Get Started Today With Real Nordic Walking Poles From WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and Proven Instruction From
The "American Nordic Walking System"
SWIX and EXEL one-piece Nordic Walking poles from WWW.SKIWALKING.COM are custom fit to each individual's height. Our Perfect Length Poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap/flimsy 2-piece and 3-piece twist-lock and flip-lock adjustable/telescoping/collapsible poles! We provide safe and effective instruction for beginners and certification for instructors.
Here is some info about putting on the comfortable, patented Nordic Ski Walking straps + basic technique tips:
You deserve real Nordic Walking Straps!
All of our poles are equipped with real Nordic Ski Walking Straps: Please note that our straps are marked "left" and "right". There are three strap openings. The medium sized opening is the one to slide your entire hand into. The "Swix" or "Exel" logo and buckle should be on the top of the hand and the thumb in the thumb opening (smallest opening). These Nordic Walking straps are patented and extremely comfortable. Keep the fingers loose and relaxed! Don’t statically grip the poles – let the straps do the work. Patented by the Salomon Ski Company.
* the little loop at the top of the pole is for adjusting to hand size and providing a little extra room for gloves/mittens on cold days.
Apply pressure down through the strap - behind the little finger (the heel of the hand). These comfortable patented straps allow you to push back against the poles without gripping the poles.
Remember to keep your fingers loose and relaxed! NO white knuckling! Skiers get cold hands from giving their poles the death grip.
The American Nordic Walking Teaching System
The Basic Technique: Always keep the poles slightly angled back. Nordic Ski Walking is not a hand above your heart type of exercise. Your hands and feet work opposite – when you lead with your right foot be sure to lead with your left hand (just like cross-country skiing). Keep your fingers loose and relaxed. The pole plant is not out in front of you - it is only as far forward as the heel of the opposing foot (plant the right pole tip inline with the heel of your left foot). Let the fancy straps do the work – don’t squeeze the poles. As you become more comfortable start to "push" off a little after every pole plant – put the pressure on the strap (feeling the pressure on the heel of your hand).
Nordic Walking Introduction
This is how I introduce new Nordic Walkers to Nordic Ski WALKING during my clinics/lessons:
1. With the Nordic Ski Walking Poles strapped on, the fingers super loose (don’t squeeze the pole grips), the arms relaxed and down at your side and the poles angled back – start walking without moving your arms, just let them hang straight down at your side. Just let the rubber pole tips drag along the ground.
* Try this for 10-20 feet
2. Now, start to gradually swing your arms just like you would while casually walking. Continue to let the rubber pole tips drag. Keep the fingers super loose. When your right foot comes forward so does your left hand.
* Try this for 20-30 feet
3. Fantastic! Keep those fingers really, really loose, poles angled back and now start to push back on the poles entirely by using the strap – don’t grip the pole, let your hands push down through the straps to help push and propel you along. Feel the pressure on the heel of your hand. You should feel the pushing starting to really work your arms.
* Take as much time as you need with this one - 100 feet or around the block?
4. Great! Continue to keep your fingers relaxed and don't squeeze the poles (feel the pressure in the heel of your hand as you push back) and stop dragging the rubber tips on the ground. There is no need to drag the poles - I tell the skiers that I coach to pretend they are poking Snow Snakes. The lead pole never goes further ahead than the opposing lead foot’s heel. And the poles are slightly angled back. The motion isn’t out in front (except for balance when negotiating a log, the curb, ice patch or a steep downhill. Have FUN!
You should be on auto-pilot! Keep up the good work! Please call or email with any questions, suggestions and/or comments.
How to get started Nordic Ski Walking
Start on easy, flat terrain. Thirty minutes of walking with poles is equivalent to fifty minutes of walking without poles. Keep a constant speed. You should be able to conduct a conversation while you walk. If you cannot hold a conversation, then you are walking too fast. The poles are also excellent tools for stretching. After a few weeks you will notice the difference – more relaxed muscles, better conditioning and better health. Do not limit your exercising to streets and sidewalks. Nordic Walking is suitable for all types of terrain – trails, beaches, fields and sand dunes. With the poles, you get good support and better balance on any terrain while also increasing the intensity of the exercise. Feel free to toss in some short speed walks and/or jogs with the poles toward the end of your Nordic Ski Walks. Mix it up and have FUN!
American Nordic Walking System
Level 1: Casually walking, trekking and hiking with the poles is healthy and good - burning over 20% more calories than regular walking! Remember to keep your chin up, fingers relaxed and poles slightly angled back. Each pole plants inline with the opposing foot's heel - alternating and never out in front unless going down a steep hill. When done correctly you will immediately notice your improved posture – walking taller and with a straighter back –naturally and not having to think about it.
Level 1 With A Punch: Continue to keep those fingers relaxed - DON"T grip the poles. Take advantage of our comfortable Nordic Walking Straps - patented by the Salomon Ski Company. Feel the pressure in the heel of your hand effectively being distributed into the cradle of the strap verses squeezing and gripping the poles. Punch the rubber Nordic Walking tips/asphalt paws into the road/walking surface. This additional punch will beef up the effectiveness of Level 1.
Level 2: Requires the arms to fully stretch out and slightly down, keeping the poles slightly less angled back and almost perpendicular. This full arm extension will help to burn over 30% more calories than regular walking! You will find that your walking pace will speed up and your stride will naturally lengthen. Never fake a long stride – allow it to happen naturally. Keep your chin up and fingers relaxed! Shifting from Level 1 to Level 2 is like shifting gears in a car. Level 2 reinforces improved walking posture when done correctly. Again, the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heel unless your are descending a steep hill.
Level 2 With A Punch: A little punch goes a long way. Utilize that full arm extension and combine it with a nice little punch - punch the rubber tip into the walking surface while keeping the fingers relaxed and NOT gripping the poles (pressure is in the cradle of the comfortable patented straps).
Level 3: Includes the full reach + a firm pole plant (don’t be gentle), constant pressure from the heel of the hand into the strap and a follow-through push when the hand lines up with the hips. Level 3 is big in Europe, but most Americans don't want to be bothered. Level three burns over 40% more calories than regular walking. Level 3 requires maximum push and can only be effectively done with real Nordic Ski Walking. And remember the poles are NEVER planted in front of the lead heel unless your are descending a steep hill.
Folks With Balance Issues:
If balance is an issue and the poles are used more for stability, please don't worry about keeping the poles angled back. Feel free to keep the poles more perpendicular to the ground and keep them straighter. Keeping your back supported and comfortable is the most important thing. The poles have been a HUGE success when I have hosted Nordic Walking clinics at the MS and Parkinson's Support Group meetings.
Keep the poles angled back on steep up-hills. DO NOT lean into the hill! Keep your chin up. Allow the poles to naturally keep your back super straight.
Please feel free to place the poles out in front of you on steep downhills - this will radically eliminate the stress that normally hits the knees. DO NOT sit back! Double poling can also be effective in steep and challenging terrain.
Snow & Ice:
When the roads and trails are slippery, feel free to keep the poles a little more out in front and NOT angled back. The added stability is a good thing. And of course remove the rubber tips!
Don't Fake A Long Stride:
PLEASE don't fake a long stride! As you work your arms your tempo will naturally speed up and your stride will safely and naturally lengthen. Faking a long stride will only lead to injury.
Don't Lean Forward:
PLEASE don't lean forward! Take full advantage of the radically improved posture that the correct length poles provides all of us. Especially don't lean into the hill when Nordic Walking up steep terrain. Your ankles will naturally flex and your back will appreciate the awesome posture that your poles naturally help to provide on all types of terrain.
Be Sure To Consult Your Physician:
Always consult your doctor prior to launching any new fitness campaign.
Have FUN Ski Walking!
Pete - owner/founder/coach: WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and The American Nordic Walking System
Please call or email any time. Your questions and suggestions are WANTED.
Local Phone #: 231-334-3080
Toll Free: 877-SKI-WALK (877-754-9255)