Rucking vs Squats (Differences, Pros, Cons, & Which Is Better?)

Doing squats as part of your workout routines can be very essential to your body fitness. Squatting is generally great especially when it comes to making your rucking better.

When the two exercises are combined they focus on building different groups of muscles allowing you to gain power and endurance and as a result, translating to better times during rucking.

This article has what you need to know about rucking and squatting and how the two perfectly work in making sure your fitness is on the top level.

1. Rucking

Rucking is a type of exercise where the concept involves hiking or walking to a particular distance while carrying a certain weight on the back.

Also known as “ruck marching”, rucking originates from the word rucksack (a backpack designed for handling heavy loads and is very durable) from military origins.

This exercise requires hardly any special equipment and no difficulty involved because all you need is the backpack at your back, a bit of weight, and the desire to start.

Most groups tend to go rucking together pushing themselves to their limits.

If you are undecided on which exercise is good to start with then look no further, here are the pros and cons of rucking.

1. Pros

Doing rucking occasionally has benefits like;

  • Doing rucking may save you from having serious health problems.
  • It’s a good way to start your journey on weight loss.
  • It is very cheap and doesn’t require the most specialized equipment.
  • Improves muscles for old people.
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2. Cons

Rucking also has its disadvantages like;

  • As a result of poor posture, most people are affected by injuries.
  • Rucking sessions can be a waste of time.
  • It may cause knee pains sometimes.

3. How to start rucking

For people who are new to hiking or don’t exercise that much, rucking is the best exercise for you to start at a slower pace.

You are advised to start with a distance of about 2 miles, grab your backpack and make sure that it has a weight of 10% of your body weight.

For example, let’s say you have a weight of 68kg (150 pounds), your backpack should at least weigh 15 pounds to help with the balancing.

For your backpack weight, you can either use a kettlebell, water bottles, dumbbells, rocks, or even sandbags.

To ensure that you’re comfortable during the whole exercise, make sure that you have secured your weight and that it’s in the perfect condition where it can’t bounce or move around.

Always keep your weight high on the back and all straps tight. Keep in mind that the military target a pace of 15 minutes per mile but you can always target a 20-minute per mile distance when starting.

2. Squat

Doing squats mostly targets your muscle groups like the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, abdominal muscles, and inner thighs.

Most people like doing squats while carrying weights for the best results but the real fact that most people don’t know is that you do not need weights to benefit from doing squats.

The squatting movement is very important especially when you are using your own weight and you’re just starting.

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Doing squats can really help with the knee pains you are experiencing after rucking by assisting your body to build and deal with time and weight from the heavy work.

1. Pros

Recently, an expert regarded squats as one of the most effective sources of exercise that can be used to improve the performance of an athlete.

In addition, it is quite easy for most people to perform this exercise because it doesn’t require the use of any equipment.

Some of the advantages of squatting include;

  • Strengthens the lower back.
  • Strengthens the knee joint.
  • Promotes weight loss as it burns fats in your body.
  • Improves the lower body’s flexibility.

2. Cons

  • Squatting without proper posture may result in knee pains. This can be prevented by ensuring that during squatting, the knees are in the same line as the feet.
  • Squatting with weights increases the risks of injuries to your lower back and knees. In case it’s your first time doing a weighted squat, you can always seek the help of a trainer.

Final thoughts

Doing squats frequently is a great way of building your stability and strength. It helps in the basic fundamentals like running, walking, or even changing a direction.

Combining squats with your rucking practice will sure charge up your rucking journey helping you become generally stronger.

Even though the two exercises have their differences and pros and cons, combining the squats with your rucking is one way of ensuring that you are building every part of your body since the exercises target almost every muscle group. Start your journey today and experience a session worth remembering.