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:
- What it is we’re wanting to teach?
- Why is it relevant?
- How do we teach it – warm-ups, drills etc
In this way we pool our knowledge, revisit the basics and ensure that you are getting top quality tuition.
I have long thought that you might also be interested in this approach so over the next few months in this blog I shall be writing a walker’s bit-sized ‘what, why, how’ guide covering various aspects of the Nordic walking technique. This week I want to start with a very important but mostly neglected area, the hips and pelvis:
Stretching the hip flexors at the front of your hips and strengthening the glutes (your bottom) at the back of your hips to strengthen and stabilise the hip/pelvis area.
- A strong and stable hip/pelvis is necessary for the long term mobility, stability and safety of your lower body and back.
- Most people’s hip flexors are notoriously tight because we spend so much time sitting down.
- Tight hip flexors inhibit the proper functioning of the glutes. These then weaken and can switch off altogether, destabilising your hip and pelvis.
- This in turn can result is back ache (often because your lower back is trying to take over the job your glutes should be doing) and hip, groin and knee pain.
- Stand tall out of your hips, keeping the gap between the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your rib cage long.
- Pull your tummy button gently in towards your spine.
- Keep your hips level and your chest lifted.
- Roll actively through your foot, pushing off evenly with your toes so that you can feel a stretch across the top of your foot and your ankle is open.
- Squeeze your glutes as you push off with your toes and push into your hips. You should feel a stretch at the top of your thigh or in the hip flexor itself if you’re doing it properly.
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: