Drills are the foundation of almost every sport. They focus and activate muscles the athlete uses for various movements during an event. If you've ever played a sport, you most certainly practiced drills to become a better player. Rucking is no different, and drills can be applied to make you a faster, stronger and more efficient rucker. Some of these drills can even unlock "free power" for you - strength you may not have been utilizing during your ruck but you had all along. At the end of the workout, we have a 2 mile ruck so you really get a chance to notice how activated muscles feel. (Those miles count towards your 36 pre/post)
The workout is performed for :45 seconds per exercise with :15 seconds rest in-between, for 3 total rounds. This is not a workout you should perform at the top of your fitness range the first time through, so I've implemented slow, regular and quick pace rounds to first wake up your neuromuscular settings, then utilize what your brain has learned, and finally, to kick it into high gear. Be sure to have your timer nearby and utilize your alarm! All exercises can be done with or without a ruck. If your core is still in need of work, without a ruck is your safest option.
If there is an exercise that feels challenging, there are success options built in. For example, if you have bad knees and a Jump Lunge isn't in the cards for the entire workout, a pulse lunge is your option.
What are the exercises I need to know?
Jump Lunges For my visual friends : https://youtu.be/Nnb9bXV3o0s If you have bad knees, stationary lunges are fine. If lunges aggravate your knees altogether, sub for a lunge 1/4 the way down, a short pulse lunge, or walking high knees.
Mountain Climbers In plank position, hands on the ground, pull one knee to your chest, return, and then bring the other knee to your chest.
Calf Raises Feet flat on the ground, go up on the balls of your feet and then back down.
Speed Skaters This plyometric lateral hop movement is excellent for ruck event training. A lot of PT needs hip and core strength and mobility, and speed skaters work that while building the springy-ness that's useful for quick movements. How to do them right: https://youtu.be/9_jLW6VkU8A If you need a modification, walk the movement rather than jump it.
Surrenders Begin by standing tall, feet hip width apart, core engaged, hands behind head with elbows flared. Kneel down to one leg, bring the other leg down until you are "standing" on your knees. Bring one leg up to kneeling, and then stand. This can be done with or without a ruck. This is an excellent visual aid: https://youtu.be/hYgUV08NYDM and includes modifications for bad knees
Squat Jack This is a traditional jumping jack, but staying in a squat position for the length of your workout time. How to: https://youtu.be/Sn4YH5MjF9E
Burpees Jump down into a plank, push-up, jump feet to hands, jump up with arms raised.
Square Jumps Plot out a square in your workout area. I just use chalk on the floor. I always start at the back left of the square, then jump up to the second point, over to the right, back down to the bottom of the square and start over again. You are 100% encouraged to make this more interesting, even using just one leg. Lateral movement exercises are one of the most important components of rucking, so jump sideways, diagonally - have fun with this! Example: https://youtu.be/0whSvD8cA_Y
Hip Bridges We've done these before but I want to go over it again. Laying on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Your arms should be resting at your sides. Raise your hips, utilizing your glutes and hamstrings. Hold for a count of 3, then SLOWLY return to the floor. Be careful not to go to far - because this is sometimes seen as an "easy" exercise, people will lift their hips so high they put weight into their necks and shoulders to make it more extreme. Hip bridges are a core, foundational exercise for hip stability and strength. Don't be tempted to discount their effectiveness!
Deadbugs Laying on your back, arms in the air above your torso and legs in the air with a 90-degree bend. With strong body control, straighten your leg and lower the opposite arm and leg to the floor. (Ex: lower your right arm and left leg) Return to center and complete the other size. Example with modifications: https://youtu.be/rbemelnkHag
THE WORK x 3 Rounds (:45 work = :15 rest)
First Round: Slow Pace
Second Round: Regular Pace
Third Round: Quick Pace
- Jump Lunges (Option: Pulse Lunges - watch your time and switch legs at the :22 mark)
- Mountain Climbers
- Calf Raises
- Speed Skaters (Option: walk them out rather than leap)
- Squat Jacks
- Square Jumps
- Hip Bridges
- Dead bugs