SETTING UP YOUR NORDIXX POLES
So many people bought Nordixx poles recently as gifts for someone or to start their own fitness program. I want to help people get their poles set up right away so that they could start off with a good experience. It seems I am ageless since these set-up videos were made in 2013. Check the pink sweater style! Anyway, step one is to get your poles set up. STEP TWO IS TO POLE WALK WITH EFFICIENT TECHNIQUE. SEE VIDEO BELOW!
1. CLIP AND SAND CAPS
2. DETACHABLE GLOVE STRAP ON 3-SECTION NORDIXX TRAVELLER POLES
3. ADJUSTABLE GLOVE STRAP ON 2-SECTION NORDIXX WALKER POLES
4. ADJUSTING POLE LENGTH
5. CORRECT TIP TO USE; RUBBER BOOT TIP
LINDA’S CUE WORDS when learning poling technique:
- POSTURE: look at horizon.
- FEET: comfortable pace, land gently on mid-arch of foot, not heel. If landing on heel, shorten stride by 1 inch.
- ARMS: harmony, triangle shape, position of swing.
- HANDS: tiny chopsticks, palm facing to ground. Starting from back of swing, hands are relaxed as arm swings forward. Then heel of hand sits firmly on the strap as hand pushes the strap down and back….maintaining even pressure on strap all the way to the back.
PUSH POLES BACK: Maintain the pressure of heel of hand pushing straight down on the strap as your arms swings back. It’s like “stroking the dog” firmly and smoothly from neck to tail, or “pushing the bunny firmly behind you” or “pushing the poles down and back to propel yourself forward”, or “pushing the pavement behind you”.
NOTE: as long as you are pushing down consistently and smoothly, the rubber boot tips will stick to the pavement.
THE EASIEST PLACE TO LEARN IS on the hard sand of a low tide beach, or lawn, or other soft surface, because the pointy end of the pole will have an easier time of sticking, so that you have “resistance” to push against. When you are walking on pavement or cement, your “push down and back on the strap technique” has to be excellent to make the rubber boot stick to the surface, so that you have “resistance” push against. Persist! Persist with GOOD TECHNIQUE. Once you get the hang of it, you will have the technique forever. And the better your technique the better your muscular and health results will be!
A MODEL OF GOOD NORDIC STYLE POLE WALKING TECHNIQUE
BEST WAY TO LEARN! Even if you can arrange a group or private lesson with Linda for a stellar start to learning a new skill, here is the fastest way to learn on your own. Get a friend to use you camera on your phone to video YOU, as my friend has video’d me. Then hold up your video beside my video and compare technique. Your job is to make your head, posture, legs, arms and hands work like what I am modelling for you. Be patient. Keep improving inch by inch!
TO SEE YOURSELF IN YOUR OWN VIDEO IS THE FASTEST WAY TO LEARN. You can video yourself everyday or every week to continue to fine tune your technique. The key to maximizing this exercise is to persist with the straight arms pushing all the way to the back of your butt. When you do this, you will be using 90% of the muscles, creating a waist of steel, and great posture. By using the maximum muscles you will be stimulating the maximum mitochondria, and give your health the best possible boost through fitness.
3. EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN KEY MUSCLES
PLUS BONUS EXERCISE ON “BALANCE & MOMENTUM”
EXERCISE #1 “squat” exercise to strengthen “quad” muscle
EXERCISE #2 rotational arm exercise to strengthen “rhomboid” muscles between shoulder blades
EXERCISE #3 “tricep, posterior deltoid and lat” strengthening exercise
EXERCISE #4 understanding concept of center of balance and center of gravity
RUBBER TIP WEAR
Many of you have been complaining that your rubber boot tips are wearing our fast. There are two reasons for this to happen. First, the hot weather makes the boots wear out faster. Second, your technique makes the boots wear out faster.
Let’s try to fix this accelerated boot wear…
WALKING SURFACE: change up your routine and explore some soft surfaces like dirt, chip trails, hard sand of a low tide beach like Willows Beach. On these surfaces you take off your rubber boot tips and use the point end only. (BTW, google tide tables for Willows Beach Victoria BC to find out when the tide will be out!)
TECHNIQUE: When we teach you to pole walk we ask you to drag the poles to make it easier to learn at the beginning. At the end of the 3-Week Tech course you have built up enough technique, have the basics engrained, and your fitness is building. Your reward for all your work is that the pole tip will automatically lift off at the back and gracefully swing forward all on its own. Just before you start the next push back the tip seems to bump and then plant or drag a very short distance, and then plant.
If you are a beginner the pole tip is dragging the whole way. If you are a intermediate walker, the pole tip drags just before it plants. It is these two cases where the rubber is wearing.
For the beginner I would encourage you to keep walking and focus on technique especially swinging your arm back with confidence and holding the pressure down on the strap firmly and continuously.
It is critical that you learn to swing your upper arm behind your side seam, because this is where you build up your back posture muscles and gradually your fitness improves, you go faster, and the tip lifts off most of the time.
Whatever happens, keep pole walking!
BTW…your rubber tips ONLY wear out if you are outside using the poles!
A GOOD EXAMPLE OF POLE WALKING STYLE
NOTE: I am showing you this video, NOT TO TEACH YOU HOW TO POLE WALK, but to illustrate how most of these pole walkers are swinging their arm FROM THE SHOULDER JOINT. This is the characteristic skill of NORDIC STYLE POLE WALKING that ensures all 90% of muscles in the body are used. Most people want to bend at the elbow which is not Nordic Style pole walking.
I would call this “European Style” Nordic walking, very similar to cross country ski poling technique.
THE #1 THING TO NOTICE IS THAT THEIR UPPER ARM IS SWINGING!!!!
Notice how they grasp the handle for a powerful push, release the handle, and continue the push on the strap, extending lower arm and hand all the way to the back. Try this technique if you like, or use the easier, I think, method to simply ‘PUSH THE STRAP ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK” (to a point behind the butt).
THIS VIDEO IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF UPPER ARM SWING!!! Look how powerfully most of these people’s upper arms are swinging! Only one or two are swinging just from the elbow. THESE ARE VERY FIT PEOPLE. MOST OF THEM ….AND YOU…..WILL NOT START OUT LOOKING LIKE THIS!
WE NEED TO IMPROVE! After watching the Esquimalt 5km event via GoProCam, I can see clearly that for most pole walkers, this is the weakness in their technique! We have to get our upper arm swinging, because that is where the power, speed and endurance lies ANG THE BIGGEST FITNESS, STRENGTH, AND HEALTH BENEFITS are to be gained.
REMEDY: The reason the upper arm is not swinging is because the back muscles that are responsible for this movement are weak. We can improve that in two ways. First, in your technical practice use strong discipline to swing your arm back EVERY TIME. This mental practice is always important. Second, and I recommend this for everyone, take a rubber stretchy cord, attach it to something sturdy, and then create a training exercise pulling back on the rubber cords. Click on HOW TO VIDEOS on this site to see this exercise in action. In the gymnasium, the rowing machine done correctly strengthens these muscles, as well as the weight machines that have you do a “rowing” or “pull back” motion.
WHY WOULD YOU CARE IF YOUR ARMS SWING BACK? It is the same muscles that pull your arms back THAT GIVE YOU GREAT POSTURE!
BTW…Your welcome for me putting this jaunty tune in your head forever, and for answering the question, “Where did ZZ Top retire?”
Cheers, Linda Schaumleffel