Technique tips

The 'Super Six' Nordic walking skills to boost your regular walking

There’s an art to walking well which most of us only discover once we start Nordic walking.  Why we ask ourselves, did it take us so long?!  The truth is that whilst we were all born to walk, very few of us have given much thought to exactly how.  This has resulted in a myriad of problems due to poor functioning muscles and muscle firing sequencing. 

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Technique tips for walking in muddy conditions

We’ve had more than our fair share of rain and mud this January and we've been delighted by the way you've carried on regardless!  In many ways mud gives you a great workout – your legs, core and arms are all having to work seriously hard to keep you from slipping and sliding around which means you’ll be burning plenty of calories and toning your body at the same time.  However it’s easy to feel unstable if you’re slipping backwards and sideways when you’re trying to push forwards.  So here’s some pointers for Nordic walking in mud:

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Nordic walking vs ordinary walking on the flat: research results

Nordic walking will burn more calories, raise your heart rate higher and you'll walk faster than ordinary walking. This is the conclusion of the research project run last Autumn by Liz Carver, a former research scientist at BAE Systems with the help of participants from our club. This backs up all the previous research conducted on Nordic walking vs ordinary walking, most of which took place under laboratory conditions, not in the field.

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Ten technique tips for Nordic walking

It’s difficult to remember everything you should be doing when you first start out Nordic walking.  It’s also easy for us seasoned Nordic walkers to slip into bad habits along the way!  So here’s ten top tips to help hone your technique:

1. When you pick up your poles, tighten your straps with your hand in the correct position around the pole and keep your wrist straight.  They will then fit more snugly, making the arm swing and hand control easier.

2.Complete a posture check list as you start walking and repeat it regularly:

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Downhill walking explained plus a useful talk test

Last week I wrote about the components of aerobic fitness: frequency, intensity, and duration.  This week I’m looking at one of those components – intensity -  and how you can calculate it. 

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How to Nordic walk on tarmac

In Bristol we are lucky to have lots of public parks and open spaces which means we mostly Nordic walk on grass and tracks.  It makes things nice and easy technique wise – no unpleasant scuffing noises if you’re not planting cleanly plus the tips of the poles grip well in the soft ground, providing an excellent propulsion platform.

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Three of our best warm-up exercises and some summertime reading

We always include a warm-up at the start of our Nordic walking classes and a series of stretches at the end.  I’m sometimes asked what’s the point of the former, given that walking is often used as a warm-up in its own right.  The answer is that it’s a perfect opportunity to do some of the mobilising and strengthening exercises that we should be building into our lives on a daily basis.

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Technique focus: Arm swing

One of the cornerstones of the Nordic walking technique is the arm swing.  It is also the easiest to get wrong.  So the arm swing is the next in my series of Nordic walking ‘what, why, how’ guides.  The aim of these guides is to help you improve your health, strength and fitness through developing your Nordic walking technique.  It assists 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! 

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An inspiring walker story plus technique advice for banishing slumping

Slouching or slumping is an easy habit to fall into.  Unfortunately it’s not good for our health.  It is why the chest is the next in my series of Nordic walking ‘what, why, how’ guides.  The aim of these guides is to help you improve your health, strength and fitness through developing your Nordic walking technique.  When you read Heather’s story below you will see what a difference it can have.

THE CHEST

What are we trying to achieve?

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Technique focus: hips and pelvis and we're now in Bath!

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:

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner