Saturday, June 10, 2023

Trekking Poles Tip: Improve Power and Performance on Uphill

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under DVD Updates, Poles for Hiking

Once you’ve learned optimal form and muscle recruitment for going uphill, we have another tip that will significantly improve your performance.

In just one word – Cadence!  Bikers know about cycling cadence.   With proper gear shifting, pedal stroke is rhythmic and gears are not ground.

It’s the same on the trail.  As you change terrain, modify your stride to maintain your rhythm.  Here’s how:

  • Find your natural walking rhythm without poles.  Make sure you’re using your optimal walking form – natural arm swing with spinal rotation.
  • Using poles, feel that same rhythm.
  • Focusing on your form, notice how you can maintain the relatively same pace as you start up a gentle hill.  In order to do this, you’ll need to shorten your stride.
  • Imagine that you’re shifting into low gear as you would in a car going steeply uphill.  Plan your “gear shift.”

Practice this without your IPod or cell phone or any other distractions.  Lock in your form so that you can maintain your rhythm and cadence even while chatting with your buddies on the trail.

Remember, when ever you think of something that brings you back into your body – honor that awareness.  When you think of cadence, work on your rhythm.   Everything is linked.  You’ll notice better breathing, better use of the muscles in your  back and you’ll be able to relax your hands/jaw/shoulders.  Optimal form is a lifelong process.

Enjoy your poles; enjoy the outdoors!


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