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VORTEX33's Photo VORTEX33 SparkPoints: (10,014)
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4/7/14 11:51 A

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I have a pair of Black Diamond Trail Shock poles also and they have been wonderful for backpacking. I have knee problems from a tight IT band and hoking and backpacking with poles are a lifesaver (and quite literally saved my life when I used them hiking down the flooded Narrows in Zion National Park).

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DESERTJULZ's Photo DESERTJULZ SparkPoints: (86,054)
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4/7/14 10:01 A

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I received a pair of Black Diamond Trail Shock trekking poles for Christmas and love them! My bestie hiking buddy taught me that using poles with shock absorption takes the pressure off your knees on the steep downhills. They are wonderful and allow me to hike trails that are quite steep much more comfortably.

Julia
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LUCYPAPERHANGER's Photo LUCYPAPERHANGER SparkPoints: (9,258)
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3/13/14 5:04 P

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Wow, thanks for the great tips, friends! emoticon
Yesterday, I tightened the straps a lot, and I enjoyed a nearly pain-free walk! The "flick" takes a little getting used to, but I think I am getting the hang of it. It's great I get to "practice" here in our canyon before I take the poles up on Mt. Pinos, haha! I am hoping we can get back up there this weekend.
emoticon again! emoticon

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,908
3/12/14 9:24 A
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That's the grip we use for XC skiing too, it does help. Also the straps I have on my ski poles are designed to assist that grip, they are not just straps. I think having the straps adjusted to your hand also helps (not having them too long).

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EILEENV3's Photo EILEENV3 Posts: 1,093
3/12/14 4:53 A

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Thank you so much for the information. Unfortunately, for me, extending my thumb aggravates my tendonitis. Holding a cell phone with thumb extended may have caused my problem.

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing." Harriet Braiker

"Motivation is what gets your started.
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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,289
3/11/14 11:55 P

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If you use the straps properly (ie. they go up through the palm and between the thumb and forefinger, rather than up over the back of the hand), then the straps should bear most of the weight, and you shouldn't need to 'grip' the poles.

With the straps held correctly, you should be able to just flick the poles backwards and forwards with your fingers.

Take a look at the photos at www.headtothehills.co.uk/articles/92
-g
ear-guide-how-to-use-walking-poles.html


M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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EILEENV3's Photo EILEENV3 Posts: 1,093
3/11/14 10:50 P

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I use a single pole for hiking and have a pair of poles with Nordic tips for Nordic walking. This past year, I developed tendonitis in one of my wrists. I have started not using the straps because of this. That helps.

I like to use the single pole for hikes as it leaves my other hand free to use my hydropack without swinging poles around. Luckily, I have one knee that is stronger than the other, so it works out. I will admit that I do live in Florida so don't have steep climbs or descents. If I did, I might rethink only using one pole.

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing." Harriet Braiker

"Motivation is what gets your started.
"Habit is what keeps you going" Jim Ryun


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LUCYPAPERHANGER's Photo LUCYPAPERHANGER SparkPoints: (9,258)
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3/11/14 10:36 P

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Okay, my husband and I are /thoroughly/ enjoying our trekking poles-- we're both like, where have these been our whole lives?! emoticon
Where we live/walk, there are almost no flat places-- it's all hills and canyons. Before we got the poles, the walk was hard on my lower back, and Ricky's knees. Now our walks are virtually pain-free... EXCEPT... I fear I may be gripping the handles too hard, as my wrists are a bit sore after the walk. I tried to use a *very* light grip this evening. I hope that helps!
Other than that, I am thrilled! emoticon

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EILEENV3's Photo EILEENV3 Posts: 1,093
3/6/14 10:24 A

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I also want to thank you for the explanation of pole height.

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing." Harriet Braiker

"Motivation is what gets your started.
"Habit is what keeps you going" Jim Ryun


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LUCYPAPERHANGER's Photo LUCYPAPERHANGER SparkPoints: (9,258)
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3/5/14 7:00 P

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Aaaaaah! Okay, that makes sense! emoticon emoticon

Thank you sooooooo much! I will share this information with my hubby tonight, too! emoticon emoticon

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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,289
3/5/14 6:51 P

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Ideally, your forearm should be level while holding the pole.

On steep terrain, this can be 2-3 inches difference between downhill and level ground, and another 2-3 inches going uphill. Not adjusting for this can mean really having to "reach" to place your poles, or your wrist and forearm cocked up and cramped, either of which is fatigueing and negates a lot of the advantage of using poles in the first place.

On more rolling terrain, the height difference is not as much, and you can probably get away with just one height setting.

Personally, I tend to use just 2 height settings - one for downhill (which is when I apply the most force), and another for level/uphill.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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LUCYPAPERHANGER's Photo LUCYPAPERHANGER SparkPoints: (9,258)
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3/5/14 4:24 P

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I guess this is an old thread, but I am glad I did a search for "trekking poles" and found you here, ha! emoticon
My husband and I *just* received our first poles by FedEx today! We ordered the BAFX brand, "anti-shock" trail poles (cheap emoticon )...
My question is, the directions say to set them at one height for level ground, another for ascending, and yet another for descending. That seems like a lot of switching around. Do you all feel this is necessary..?
Thanks! emoticon

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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,908
6/9/13 9:17 P
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Hope you get to try out your poles soon!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: more practical new goal, 129, update ticker to reflect that goal.

H: 5''4" 50 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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6/8/13 11:29 A

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Thank you for the information. I appreciate it. I did buy trekking poles. I bought the Black Diamond Trail Back. I unfortunately have not had a chance to use them yet. It has been raining here so much and now I am getting cold. I am hoping I can use them tomorrow if I feel better. I can't wait!

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

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CSAGIRL's Photo CSAGIRL Posts: 234
6/2/13 5:15 P

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I've been pole hiking for years, ever since I was introduced to it at a yoga retreat. My teenage daughter uses them as well. We love them, and nearly always hike with them (unless the trail is mostly bare rock, in which case they are useless).

One of the benefits, as others have mentioned, is that you do get an upper body workout while you hike. I also tend to go a bit faster when I get in a good rhythm with my poles, which also gets me into a rhythm with my breathing. They do take some of the weight off of your knees, and they can be wonderful for stability especially when going downhill. Uphill, I've used them to get my arms into the action on propelling my body up that mountain.

Our poles are Leki. Mine are 3-part, so they collapse to a smaller size, but my daughter's are just 2 -- and they were more affordable.

My advice is to get used to working and walking with them on flat ground, so that you develop your own rhythm. Once you are comfortable with them, you'll be able to rely on them more for stability.

One other thing: I'm not a fan of using only 1 hiking pole, as it tends to imbalance my body ... and I don't like that :-)

Good luck -- and no matter what, keep walking!!

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SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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5/28/13 9:43 P

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Thanks! emoticon

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

Today only comes once! Make it count!

One thing that is never regrettable - a workout!


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MTODRYK's Photo MTODRYK Posts: 103
5/28/13 2:11 P

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The best thing that you can do is to strengthen you body for stability. That being said, I never used to use poles, but started using them after my knees were starting to limit my ability to hike and I heard that they help with your joints. They have made all the difference for me. Over the week end I just completed a 29 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail with a 36 lb. pack without my knee brace and experienced no pain. I myself, will never hike without them, no matter what the type of hike. I use a pole one level down from this one:
http://www.backpacker.com/trekking_poles
_leki_carbonlite/gear/12580


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SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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5/27/13 9:25 A

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Thank you!

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

Today only comes once! Make it count!

One thing that is never regrettable - a workout!


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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,908
5/26/13 2:07 P
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I like the tips from Motivated@last for balance training, good stuff there. You can also add single leg work to gain balance as well.

As far as the poles go, I have black diamond 3 part poles that I use for some hiking. They do help the knees on the downhill, but also poles allow you to use more of you upper body, so you actually get a little arm workout by using poles, and, from what I've read may even burn a few more calories with them.

If you are using them for balance, make sure you have a good plant before relying on them, as a pole slip could lead to injury.

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: more practical new goal, 129, update ticker to reflect that goal.

H: 5''4" 50 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

"Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants" Michael Pollan



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SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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5/26/13 9:13 A

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Thank you for your response. I have always toe walked so that is my reason. I love hiking, but always afraid I am going to fall. Kind of takes away from everything when I am worried about that.
That stick sounds like it is helpful too.

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

Today only comes once! Make it count!

One thing that is never regrettable - a workout!


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LINDAKAY228's Photo LINDAKAY228 Posts: 18,056
5/25/13 7:41 P

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I don't use trekking poles but have thought about getting some. I have a walking stick I use, especially on steep downhill slopes. It has saved me more times than I can count. I work with senior citizens, and this one way made for about 15 years ago by a 92 year old man who had loved to hike until about age 90, then his health started failing him. It was made with a yucca pole, which grows all over my area. It's just a simple pole really, but I think of this many every time I use it. But I've thought about getting trekking poles to have 2 of them for more stability on those downhills. A lot of them also have a lot of loose rocks. I don't want to use them all the time, and my hiking stick I just carry for much of my hiking, but I want them there when I need them. It will be sad to retire my stick though.

Linda

Last is just the slowest winner."-C Hunter Boyd







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SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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5/25/13 9:23 A

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Thank you. I appreciate your answers!

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

Today only comes once! Make it count!

One thing that is never regrettable - a workout!


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MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,289
5/24/13 9:16 P

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Yes, I do use trekking poles, especially on steep descents to take pressure off the knees, or on unstable surfaces. On level ground, I tend to fold them away as being more trouble than they are worth.

Poles certainly have saved me on falling a number of times. But I prefer to train to try to avoid getting unbalanced in the first place, rather than relying on the poles to save me - if you 'rely' on poles, then a single misplaced pole will lead to a certain pole

When it comes to balance, I tend to believe in trying to strengthen the lower body, rather than poles. A stronger lower body will allow you to recover from misplaced footing without falling.

Key exercises for me for hiking are barefoot calf raises (these really work the ankles and small muscles in the foot - and a stronger ankle is much less likely to rollover or get sprained) and squats. The airplane pose is also really good for balance - it works all those smaller muscles responsible for the subtle weight shifting that keeps you balanced. Planks are good for strengthening the core if you are carrying a backpack. Demos of these can be found at www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercis
e_
demos.asp?exercise_type=lower
and www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercis
e_
demos.asp?exercise_type=core


M@L

Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 5/27/2013 (10:39)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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HEALTHYHABITGAL's Photo HEALTHYHABITGAL Posts: 619
5/24/13 8:18 P

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I don't have one, but I really want to get one because I have a bad knee and I have been told it will be good for my balance and my knee.

SNOOPYMOMMA72's Photo SNOOPYMOMMA72 SparkPoints: (13,149)
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5/24/13 8:08 P

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I have recently started hiking with my family and I have horrible balance. I thought that trekking poles would help me with my balance while on a trail. Does anyone use them and if so what kind do you have? Do they help you with your balance?

Thanks!

Keep moving whenever you can!

The more movement the more pounds come off!

Today only comes once! Make it count!

One thing that is never regrettable - a workout!


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