WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS: HOW TO USE POLES:
BASIC SET-UP: 1) Set up the poles: Hold the pole handle lightly between your thumb and first finger only, so that the pole pivots between your thumb and finger, then position the poles so they are at an angle (trailing behind you). Start walking normally. TWO SKILLS TO LEARN: You need to get two new learned skills working together. 1) First press the heel of you hand down on the strap which makes the boot tip grip to the ground. Keep the pressure on the strap right to the end of the swing. (You’ll notice that the pressure travels from the heel of your hand up towards the skin between your thumb and first fingeras your arm swings behind your body). 2) Second, make sure your elbow (upper arm) swings to the back every time. You need to use all your back and core muscles to make your arm swing back from the should joint. This is what we want. It may feel hard…that’s because those muscles are currently weak. We want to continue so that these muscles get strong…and you are effectively using 90% of the muscles! When you get these two skills working together, you will feel like the poles are propelling you forward. Perfect! EFFORT CHECK: How hard are you pushing down on the strap? Soft, medium or hard? It works better in the soft to medium range.
THIS IS A NEW SKILL, AND LIKE ANY NEW LEARNING YOU NEED TO PRACTICE to get it working smoothly and efficiently. Be patient. Become a model example of how to do it right! Your friend can video you as you walk along just like my friend did for me in the above video. Then you can get a good look at how you are progressing. This is a simple skill, but mastering the details really matters.
WHEN YOU DO IT RIGHT, IT WILL FEEL HARMONIOUS, CONNECTED, POWERFUL… you will look forward to doing it. In 10 minutes each arm pushes back about 500 times. Yes, that adds up, and your triceps, shoulders, back, and core muscles will let you know they had to wake up and work! When you feel tired, stop. Inch by inch the benefits will accrue! Aim to Nordic Walk three times a week, or more if you feel like it.
BEST HELP FOR YOU? Get your friend to video you as you walk along just like my friend did for me in the above video. Then you can get a good look at what you are doing, and more easily make required corrections.
Linda says…..Really, if your upper arm is swinging behind your side midline on each swing, and you have figured out how to keep the boot tip stuck to the ground from the front to the back of the swing by pressing down on the strap, you’ve got it! You will feel the “connection” and the propulsion forward…an exciting feeling to which you will soon happily get addicted. This is when all the health benefits really start to add up!
CRITERIA FOR EXCELLENT TECHNIQUE
1. Elbow/upper arm swings behind “side mid-line” on every swing.
2. Heel/palm/web of hand presses down on strap from front to back.
3. It doesn’t matter if your arms are straight like mine, or if you feel more comfortable with your arms bent a bit. The important parts are that your elbow/upperarm swings from the front to the back, and the heel/palm/web of your hand presses down on the strap from the front to the back. (Note: you may gently stabilize handle by squeezing the base of the thumb and the first finger lightly together on the handle at the position when the heel of the hand is pushing down on the strap. All finger MUST STAY OFF HANDLE, so that the handle can pivot, allowing the boot tip to stay on the ground all the way to the back of swing.)
4. Rubber tip spontaneously springs into air consistently at end of arm swing and replants itself (as a consequence of swinging arm all the way to the back with sufficient power).