Technique tips

An inspiring walker story plus technique advice for banishing slumping

Slouching or slumping is an easy habit to fall into.  Unfortunately it’s not good for our health.  It is why the chest is the next in my series of Nordic walking ‘what, why, how’ guides.  The aim of these guides is to help you improve your health, strength and fitness through developing your Nordic walking technique.  When you read Heather’s story below you will see what a difference it can have.

THE CHEST

What are we trying to achieve?

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Technique focus: hips and pelvis and we're now in Bath!

At Bristol Nordic Walking we always focus on Nordic walking technique during our classes.  From arm swing and hand control to rotation, heel/toe roll, and everything else in between.  This helps those of you who are new to Nordic walking to learn and embed the technique into your action.  It’s also a useful reminder for those of us who have been Nordic walking for a while as it’s all too easy to slip into bad habits! 

Not only do we teach technique in class, but as instructors we also meet every couple of months and apply the ‘what, why, how’ test to a specific area:

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A Nordic walking beginner's guide, foraging recipes and a list of small things...

 

"If you think small things don’t make a difference you’ve never been to bed with a mosquito”.  It’s a saying that’s always made me chortle and the other day I realised its pertinence to Nordic walking. Not the mosquito of course but small adjustments can make a big difference to your enjoyment of Nordic walking and its effectiveness.  So I thought I’d jot down a short list of some of these small things in case they make a difference for you:

 

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Looking after your wrists

I’ve been thinking a lot about my wrists recently, this is partly because at the back end of last year I had an arthritic flare-up in my joints. It happens every now and then and is the reason why I gave up running and started Nordic walking. Yes I know I didn’t tell you, because it didn’t stop me from Nordic walking.  I was actually at my best then as everything was being gently mobilised, but it has made me take stock of how best to look after my joints going forwards. 

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Technique focus - the lean, the Bristol Life Awards and our mad-March walks

Here’s a short but sweet Nordic walking tip: lean (from your ankles) and you will walk faster and increase your core strength.

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Our Nordic walking mindfulness course, a reminder about vitamin D and walking uphill made easy

For some people walking uphill is hard work, no matter how fit they are.  Whether or not you fall into this category here are my four top tips for walking uphill as efficiently as possible:

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The foot edition: NW technique, foot health and shoe buying

This week my Nordic walking technique focus has been on the lower body.  In particular the feet.  Nordic walking is one of the few activities requiring us to think how we use our feet.  Its focus on actively articulating the foot, rolling from the heel through to the toes, is a great way to keep the joints and muscles in and around your feet healthy.  I cover the NW technique in more detail below but first a question: when was the last time you gave your feet an MOT? 

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The versatility of Nordic walking plus which glove is best?

Being outdoors, talking with others and enjoying beautiful walks is as good a reason as any to go Nordic walking.  But the benefits don’t stop there.  Nordic walking can help with practically any fitness goal and we can use it to manage our health as well.  Here’s a few examples of how.

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Get back to basics with technique plus a food theme with a choice of naughty or nutritional

If you’ve walked with different instructors you will have noticed that we all have our own style. 

Take Ros and myself for example.  Ros has a ‘tigger’ bounce which looks visually energetic and fun.  Bouncing up into the air each time she pushes off her toes to ensure that she engages her previously weak glutes (buttock muscles) with each stride. 

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Warm up on a chilly Autumn morning plus some interesting facts on getting connected

The chilly mornings can easily mean you start your Nordic walk tensing against the cold.  I certainly want to ‘hunch up’ my shoulders and I have to make a concerted effort to relax.  If you’re the same, I recommend you try the following – I’ve found it really helps me get into my stride and I warm up fast:

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingNordic Walking UKBristol Life Awards Winner