5 Reasons How Does Carrying a Heavy Backpack Build Muscle

If you have to carry a heavy backpack then you must want to know does carrying a heavy backpack builds muscles or not?

Well, I was at the same place because during my studies I have to carry a lot of weight of the book and this is why I researched and found that carrying a heavy backpack is actually a type of exercise.

Want to know how?

If yes, then in this you will get to know about walking with a heavy backpack good and whether it is right for you or not.

So, let’s get started.

Does Carrying a Heavy Backpack Build Muscle?

Army officers use the backpack as a weight to build their stamina and muscles as well. It is an exercise where the soldiers and army carry loads in their rucksacks and walks.

Nowadays, walking with a weighted backpack is not limited to the army because people use the same technique to build muscles.

Your muscles have to work a little harder when you are carrying the weight of the backpack this is why carrying a heavy backpack builds the muscles if performed in the right manner. So, in short, carrying heavy backpacks builds muscles and this exercise is termed as rucking.

Rucking is a form of exercise that can improve your health as well as builds your muscles.

If you want to burn your calories with a simple walk then you must do rucking. 

If a person ruck for 30 minutes a day then he can burn ten to twenty percent more calories than a normal walk. It turns your lazy walk into a muscle-building and heart-health-boosting exercise.

  • To increase this percent you can increase the weight in the backpack while you ruck.
  • You surely have noticed that you need more force to carry a heavy backpack than the regular one.
  • The more muscles involved in any exercise performed correctly can build your muscles.

How To Perform Rucking?

The rucksack is a military slang word that is given to the backpacks. Like other army exercises, the rucking is no longer only for the military but for us also.

Most people nowadays prefer rucking if they do not find time for the gym because it is an inexpensive and effective exercise.

The only difference in the rucking performed by soldiers and common people is the weight they carry.

They carry almost 60 percent of the total weight of their own weight in the backpack.

They ruck up to 20 to 25 miles a day with a backpack weighing around 200 pounds. 

You can build your muscles by carrying 20 percent of your weight in the backpack which is designed for walking.

The reason why weight is important is that the more weight you carry the more muscles works which improves the strength of the muscles.

Does carrying a backpack burns more calories?

Carrying the backpacks will burn more calories because the weight of the backpack is going to make your work a little harder than walking freely without the backpack. The weighted backpack will allow you to exercise your muscles which is going to keep you fit as well.

Is Walking With A Heavy Backpack Good?

According to researchgate.net, the backpack should weigh 5 percent of the total body weight of an individual.

If you are carrying a backpack heavier than this for school, then you should bring only those study materials which you really need or use lockers instead of the backpack.

If you want to know why backpacks are better than lockers and why I recommend backpacks over the lockers, then read the linked post.

You should carry the backpack but with as little weight as possible because this can carry a heavy load of the books in a backpack can also cause back problems.

Is it bad to carry a heavy backpack For Students?

If you are a student or you are a teenager then we will advise you not to carry heavy backpacks. 

Carrying a heavy backpack in school can cause back pain, shoulder pain, and strains.

If you are not wearing the backpack properly then it can also lead to bad posture of the body. So, you must avoid heavy backpacks and school bags.

Now, if you are an adult and want to know whether it is bad to carry a heavy backpack. 

Then we must say that it is safe to carry it but you must have some precautions. The precautions are:

  1. You must wear it properly.
  2. Do not ever try to run with too heavy a backpack. 
  3. Carrying a heavy backpack can increase the risk of falling.
  4. Do not carry a heavy backpack for a long time.

There are some rules for rucking that you should follow and you can read the referred article by clicking the link.

Pros and Cons of carrying a heavy backpack:


  • Improves posture
  • Increase the intensity of walking if keep daily practices.
  • Increase the intensity of the body.
  • Stimulates the skeletal system so that the bones grow stronger.


  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • knee ankle joint problems
  • Heatstroke (very rare) if no proper amount of water is drunk.

How Does Carrying A Heavy Backpack Build Muscle?

First, let me tell you that this is a medical-related article.  I have researched a lot about it before I can write or say something.

So, you will get in-depth and proper information about how does a heavy backpack build muscle.

As I told you about Mike.

Similarly, other students have to carry a lot of weight for school and this causes back strains and other problems. 

Something similar happens during hiking and camping when you need to carry a lot of gear for yourself.

Health is the most important, wealth will be of no use if you are not healthy, you must have heard that, Right? 

Most backpacks are designed in a way to reduce the pressure on your back and shoulder.

So, you do not need to worry much!

#1. Burns Calories

Carrying a heavy backpack builds muscles by burning calories. 

Also, at the same time, you must follow a diet plan to see some more good results.

Whenever you carry a backpack no matter whether you carry it for school, traveling, camping, hiking, or anything else, you are burning calories.

Most of the time, you carry only the items that you need for travel or study.  But, when you need to burn calories then you should have a well-weighted backpack.

You can burn more calories with a heavy and weighted backpack, but make sure you do not carry a lot of weight because it can also cause you problems. If you are following this as a routine then you will be able to see results.

#2. Boost Your Endurance

Walking with a weighted backpack boosts your endurance. If you are carrying a weighted backpack you make more effort to keep yourself in position. This will result in building your hip and skeletal posture and boosting up your endurance power. 

#3. Makes The Bones Stronger

You know walking is a good exercise which can keep you fit.  If you do not perform any other exercise and just walk even that can give you great benefits.

Rucking is an advanced version of walking so it can surely help you to make your bones stronger.  When you are walking with a heavy load then it makes you more muscles to work and stimulates the skeletal system more so that the bones grow stronger.

So, this is why it is good to walk with a heavy backpack.

#4. Easy and Affordable Exercises 

You must have seen some people near you, who are too concerned with their health.  They go to the gym or do yoga in the morning.  Some of them may take their dog to walk. 

Still, most people do not love to spend money in the gym and not everybody has a pet. 

This is why rucking (walking with a weighted backpack) is an inexpensive and easy exercise to remain active and healthy. 

You can do it anytime whenever you are going out of your home, you can put your essentials in your backpack and start building your muscles by Rucking.

#5. Reduce Stress

According to the research, physical activities Improves the functionality of the brain and reduces brain problems.

If you perform carry a weighted backpack, then you will be able to relax your brain and make it work properly. 

A healthy body lets the mind think properly for the solution which will ultimately reduce your stress. 

#6. Makes you Social

You can not walk for 30 minutes only in your home, you must go out and surely you will.

This will let you stay out of home for some time and be social with your neighbors and other people who you may see in the park or the street.

You will get new ideas from new people and you will be very fine with your present situation if you use rucking in daily life.

I am sure that now you are clear with “Does Carrying a Heavy Backpack Build Muscle”.

And it doesn’t end here. 

You should keep some points in mind before you make your next step. 

So, keep reading.

What are the effects of a heavy backpack?

According to our research, most of the weight of the backpack is bear by the hips. 

So, we should pack the backpack in such a way that most of the weight is located in the higher position inside the backpack. This will keep the back close to the body.

Positive Effects of Heavy Backpack

  1. If you can not afford to go to the gym or do not want to go to the gym. Then you can use a heavy backpack. This will work as a weight to build your muscle.
  2. You can do squats and train your biceps using a weighted backpack.
  3. A person uses his/her shoulder muscles to lift the backpack and place it on the back. If you want to build muscles with a heavy backpack then you must do it multiple times. 

 Negative Effects of Heavy Backpack

  1. If a heavy backpack is carried by school-going children then it can cause pain in the back.
  2. If not worn properly then it can depasture the body.
  3. It can cause shoulder pain as well.

Things that You Should Do to avoid problems of carrying a heavy backpack:

  1. Do not carry too heavy a backpack. Make sure your backpack wight less than 20% of your weight.
  2. Walk a little faster than walk and do not run.
  3. Do not do it for 30 minutes in the starting days. You should with 10 to 12 minutes in the staring and then increase the timing gradually.


In conclusion, walking with a weighted backpack involves different muscles of the body and forces them to work a little harder than walking freely without a backpack. Any exercise that involves the working of the muscles with the right technique will allow them to build themselves strong.

Similar Questions:

Can I squat with a backpack?

Yes, you can squat with a backpack. The backpack will work as a weight for you.
And this can help you to build lower part muscles like the legs muscles.

Does Carrying A Backpack Burn More Calories?

Yes, carrying a heavy backpack burns more calories than walking without a backpack. Your muscles and body will be working to carry the load and due to which it is easier to burn more calories with a heavy backpack.

Does Running With a Backpack Burn More Calories?

Yes, running with a backpack can burn more calories. 
This can burn more calories than walking with a backpack, but the drawback with this is that running with a heavy backpack can disbalance you and you can hurt yourself.
You can also harm yourself because of the heavy backpack. So, we will advise you to only walk with a heavy backpack not run.

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