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Basic Technique

When you walk normally and carry poles with you, it is called the “2-wheel drive”. As soon as you grip the poles properly and start using your upper body, you’re now in “4-wheel drive” and the workout has just reached a brand new level.

Every step should begin with the heel touching the ground and rolling forward to the ball and toe area, where you will push off to propel yourself forward.

The hands should constantly be in a “grip-n-go” state with the pole. They should grip the pole every time the pole hits the ground, then let it go as it is drawn back behind the body, finishing up with an open hand.

As the arms continue to move the poles, the torso and hips should be involved in a counter-swinging motion from the lower body. This effectively works the mid-torso muscle groups.

Typical Mistakes

By practicing the proper Nordic Walking techniques, you will benefit from a more complete and fun workout. Keep the poles close to the body, lean slightly forward, and remember to open and close the hands with each step.

Some of the typical mistakes beginning Nordic Walkers could make might be:

  • Staying in “2-wheel drive”
    By not using the upper torso correctly as part of your workout, you remain in 2-wheel drive.

  • Planting the poles too far from the body.
    Holding the poles too far from your body lowers the effectiveness of your Nordic Walking workout.

  • Walking with Closed Hands
    Keeping your hands closed at all times does not allow proper blood circulation.

  • Walking with Open Hands
    Walking with hands open reduces the efficiency of your poling.

  • Improper leg and pole placement.
    If pole and leg are placed on the same side, you are not able to perform the proper diagonal stride with the hips involved in a counter-swinging motion.

By practicing the proper Nordic Walking technique, you will benefit greatly and have a more fun workout. Keep the poles close to the body, lean slightly forward, and remember to open and close the hand with each step.

Advanced Techniques

People who are more fit can raise their heart rate even higher by using the poles to employ various techniques like jogging, running, jumping strides or skating.

With Nordic jogging, you’ll utilize more of the bottom of the foot, not rolling from heel to toe. The higher and longer strides are achieved by a combination of more forceful poling and more intense leg work.

Nordic skating uses jumping strides that zig-zag from left to right like a typical skating technique.

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Active Walkers - for those who are looking for a strong physical activity and a more powerful walking stride.

Wellness Walker - for those who are looking for a casual walking exercise ad a moderate pace.

Adjust poles to the optimal length to your body height if you have adjustable poles. Have your elbow and forearm bedside your body in a 100 degree angle and drop your hands for around 2 inches down and take the grip of the pole.This is usually the best length for you ( = 68% of your body height) to learn a natural pole walking technique. Then adjust the poles by twisting the upper and lower part of the Nordic Poles in the opposite direction.

Make sure, you have the poles really tightened! If you walk on hard surface put the rubber tips on the poles. If you walk on soft surface take the rubber tips off.


Feel the upright Body Posture Put poles behind your back and stand upright. Have your chest high, look to the horizon and drop your shoulder Relaxed.

This is the perfect body posture Nordic Walking will learn you and keep this posture for your every day life.