end up with a hernia and a slipped disc. All of these could make you change your posture and make you look a little shorter.

Overall, rucking has no effect on your height. It may injure your back and cause you to change posture, but it will never cause your body to get shorter. Therefore, there is no need to worry about your height.

How to Prevent the Above Effects on Your Body

Gradually Increase the Weights

When you are getting started with rucking, you should add weight to your backpack gradually. This enables the body to adjust to the weight changes without getting injured.

If you have not been exercising regularly, it is recommended that you start by carrying around 20% of your body weight. You should carry the weight for at least two weeks or until you are comfortable carrying the weight.

There are other ways of increasing the effectiveness of your rucking exercise without increasing weight. You may increase your speed or the distance covered with the backpack.

Climbing hills also increases your endurance without having to increase your load. Once you’re comfortable with your current load, you can increase it by about 10% and continue on the previous schedule until you’re ready for more weight.

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Invest In a Good-Quality Backpack

One reason why you may have back problems is a backpack that has very thin straps, an uncomfortable backpack, and does not have straps to hold onto your abdomen. This causes the weight to pull you back and down as you move about.

Instead, go for a backpack that has padding on the straps and the back. The straps should also be adjustable so that you can carry the weight close to your body.

On the other hand, avoid carrying the backpack too tight as it is likely to cause injury to your shoulders and lower back.

General Fitness Is Vital

Apart from rucking, maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes being active, taking enough water, and having a balanced diet.

A healthy body is able to endure stress on the back comfortably.


Rucking does not make you any shorter. Carrying weights, on the other hand, does not cause you to grow any shorter.

A human body is comfortably able to handle about 20% of its weight without problems.

In contrast, rucking may enable you to maintain a healthy posture and walk with your head held high. This may make you look taller.

However, if you are carrying too much weight on your back, you may have a slouched posture, which would cause you to look shorter. Besides, it may cause back pain and problems with your legs.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent negative effects when carrying weights when rucking.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Add weights gradually so that you do not end up overwhelming the body
  • Invest in a good backpack to reduce the chances of an injury
  • Ensure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle