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Old 04-12-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
Kyle Borowsky
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Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

Question for military guys experienced with long road marches...
What is the best way to increase leg and hip flexor strength for a really long road marches?
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:03 PM   #2
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches


Make sure you train up good. Too much too soon and injuries happen, you probably know this but didn't want to assume.

Attached is a good example of a gradual build program.

I incorporate flutter kicks and weighted lunges into my routine as elements in WODs to focus on these area. Rucking isn't too different from running so the typical run strengthening exercises will go a long way as well.

Hope this helps. End of the day actually rucking is a big part of it.

Rucking tech is important as well, you may already be an experienced rucker?

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Old 04-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

Attached Files
File Type: doc Rucking Program.doc (26.5 KB, 3288 views)
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
Nic Kirkland
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

Get out there and ruck. Just like if you were a beginner runner, start off short and light, and build up. I would advise against a ton of volume (going on 10K+ road marches more than once a week) as they will tear you and your joints up pretty quickly. Just like with CF Endurance, keep them shorter and more intense (faster pace, heavier load) most of the time with the occasional long burner.

Foot care is very important. You need to break your feet in as much as you need to break your boots in. I have a few tricks that I have used that have helped me a lot (I have done 4 30K's and numerous 20K and shorter).

1) Get a good fitting pair of boots that are comfortable for you. My personal favorite the past couple of years have been the Altama ExoSpeed's. If there's an MCSS or military supply store near you, go there and try some on. You don't want them to be tight, but you sure don't want your foot to have a lot of room to slide around in.

2) Unlace the top three or four eyelets of your boots. Tie a nice tight knot there and tuck the loops into the boot. Lace up the remaining eyelets and tie a loose knot at the top there and tuck it in to the boot. This does 2 things: It makes the bottom of the boot fit tight more like a running shoe and prevents sliding, which leads to blisters, and the looseness in the top keeps circulation and ventilation going.

3) Polypro sock liners, like these: (WFS)

They double as comfortable dress socks. First 30K I did destroyed my feet, but then I got these puppies and my feet were fine.

What is your training goal? A particular school or foot march event?

If you have a particular goal I also recommend training with at least slightly more weight in the ruck than you will have for whatever your goal is.

That looks like a good guide.

Last edited by Nic Kirkland; 04-12-2010 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
Joe Claussen
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

I have found that doing ruck runs 7-12 miles w 25-30 lbs have been great. Focus on a slow jog with 15 minute per mile "walks" worked in when you need them. I also think that squats are key. Back extensions need to be done a lot. I have done Bataan twice and both times did team so had to wait for slower members but did do the Norweigian Ruck March 18.6 miles 25lbs in just under 4 hours. gotta do the distance but do not neglect the weights focus on upper back lower back legs and core.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
Jean-Paul Lara
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

good pair of boots...Belleville (MC issue boots) not the Bates, those are crap. I've tried the Danners and they fell apart in Iraq, but were comfortable for the time that i had them (1 year). The Bellevilles are what i recommend. All you need after a good pair of boots is mental strength.

Size doesn't matter because i was always passing up the big meatheads. Load up on fruit before stepping.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:05 PM   #7
Scott A Martin
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

There's some good advice on this thread, but I would just add that you shouldn't underestimate the importance of cardiovascular fitness. There are mediocre runners who are awesome ruckers, but almost all strong runners will be at least fairly good ruckers, even if they are otherwise weak. In addition to improving your running ability, deadlifts and hill sprints are good leg strengthening movements that in my opinion transfer well to rucking.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:01 PM   #8
Andrew Schechterly
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

Like Sean said... TRAIN UP. I don't care how pig-headed you may be, TRAIN UP. I recently started doing ruck walks among some other new activities and failed to heed my own advice. I now have a nice case of quadricep tendonitis and a trophy for doing the Stoopidest and Easiest Thing To Avoid. Good luck.
And so you left us, jaded and gaunt, some September...wilted with the seasons... -GLS 1958-1998
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:17 PM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

What is a poor, OK, good, and great pace for rucking?

A group from my gym recently did a 10 mile ruck. I had a 60 lb pack and we did 10 miles in 3 hours. I think this is pretty good for some CFers with no specific prep, but I have no idea what kind of times military people would expect. My hip flexors were definitely the weak link and I got some painful blisters. Nothing else felt bad.

BTW, will those socks help prevent me from getting blisters? I've heard that certain expensive running socks can help prevent blisters.

P.S. I know easing in would have been better but since I don't plan on doing this regularly I decided to take the risk. It was a good challenge.

Last edited by David Meverden; 04-12-2010 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:30 PM   #10
Lawrence Lee
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Re: Leg Strength in preperation for ruck marches

I always wore a pair of white socks under my boot socks.
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