Nordic Pole Walking tips for beginners

Important | 2021-01-18

Nordic Pole Walking isn’t difficult physical activity, but the walking technique requires additional knowledge.

The technique of pole walking is easy to learn and it can activate more than 90 percent of the body muscles if it’s done right. Besides, the movements of Nordic walking and regular walking are the same: the opposite arm and leg moves back and forth within the rhythm. However, the walking with poles is more intense, which makes the exercise more effective, and also, suitable for people of all ages and physical fitness levels.

Nordic Pole Walking – what is it?

Nordic Pole Walking (Nordic Walking) – is a moderate physical activity that uses special poles designed for walking. Walking with poles helps to exercise not only the lower body part, as common for walking, but also the upper body muscles. Although this form of exercise originated in Finland, more people around the world choose to practice Nordic Walking since it’s easy to exercise and has many health benefits.

Benefits of Nordic Pole Walking

Nordic Walking is over 40 percent more effective than fast walking or running, of course, depending on its intensity. Since walking with poles activates the upper arm and shoulder muscles, which are not stimulated during the other physical activities as running or walking (chest, triceps, biceps, shoulder and neck muscles). Thus, it is a workout for the whole body, as leg muscles get the benefits of a regular walking and poles work the upper body. Moreover, the Nordic Walking increases heart rate and blood pressure, and improves breathing, especially for people of mature and elderly age. The pole walking helps to strengthen the spine, improves balance and reduces pain in the neck. This physical activity can be exercised all year round and poles be used on different pavements either in the city or in the nature (hiking trails, forests, parks or beaches).

Nordic Pole Walking benefits:
  • activates around 90 % of body muscles.
  • burns over 400 kcal per hour, which is 40 % more than regular walking.
  • great workout for upper body – tones arms and shoulders.
  • reduces the load on the knee joints.
  • helps to correct posture and improves the core strength.
  • suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

How to use Nordic Poles poles right?

Before starting to exercise, the most important step is to choose the poles and adjust it to your height. When choosing a Nordic pole, the right height can be calculated with a simple formula: multiply your height in centimeters by 0.68. The result will be the right size of a pole to fit your height. The length of Nordic pole measurement is divided by 5 centimeters, so the number needs to be rounded. Also, remember to size up your poles according to the thumb rule: hold onto the pole, keep it vertical and arms close to the body (your elbow bent almost 90 degrees). After you adjust the height, put the straps over your wrists and hold the pole lightly. Don’t think too much and let your stride follow you.

Nordic Pole Walking Guide:
  • Poles are held loose (do not press them too hard). Keep your fingers straight, while swinging poles back and forth (in opposite directions).
  • Keep your arms straight but not tight over the elbows. Move with your shoulders.
  • Notice your position of the body, it should bend forward only slightly. Shoulders are relaxed and down, while poles held close to the body.
  • The poles remain pointing crossways and never in front of the body.
  • Keep your hands slightly opened to allow the poles swing (wrist straps help to keep the poles in hands while opening palms).
  • Bend your knees little and step on the feet that is opposite side of the pole. The step should be larger than usual.
  • The shoulders move in the opposite direction to the legs. The most important thing is to move feet and arms simultaneously.
  • Step on your foot fully, starting from the heel pushing off with the toe. This helps to get the most out of each step.
  • Remember – the arm motion is loose and relaxed.

Nordic Walking Pole Rental

Due to the lockdown restrictions it is not allowed to exercise together, however Sports and Wellness Centre invites all the KTU community members to try Nordic Pole Walking activity themselves. Everyone who wants to try out this effective physical activity and spend their leisure time outdoors differently, can pick up Nordic poles at KTU sports base (Sports hall of Chemical Technology Faculty)  for themselves and a friend, and exercise on their own time. Pick-ups and returns are available on weekdays from 3pm to 7pm, maximum length for rental is 3 days.

For reservation and other questions email sporto.centras@ktu.lt or send Facebook message to KTU Sports and Wellness Center. Nordic walking pole rental – only for KTU community members.

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