Whatever your shape, Nordic walking can help. Here’s how.
You do not have to lose weight to lose inches. Developing good muscle tone and improving your posture will have a dramatic impact on how you look and feel. Nordic walking naturally encourages you to stand upright and in a posturally correct position. You feel better and walk taller as soon as you pick up the poles! It also works many often overlooked postural muscles such as in mid-back area, along the spine, and your core abdominals. So the benefits continue long after you’ve finished your walk.
Waist and stomach
To trim your waist and firm your stomach, focus on doing both of these things at the same time:
- Plant the pole firmly into the ground and keep the downwards pressure for as long as you can whilst you push the pole backwards (be careful to keep your shoulders down). This switches on your core abdominals, tightening and toning them.
- Rotate your torso. The more upper body rotation you can achieve the more you will work your obliques, the muscle group that helps nip your waist in.
Hips, thighs and buttocks
The key here is the heel/toe roll. Strike the ground with your heel and consciously roll through the foot, pushing off with your toes. As you do this squeeze your leg muscles and especially your buttock muscles (gluteals). You’ll tone your legs in no time! You can also add a few walking lunges or squats to really up the anti.
Another top tip is to seek out hills and walk up them. You’ll work your thighs, backs of legs and buttocks even harder. Keep the heel toe action to achieve the maximum benefit and don’t bend over at your waist.
Flabby arms are a thing of the past with Nordic walking. Concentrate on using your triceps (the back of your upper arm) when you push the pole backwards. Double arm polling is also a brilliant exercise if you want to feel the burn!
Fat burning ideas
To help sculpt and tone your body more quickly think about switching between the upper and lower body muscle groups whilst walking. This burns fat quickly and effectively because as well as working to keep you walking, the heart and lungs are having to pump blood to all the different areas of your body. This requires a lot of effort and uses calories big time.
Our Monday morning Fitness Nordic walking session focuses on this type of training. You can do it yourself by incorporating walking lunges and taking one of our power bands out with you to do some extra upper body work during a break in walking.
Finally, don’t forget the benefit of walking up hills. As well as sculpting your legs it’s fantastic for your heart and lungs, not to mention crunching the calories.
Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking Team
You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here and if you’re looking for our advice on good kit here’s our recommendations: