How to Use Nordic Walking Poles

Good technique evolves from your own natural walking rhythm; long confidant strides, and arms swinging by your sides. Using your Nordic Walking poles, this progresses into an increased stride length while pushing diagonally backwards through the poles, poles remain behind and pointing backwards at all times, emphasising the propulsive effect you are trying to capture (visualise the glide phase of the cross-country skier if you can).

Key pointers in the early stages of learning are to keep the arms relaxed and keep the poles behind the body.

To get the most out of this, you should go along to an introduction course or book an instructor.

Here is a 6-step breakdown to get you started on the basic Nordic Walking technique:

1. Shoulders are relaxed and down, elbows are held close to the body and arms are straight but relaxed.

2. Hands are opened slightly to allow the poles to swing forward – the poles are not gripped tightly but swing from the wrist straps.

3. The leading foot strikes the ground as the opposite arm swings forward to waist height; the opposite pole strikes the ground level with the heel of the opposite foot.

4. The poles remain pointing diagonally backwards.

5. Push the pole as far back as possible, the arm straightening to form a continuous line with the fully extended arm, the hand opening off the grip by the end of the arm swing.

6. The foot rolls through the step to push off with the toe. This lengthens the stride behind the body, getting the most out of each stride.


Related Links:

About Leki Nordic Walking Poles

Maintaining Your Trekking & Walking Poles

Nordic Walking Pole Selection Guide