I would call this “European Style” Nordic walking, very similar to cross country ski poling technique.
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 more passive fingers but firm heel of hand push on the strap that I have been teaching you. Where you can improve here is to extend your lower arm and hand to the maximum extension.
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. They are taking long strides and going fast too, but no matter how fast your pace or how short your stride, the upper arms must always swing toward the back of the body.
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.
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
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