How to Do Nordic Walking

Friday, January 9, 2009

You've seen 'em walking down the street with poles in the summertime. It looks like they are skiing cross country, but there is not a flake of snow to be seen! What on earth are they doing and how can you join in on the fun?

Obtain a sturdy set of Nordic walking poles, sized appropriately for your height. Good quality poles will come with hand straps.
Go outside before beginning your first session.
Hold the left-handed pole in your left hand and slip your left hand into the strap. Firmly affix the strap using your right hand. Now place your right hand into the strap of the right-handed pole and affix the strap firmly.
Walk normally, and do not actually use the poles at first. Just let them dangle from your hands as you walk. This will help you get the feel of how this works.
Imagine a line on the ground perpendicular (at exact monoplanar right angles) to your chest.
Grasp the poles and move forward with your right foot, stepping on the imaginary line you have drawn. Put down the left pole down at the same time, on that same imaginary line. Your left pole will hit the ground at the same time as your right foot. Now just push down and backwards as you walk through the stride.
Complete your stride and now step down with your left foot.
Place the right pole down as you step. Once again, the pole and the foot will touch down at the same time, and on a new imaginary line drawn on the ground perpendicular to your chest.
Practice in this manner for about 30 strides or so and you will probably be able to pick up some good speed.

There are poles are made specifically for nordic walking, and these will work a lot better than a pair of old ski poles.
One-piece Nordic Walking poles custom fit to your height (similar to ski poles) are safer, lighter and much more durable than twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles.


ClaireWalter said...

Pete Edwards got to you, didn't he? He is fanatical about one-piece Nordic Walking poles. Some people really do prefer adjustables.

American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM said...

Walking with poles is the best!

Walking with Nordic Walking Poles really can help to burn up to 40% more calories than regular walking. And the poles help to reduce the stress to the shins knees hips and back. The poles are also a huge balance aid for those with balance and stability issues.

Perfect length poles help us to automatically walk with a super straight back - better walking posture is biomechanically a good thing. This improved walking posture when combined with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive type action of walking with poles radically reduces the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Nordic Walking is low impact and yet provides a highly effective workout - burning more calories and working more muscle groups than regular walking.

I was at a big xc ski race yesterday and a quick survey provided 100% support for the fact that one-piece Nordic Walking Poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than twist-locking poles. Many of these skiers hill bound, ski walk and roller ski during the snowless summer months and they do NOT use twist-locking poles for any of these activities.

Sure, there are some folks finding success with their twist-locks, but at the Nordic Walking clinics I teach the feedback is consistent about the problems and hassles of twist-locks.

Already in the New Year we are busy supplying quality one-piece poles to individuals that are having problems with their Christmas poles. They love the concept of walking with poles, but not the twist-locks.

I may sound like a scratched record, but our 100% customer satisfaction rating speaks for itself.

Also be sure to avoid those super cheap "free poles" that are included with some snowshoe packages.

The important thing is to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.

Please let me know if you have any questions at any time.

Have a great day and have FUN Nordic Walking,

Pete - owner/founder/coach The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM

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