Nordic walking looks easy but don’t be fooled. As those of you who walk with us at Bristol 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, eventually, 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.
- If you don’t rotate, most if not all of the above benefits are lost.
- 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 that, 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 – I do not sit on my technical laurels here – I have an annual refresher with a National Coach to keep me on my toes and I always benefit from it.
So keep working on that technique and your total body fitness will be richly rewarded.