Is double planting your Nordic walking modus operandi? What about your forearm and elbow – do they sometimes ache during or after a walk?
Don’t be disheartened if this is a familiar story to you. Many of us have visited the double planting/aching forearm stage and a few of us have lingered there longer than we would wish. I’ve been chatting with one of our National Coaches, Karen Ingram, about these frustrating aspects of the technique. Here are a few suggestions if you are stuck in this particular rut:
- Remember the boomerang effect. The more you actively and energetically push back through the pole the greater the recoil and the more easily the pole clears the ground as it almost 'flies’ forwards. All you then need to do is catch the pole as it passes your hip ready to plant again.
- Keep your knuckles to the ground as you swing your arm forwards. Think headlights – you want them dipped not blinding oncoming traffic. I often picture a low handshake. It also helps me to remember to plant with a firm, closed grip.
- Draw on the (distant) memory of school science classes and visualise a power circuit to drive you forwards. It starts as you push through the strap (not your hand), travels up your forearm to your triceps then round to your back. Over gripping with your hand is a circuit breaker. So is hinging with your elbow (or having it too bent). So is letting the power go above your triceps to your shoulder, which is a bit of a dead end.
Nordic walking looks simple but there is more to it than meets the eye. It is worth persevering to improve your technique (I have lots of blogs to help you along) and reap the full benefits of this truly remarkable total body exercise.