Is Rucking bad for Knees?

No. Rucking is not bad for your knees because it helps you build muscle and strengthens the lower body. Rucking has been part of my daily workout routine since I can remember.

It is an activity that I have found rejuvenating since I was in the military. It is an activity that is good for the body and psychological health.

The main reason why I take part in rucking is to build muscle. The additional weight carried while rucking helps build muscle and plays a crucial role in strengthening the shoulders, legs, core, and back.

Additionally, rucking builds muscle in your legs. What’s more? It elevates your heart rate as compared to regular walking.

There are tons of benefits of rucking, both to the physical and mental aspects of wellbeing. It is an excellent strength and cardio workout that has become quite popular with the general public.

Traditionally, rucking was only used by the military and similar organizations to train servicemen and women.

However, many people have adopted it as part of everyday workout routines in recent times.

In my experience, as a serviceman, rucking is not without its fair share of challenges like pain that results from injuries.

If you find yourself experiencing some form of pain, especially on the knees, after a rucking session, here are some common causes:

  • Prior injuries
  • Lack of conditioning
  • Improper form
  • overtraining
  • Hereditary conditions

Additionally, there are ways to avoid knee injury from rucking

1. Do not carry excessive weight

When you carry too much weight, all that extra weight weighs down on your lower body, like the knees and hips.

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Therefore, as you add more weight to your rucksack, the stress to the lower body increases significantly.

As you load more weight on your rucksack, the knee plays an essential role in ensuring you take off. Therefore, limit the weight that you carry.

2. Lessen the fatigue

Before taking on a load on your back, ensure that you are not tired from previous exercises.

If you are tired from an earlier experience, the chances are that you will not perform well while rucking. This may also weigh down on your knees.

3. Wear appropriate rucking boots

Wearing the proper boots for the job may seem like an obvious thing to do, and many people overlook it. Do not make this mistake.

I have seen many individuals lack the proper attire for a ruck session and have knee pains right after they are done.

It is also vital for you to know that rucking often involves walking on uneven terrains, different obstacles, and even rocks. Therefore, dawning the proper attire will save you from a lot of damage to your knee.

How to Treat Knee Pain from Rucking

I may not be a certified medic, but I have some experience treating mild injuries sustained during rucking.

During my time in the military, I got to learn several ways of treating a knee injury from an intense rucking session:

  • Stop walking and take a rest
  • If you have some ice, place it on the knee to prevent swelling
  • Compress the injury using a bandage
  • Elevate the knee
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication if you notice that the area is beginning to swell.
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To stay on the safe side, I would advise you to carry the following items when going rucking:

  • Backpack
  • Hydration fluids/system
  • Elastic load securement straps
  • Weighted vest
  • Bandage

Other health Benefits of Rucking

Rucking is one of the most effective ways of getting into shape by losing weight and gaining muscle. Other benefits include:

  • It improves your cardiovascular fitness because it raises your heart rate more than when you take a regular walk. It also lowers your blood pressure.
  • It is a reliable way to lose weight. That is because as your heart rate goes up, then you also burn some calories. Therefore, you will be more fit at the end of the workout session than when you started.
  • It is an excellent workout activity that can be done anywhere and anytime. You do not require special equipment to do it.
  • While rucking, you improve your stability, balance, and posture. That is because as you criss-cross the rough terrain, you will gain both balance and stability.
  • An increased level of cardio increases an individual’s endurance level.
  • By overcoming the different challenges and obstacles, you will develop mental toughness, and as a result, your mental health subsequently improves.
  • It is an ideal way to spend your time with friends and family outside while exercising. This will be sure to improve and strengthen the bond that you share.


Rucking is not bad for your knees. In fact, it is an excellent workout activity that:

  • Builds muscle
  • Strengthens the lower body
  • Improves one’s stability and posture
  • Lowers the blood pressure
  • Improves one’s mental health