If you’ve read our article about the health benefits of Nordic walking (you really should!) and you’ve purchased your first set of trekking poles, you are going to need to know how to use trekking poles the right way so you can maximize those benefits.
In this guide, we want to explain how to use trekking poles correctly, but also tips, techniques, and other useful information.
A trekking pole is not the typical walking stick you might find in the woods. The best trekking poles will be ones that will correlate to your fitness level, height, weight, and your patience for locking the poles when you experience a change in terrain. The pole you choose should make your hike (or walk) easier, more enjoyable, and of course, beneficial!
There are some things you need to do first before you can actually start using your poles:
The very first thing you will need to do when you get your poles is to adjust the length of the pole. You aren’t going to be able to use the poles properly if they aren’t long enough (or if they are too long) for you to use comfortably. To do this:
The most common problem people have with learning how to properly use trekking poles is that they haven’t adjusted the wrist straps properly. The straps are going to help you pull yourself along without needing to grip the handle tightly.
In order to use the straps, you need to put your hand up through the strap. Then rest the handle in between your thumb and your index finger. Wrap your hand around the handle.
As we walk, we naturally swing our arms—left arm swings when you step with the right foot and the right arm swings when you step with your left food. Simple, right? When you’re learning how to use trekking poles for walking, it is absolutely no different.
You’ll want to plant the pole ahead of you when you are stepping. Develop some kind of rhythm while planting the poles, and be sure to use some force too. This will help propel you forward and you might even see that you can hike or walk for much further! There are three movement patterns that can change your workout:
Understandably, you’re going to be excited to get out there and start using your new trekking poles. Here are some great tips that will help you along the way!
When you have a firm grasp on how to use trekking poles, you may find yourself excited to go on longer, more challenging hikes. Or, at least find walking in general easier to do.
It is important that when you begin using these poles, you have the length of the pole adjusted correctly so that your elbow is at a 90 degree angle while holding the pole.
You will also want to make sure that you’re utilizing that handle strap instead of using energy and gripping the handle tightly. That strap, when used correctly, will make all the difference when you are using your poles!