The idea behind getting yoga blocks for your challenge is to raise the weight in your ruck up as much as possible. The higher up you can get the weight and the closer to your back the easier it will be to ruck with it. The one downside is that bear crawls will be more difficult as the weight will slide down harder on your neck. In my opinion this is a fair trade off as you generally do a lot more rucking than bear crawls. Yoga blocks are ideal for raising the weight in your ruck because they weigh hardly anything and don’t hold any water. I’ve seen people use towels in the past and once they get wet they add a good five or more pounds to the overall ruck weight.
Yoga blocks are also relatively cheap (around $10 for 2) so there’s really no good reason not to buy one or a pair to try them out in training. If you don’t end up liking them you can always use them for their original use… yoga! If you think I’m joking you should know that pretty much every AAR for Selection has mentioned yoga being crucial to their training.
This might be obvious but I think it needs to be mentioned… there’s two ways to place yoga blocks in your ruck. You can place them on their bottom or on their sides. If you have two you can make different combinations to ensure the weight is right where it is supposed to be. Practice makes perfect so make sure to try out different options. You can even stop half way through a ruck and switch it up to see how it feels.
I grabbed my six bricks and took some pictures of different ways to set them up within a GR1. Obviously you can set up your arrangement in any way that you want but this should get you started with an idea. It also gives you a good idea of the size of the yoga blocks within a GR1. If you only need to carry four bricks you’ll probably need two yoga blocks to get the weight high enough on your back.
This is my standard load out. I usually throw one yoga block on the bottom then stack the six bricks right on top of it. I use straps to keep the bricks in place and put my food bag, clothes bag, and water bladder on the sides and front of the bricks. I’ve been very successful with this so far but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to lay them out. You’ll need to practice with different variations to find what is best for you.
I started messing around with the bricks and yoga blocks to create new variations. I’ve never rucked with this load out but I’d assume it would work pretty well. The side bricks are held in there pretty tight and I doubt they would slip out during bear crawls. The only issue that might be present is the loose middle brick but it could easily be secured with the top three.
Again, another load out I haven’t used yet but I think I’ll give it a chance during my next training ruck. I’ve gotten very complacent in the way my bricks are set up and I think some tinkering may be in order.
I hope these give you some ideas on how to place your yoga blocks within your ruck. If you’d like to buy yoga blocks online you can from Amazon for a fairly cheap price. As of posting this you can buy two bricks for $12.99 with free Amazon Prime shipping. If you don’t have Prime but want to try it out for 30 days you can use this link. I’ve had it for two years and couldn’t be happier… but that’s for another post.
Either way I hope that if you end up picking some yoga blocks up they work well for you.
Terrence Sanchez says
I wrapped my bricks in a trash bag and it cushions it well!
Do you pad your bricks at all? All your bricks are loose like that during a challenge?
I’ve gotten this question a number of times so I’m going to put an article together on the method I use to secure my bricks. To answer your question though… I do not just leave them all loose during a challenge. I pad the corners of my bricks with duct tape a few times to make sure they won’t rip my ruck.
Expect a post in the next day or two about how I secure my bricks with straps so that they don’t fall around everywhere.
Thanks, I have a light coming up Sunday, I was thinking about putting the yoga brick north/south (if that makes sense – like a tall rectangle) I’m going to wrap them up with bubble tape, not sure if after that I’ll need to secure them or not.
That should probably work out perfectly. I just finished up how I secure my bricks but for a Light you shouldn’t need to do that. There’s less bricks involved and less time so I’m sure you’ll be fine with that idea.