Nordic walking looks easy but don’t be fooled. As those of you who walk with us at Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking can testify, it is a technical sport. Getting it right is tricky and takes practice.
Why bother, you might ask. A fair question. Here are some reasons:
- A good arm swing (straight arm with your elbow off lock and a pendulum action from your shoulder) will work your upper arm, chest and mid-back.
- A poor arm swing can leave you with an aching forearm and even result in tennis elbow.
- If you rotate your torso you will strengthen your mid-back area, reduce neck and shoulder tension, work your waist and optimise the fluids and oxygen to your spine in general and vertebrae and discs specifically.
- Only if you are active with your hands (opening/closing/squeezing) and feet (heel/toe roll) will they act as pumps, aiding venous return and boosting circulation.
- ‘Leaning’ as you walk switches on your deep stabilising muscles and helps those who have a sore lower back or poor balance.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means but I hope it is persuasive. What I particularly love is if you come to our classes, you gradually learn and are reminded about all these aspects whilst at the same time enjoying a good walk and great company.
If you tend to Nordic walk solo why not drop back in to one our groups every now and then for a refresher on technique? We’d love to see you! It’s surprisingly easy to pick up bad habits – we do not sit on our technical laurels here – we have annual refreshers with a National Coach to keep us on our toes and we always benefit from it.
So keep working on that technique and your total body fitness will be richly rewarded.
You can find our favourite Nordic walking poles here and if you’re looking for our advice on best walking kit here’s our recommendations:
walking socks (an important but forgotten factor)