LEKI Nordic Walking Technique
Fitness walking the old-fashioned way (without poles) promotes a short stride initiated by a short arm swings. Nordic Walking activates more muscle because of a longer stride. The pole swing is an enhancement of normal opposing arm swing when walking. Range of motion is enhanced and so is posture. The pole tips remain behind to push off. Most of the motion comes from a "long lever" swing from the shoulder. You should feel resistance when the rubber tips make contact with the surface (road or dirt) to propel the body forward with strength and speed!
- Get Adjusted: Pole height is directly related to preventing overuse injuries! Adjustable poles accommodate most heights. To measure, place your hands in the straps. The rubber tips should be adjacent to your heels. Stand in good posture and drop the hands forward in the straps to lengthen through the elbows. The wrists should be lower than the elbows.
- Coordinate Your Effort: Nordic walking takes some coordination. It's called an "opposing arm and leg swing". It's the way we're supposed to walk; only most people have forgotten to involve their upper bodies! Spend the first several minutes, if not several hours simply getting used to walking with poles using your coordination. Hands should be relaxed. The farther your lead hand comes out in front, the more you'll feel how that tip engages to propel you forward.
- Stand Tall: Postural strength is a primary benefit of Nordic Walking. As you walk, try to keep the bottom of your chin level with the surface. This small skill helps to balance your head weight more appropriately over the rest of your skeleton, allowing you to reap optimal benefits from your Nordic walking experiences!
- Longer Is Better: Fitness benefits are maximized with a longer, relaxed arm technique. If you find yourself bending excessively at the elbows, lighten your grip, lengthen the poles and then lengthen your arms as if going to shake someoneâ€™s hand. Movement comes more from the shoulders, not the elbows.
- Take Your Time: Changing your stride takes time so remember to have fun, and don't think too hard!
- Stand up straight, holding pole for support.
- Gently, bend your knee behind you to grasp your ankle with the other hand.
- Bring ankle towards glutes, hold for 15 seconds, then switch legs.
- Grasp pole behind back, hands a little wider than shoulder width.
- Lift pole up towards head until you feel stretch.
- Place poles well out in front of you.
- Lean on poles with straight arms.
- Bend upper body at waist downward; do not hyper-extend lower back.
- Grab the top of the pole grip with one arm.
- Bring pole over head and down back; grasp other end with other hand.
- Pull down on lower part until you feel stretch in back of arm.
- Grab pole with wide grip overhead.
- Standing up straight, bend at side, reaching opposite hand over head.
- After stretch, change sides, then come back to neutral.
- From neutral, gently twist torso until you feel stretch, then turn other way.