Friday, March 31, 2023

Nordic Walking for Exercise – How To Engage Spinal Rotation

May 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Poles for Nordic Walking

As I write this, we are sheltered in place (SIP) so I’ve offered prior class participants a set of older model demo poles which can be used for Nordic Walking. Gyms and parks are closed right now so getting whole body exercise without having to travel will help keep us healthy and active. If you have never taken a class, this post will give you a way to approach pole walking. This is a simple 4 part exercise I teach in my classes to get people walking “with attitude.”

1. Just Walk – no thinking, just walking

2. Notice your arm movement. If you lose your rhythm, return to #1

3. Add ATTITUDE. Call it Juicy Walking, Walking with Spinal Rotation, whatever – the sillier you think you look the healthier and more youthful your stride

4. Curl your fingers

#4 is Virtual Pole Walking. Walk like this for the rest of your life!

Pole Walking is NOT about the poles, it’s about walking with your arms. Practice this and then use your poles in the same manner. Poles should be an extension of your arms when you walk. You’ll feel a little push and exaggerated spinal rotation and, eventually, your stride will lengthen. But PLEASE let it be about YOU and not your poles.


One Response to “Nordic Walking for Exercise – How To Engage Spinal Rotation”
  1. Bob Scofield says:

    I hadn’t nordic walked for about three years, but took it up after the gyms closed. I’m now starting to slim down and feel I’m in better shape than I was after using the gym, though my wife says it’s because I’m eating less.

    My technique is a little different from Jayah’s. My poles go a little further back than Jayah recommends. While my hands go through the pole straps, I hold them lightly. I use basically the same grip someone would use to through a dart with. When I hit stride the feeling of my arms moving over the pavement is sensual; the poles seems to cut through something more like water than hard asphalt.

    As I explained to Jayah some years ago, I like the nordic walking technique so much that I use it with my trekking poles when I’m backpacking on level ground. My only problem right now is that the Leki tips have gotten so expensive.