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#1640 - 08/08/15 03:15 PM Proper Rucking Form?
Jay_Pew Offline

Registered: 02/22/15
Posts: 36
Loc: USA
Whenever I look at videos on YouTube of military rucking, I usually find videos of either Army Ranger or Special Forces cannidates almost running with the weight on. But on websites I find about proper form, they say do not run because it destroys your knees. Is "military rucking" considered a slight run with weight? Or what is the proper way one should conduct such an event to be as efficient as possible? The 3 mile ruck is part of my PAST as a crosstrainee into CCT so that's why I ask.

#1644 - 08/08/15 05:08 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Jay_Pew]
Yukon Online   content

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 847
Loc: Anchorage AK
The PJ/CCT/SOWT/TACP/SERE/EOD Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) CRITERIA document describes the ruck march event. The time allotted combined with the required ruck weight for the event seems to be doable as a brisk walk.

Running with a heavy ruck does pose risk to knees, ankles, shoulders however IMO opinion being able to do the PAST elements other than the ruck requirement with a consistent comfortable pass performance is good indicator of being able to successfully do the ruck march. It's the shoulders being conditioned to the stress the ruck strap applies that takes getting used to.

#1646 - 08/08/15 05:34 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Yukon]
Jay_Pew Offline

Registered: 02/22/15
Posts: 36
Loc: USA
Thanks for the response.
I did the ruck for the first time today, stand alone without the other events, and did it in 43:06. But I only managed to beat the 45 minute time limit by lightly jogging the last mile to make up for time. I feel I was walking as fast as possible but wasn't making much progress. I guess what I'm trying to ask is should my steps be long, short, and should it sort of almost be a jog?

#1651 - 08/09/15 04:37 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Jay_Pew]
roebuckguy Offline

Registered: 01/26/15
Posts: 1
Loc: South Dakota
When I took my PAST, which was conducted by a SORL, I got 35:02 on my ruck. I did all the events in one session and for the ruck I was almost jogging. When I normally ruck, especially for long distances, I use what would be considered proper rucking form. The SORL had no issue with me performing the ruck that way but he did offer the same advice that Yukon did up above.

#1671 - 08/11/15 03:32 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Jay_Pew]
RIKR Offline

Registered: 04/28/15
Posts: 23
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
OK... This can become a little bit of a rabbit hole but here we go...

First, running with a ruck: Simple applied math - (Mass)x(Velocity). Strap on 35-90lbs and think what the impact force is on your joints for a minute. Now accelerate the RPMs and shear forces that occur in loaded running. It's bad. Very, very bad. Simply put. Don't do it unless you absolutely have to and if you have to ask, then it's not the time.

Second, "Military rucking": Since the military is the only community to use that term it's a bit redundant. Everyone else calls it back packing or pack walking.

Third, why are these guys running? Simple, they failed to train properly and/or they do not understand pacing (see the first part of the sentence). Thus, when being tested they have to run or they feel they need to run to meet the time standards.

To be fast and have stamina while loaded (with a pack or otherwise) you must train to develop LOADED aerobic capacity. There is absolutely no reason to run. If you understand how to train for it, it's easy. The "standard" pace in SOF is 15min/mile but most of your SAS and JSOC types have worked up to as fast as 13min/mile without running. For a well conditioned operator, 13min/mile is generally the speed one can walk and still not jog or run. Leg length plays a role here but that is the average. As a trainee, you should have a goal of sub-15min/mile in your aerobic training zone. There is a tried and true progression to this that you should learn if you're serious about it.
US Special Operations Team Leader
MFF, Mountain Warfare, Combatives & SOF Medical Instructor
International Master level strength & conditioning coach

#1776 - 08/28/15 11:45 AM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Jay_Pew]
California275 Offline

Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 16
Loc: California
I agree with you RIKR, and I'm not trying to extend the rabbit hole, but it can also be terrain dependent how one paces during a ruck test. I have seen ruck routes where every participant being tested had to run just to make the time.

In regards to loaded aerobic capacity, can you give specific examples of how to train this way? Or are you mostly referring to conditioning ruck marches? I knew a number of guys who attended and passed various selections and their training consisted of almost entirely running and biking. One guy even did spin classes. I think that if someone has confidence in their rucking abilities, it is perfectly feasible to train with lower impact aerobic exercise. I'm thinking, however, that this isn't the same as the loaded aerobic capacity you are referring to.

#1777 - 08/28/15 02:40 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: Jay_Pew]
Yukon Online   content

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 847
Loc: Anchorage AK
Terrain does effect pace, but any tested ruck march I have personal awareness of adjusted the times to account for the terrain. Further a simulated tactical ruck march differs from a physical fitness test ruck march. The physical fitness test ruck march is seldom accomplished on difficult terrain.

The I have seen ruck routes where every participant being tested had to run doesn't identify who established the route and who established the maximum allowable pass time. I have seen ROTC units implement some stupid and dangerous ruck march requirements. Primarily because the ROTC cadets were not properly conditioned to participate in doing the ruck march.

I also have awareness back during the 1980s and 1990s of TACP, SERE and Security Forces (Security Forces the OPR and operates the Air Force pre-Ranger prep Course for most of the Air Force) doing time tested ruck march silliness (participants were not properly conditioned) just for we are the toughest gratification pat on the back reasons. But this was back during the 1980s and 1990s before operational risk management policies and requirements began to be imposed on such training and testing activities. Also these Air Force career fields are very influenced by see US Army Rangers do this, we must do same with no awareness or appreciation of what they attempted to copy being a simulated tactical ruck march or a physical fitness test ruck march.

I've participated in some significantly demanding ruck marches with US Army Rangers in field exercises, but have no awareness of tested timed course (training route) or fitness test ruck march ignoring the terrain in determining the must complete by time.

Aerobic Capacity Influence on Load Carriage Performance and High Intensity Activity Recovery

Load carriage capacity depends on many strength, flexibility, body height and body weight factors, but ability to accomplish long distance forced marches (time limit to a given distance establishes how much energy expenditure duress in the forced) is most influenced by aerobic fitness which is most effectively gained by running.

#2743 - 01/12/17 09:29 PM Re: Proper Rucking Form? [Re: RIKR]
jaws Offline

Registered: 04/21/16
Posts: 2
Loc: Okinawa
I'm grateful I stumbled on this thread. Been wondering if my joints could take all the impact. Thanks for the solid advice!


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