Technique tips

Improve your back health and tone up your arms with these Nordic walking tips. Plus 3 surprising reasons why NW poles are great on a country walk

Do you want the best possible back and defined arms?  It’s a rhetorical question of course because frankly who doesn’t?  The point I’m wanting to make is that you can easily achieve both through Nordic walking.  Here’s how.

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Are you a Pushmi or Pullyu? Uphill technique revisited.. Plus one walker's affair with two poles

Hills.  Some of us love them, others endure them.  Whichever camp you fall into, hills are a fantastic way of increasing your fitness, toning your muscles and burning calories.  But how much thought have you given recently to how, with Nordic walking poles in hand, you tackle them?  I’ve noticed recently that there are two distinct styles - a pushmi and a pullyu.  Unlike Dr Doolittle’s fictional beast, these methods are not in a symbiotic relationship, although you can use both styles on the same hill.  One, of course, is where you use the poles to push you up the hill and the other is wher

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Banish blisters, torso twist technique tips and brain health

The International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA) considers that there are 10 steps to achieving Nordic walking perfection.  Ten things before we can consider ourselves elevated to the elite echelons.  Sounds so simple - and, actually, it’s probably true.  Trouble is, how do we remember to do all these ten things at once, plus talk, plus enjoy ourselves?  For me the answer is a combination of mantras and cues.  Ignoring my mantra for the time being (that’s for another blog), I thought I’d share the various cues I use to help with the final INWA step - Step 10, Rotation.

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The power of good posture and a simple tip which might transform your Nordic walking technique

TED talks are often a topic of conversation at the Tuesday 10am Ashton Court walk. Last week’s discussion about the talk given by social psychologist Amy Cuddy particularly interested me.  'Power posturing' is nothing new and most of us are aware of the symbiotic relationship between our posture and our frame of mind.

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Six tips for healthy hips plus Nordic walking meets Nordic skiing

Healthy hips

I had a proverbial bee in my bonnet this week about showing those of you who were at my classes how Nordic walking can help strengthen and stabilise the hip/pelvis area.  Everyone was kindly attentive and I want to take this opportunity to reinforce what I said.

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Nordic walking on slopes

Using Nordic walking poles up and down hill is extremely satisfying.  When going uphill, the poles seem to make the whole experience easier and less tiring.  Take the Nightingale Valley Leigh Woods climb for instance, which we all tackled yesterday during our 2 hour stamina walk.  This gully is about a 10-15 minute steady climb – and the general comment at the top was that it wasn’t nearly as hard as people had thought.  I bet it would have been a different story had everyone tackled it without poles.

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Walking in muddy conditions - footwear, technique and stretches

According to the Met Office, the rain over the Christmas period made 2015 one of the top ten wettest years since records began in 1910.  With rain, of course, comes mud and we’ve certainly had our fair share of it.   So today I thought I’d write about the issues mucky conditions present and how to cope.

The pros and cons of mud

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Posture tips for Nordic walking

We’re coming up to the Christmas break and I know many of you will still be Nordic walking, even though our groups aren’t running.  It’s great to go off  by yourself or with others and explore the local area.  Here are a few posture tips that you'll find helpful:

1. Puppet on a string

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Technique tips from the New Zealand national Nordic walking coach

A couple of weeks ago June, the national Nordic walking coach for New Zealand, and her husband Paul visited Bristol for a few days.  I had met them both last month at the international Nordic walking convention in Barcelona and had invited them to stay.

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How to Nordic walk: Part II

A few months ago in How to Nordic walk: Part I, I set out the five basic steps to effective Nordic walking.  This second part explains how you can develop your technique to a more advanced level.  It is based on the ten step teaching method established by the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA).

The basics – a recap

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