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Burn 20% More Calories with This Walking Technique

An Introduction to Nordic Walking


Basic Nordic Walking Technique
While Nordic walking is an effective workout, it’s not as simple as picking up a pair of walking sticks and heading out—you'll need to learn a different movement altogether. Here are some technique guidelines:
  1. Loop the pole straps over your hands, drop your hands back and start walking without thinking about the poles yet. Concentrate on relaxed walking and keep your shoulders low and loose. Allow your arms to swing freely back and forth.
  2. Walk with the poles held low and let them swing along with the arms without trying to use them. Lengthen your stride so and begin with the heel first, then roll onto the sole of the foot and finish with a thrust from the ball of the foot.
  3. Now concentrate on using the poles. Once you have gotten into a rhythm, try to use the arms more and more. The goal is to get the pole thrust to travel behind the line of the pelvis.
  4. Keep the Nordic poles close to the body. Your pelvis should be lifted high and your overall posture taut and slightly forward-leaning. Opposite arms and legs swing alternately forwards and back.
  5. For a visual of Nordic walking technique, check out the short YouTube video, Nordic Walking: An Introduction.
Buying Nordic Poles
You can buy Nordic poles online or in retail sporting goods stores at prices starting around $100 a pair. Exel, one of the original creators of Nordic walking, remains the top source for carbon composite poles. The types of Nordic poles are virtually endless, with options related to weight (light or heavy), materials (aluminum or carbon fiber), length (some are adjustable or fixed, while others are telescoping for easier packing), wrist straps and their release mechanisms, grips (many are ergonomically designed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue), tips (rubber for paved walkways and spikes for trails), and more.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Good article - I've been Nordic walking for something like 6 years now. Here in Germany, it's a very popular sport. I love my Leki poles and the extra boost they give to my walking workouts!

    Just wanted to let folks know that there's a Nordic Walking Team here on SP - come join us! - 10/21/2015 4:35:22 PM
  • OZARK2896
    I use Leki poles as they help take some of the impact off my knees when walking in hilly terrain. With my current weight and fifty something year old knees, walking pain free is important. The extra calories burned and the positive effect on fitness is a bonus. They are common with backpackers-somet
    hing I did growing up and want to return to. - 10/21/2015 11:17:41 AM
  • Have had my walking sticks for about 2 years and what a difference it makes! Also take one with me most of the time just for balance - at my age, I just do not want to fall.
    - 10/10/2015 9:42:29 PM
  • i bought some nordic walking poles this year. I felt I needed them for balance as I tend to fall... not only do I use them for my regular walks... I took them with me on our cruise. I feel more able to do more with them and I feel like I have so much more support. I love using them - 10/10/2015 9:14:32 PM
    Thanks for enlightening us with this article, Leanne. I didn't know what Nordic walking is until I read your article. I didn't know that I am doing Nordic walking during my spring walking. Hey, I am sure, many of your readers will benefit from this article too.
    Thanks! - 7/30/2015 7:53:48 AM
  • I bought a pair of fibreglass ones for less than 20 dollars locally. - 6/11/2015 8:20:59 PM
  • I have been using my Leki trekking sticks a lot this winter since they help give me balance and keep me safer on snowy hills. I recommend that if you are a walker you will enjoy having a pair of good walking sticks! - 2/27/2015 1:19:48 PM
  • Great idea. I must try this.
    I too would like to see these articles more concise, as I am busy, but like to read them all. Keeping it to 1 page would save the reloading time for each page.
    Thanks for the info!
    - 11/11/2014 4:19:45 PM
  • I love Nordic Walking. I have my poles beside the door, together with my green high visibility belt. People know me as that funny old lady who goes walking around barefoot with those ski pole things. I highly recommend this way of walking.

    You build upper body strength instead of having your upper body just come along for the ride while your legs do all the work. And it's good for people who have knee or foot issues. I have bad knees and a knee replacement.

    I love my Nordic Poles and would love to see more people in the USA walking this way (I get that it's bigger in Europe than it is here).
    - 8/1/2014 8:37:41 PM
  • Bought my father-in-law a pair years ago. He loved them. Now, I have to buy a pair for myself! - 11/7/2013 9:40:30 AM
    Interesting. I would love to try it someday. - 9/19/2013 10:52:44 AM
  • 4 pages, really?
    - 8/25/2013 9:48:33 PM
  • Great article - 6/15/2013 10:30:43 AM
  • This looks interesting and like something I'd like to try. Thanks for the info! - 2/14/2013 8:28:01 AM
  • Great information. I was given a pair, and this showed me what to do with them. - 2/5/2013 3:41:13 PM

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