Nordic Walk for Health: Learning to Nordic Walk
Here are the first steps in learning to Nordic Walk –
Carry: Hold the poles in the center, relax the shoulders, and try to find a natural heel-toe walking rhythm, swinging the arms front-to-back.
Drag: Keep the hands open on the grip, concentrating on a full forward and back swing from the shoulder and torso, with no conscious planting of the poles, other than what begins to happen naturally.
Plant: Lightly grip the poles (as through holding a baby’s hand), and swing the arms in front (as through reaching to shake someone’s hand). This is how far in front the pole should be planted. The poles will form an “A” shape, angled backward at about 45 degrees.
Push: As planting the poles begins to feel more comfortable, start to push the pole forcefully into ground and backward. Grip the pole as the arm swings forward for planting, and open the palm as the pole is pushed backward and the arm extends.
Nordic Walk for Fitness: Taking it to the next level
To take it to the next level, focus on these areas –
Increased Stride: Increasing the stride allows more time for a full arm swing from the shoulders and torso. The result is a better opportunity for a solid plant and push.
Push past Pelvis: Push the pole behind the pelvis by increasing the shoulder/elbow extension. Remember, the poles form an “A” at a 45 degree angle with this extension. This will increase stride, arm swing and power.
Full Elbow Extension: The push starts with an extension from the shoulder so that the pole is pushed back until the elbow fully extends past the pelvis. Again, the pole should be at a 45 degree angle behind the body.
Pole Extension, Open Hand: Concentrate on opening the palm of the hand at the end of the full shoulder/elbow extension. You may have been doing this already naturally, in order to facilitate a full shoulder pole extension.
Forward Lean: Consciously introduce a slight forward lean from the ankles. This will enhance the shoulder arm/flexion and the power of the walk.
Torso Rotation: Torso Rotation is not new at this point. Torso rotation initiates the arm swing. Now you are ready to truly focus on it and understand how being able to increase torso rotation makes it possible to increase the arm swing, allowing for a stronger plant and push completion.
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