Updated: Mar 5, 2019
So you've just completed the first part of our NordicFit+ Nordic Walking Beginners' Workshop and you're wondering how to practice - without having your hire poles available?
Here's a mid-week reminder of three basic steps you can work on while walking the dog, to the shops - or anywhere really - this week:
First, be mindful of posture. Good, neutral, 'active' posture means, among other factors, keeping your core muscles engaged (drawing your belly button back towards your spine), straightening your back, squeezing your shoulder blades ever so slightly together to open your chest, and looking straight ahead.
Concentrate on your arm swing next. Notice how the arm swing matches the heel strike of the opposite leg, i.e. if you put your left foot forward, your right arm naturally swings forward at the same time (and vice versa). Make sure the arm swing comes from your shoulder joint (imagine a clock pendulum), and that your shoulders remain low and relaxed all the way through. Keep the arms almost straight - with the elbows 'soft' (i.e. just slightly bent) - and extend the forward swing to 'friendly handshake' height.
Finally, pay attention to the way you roll your foot while walking: how the heel touches the ground first, followed by a rolling movement towards the ball, and ending with an active push off the toes. The images we've used in class include juicing half a lemon under your forefoot, and squeezing water out of a soaked sponge.
Most importantly, while it is useful to make a habit of observing your walking technique when out and about, don't forget to relax, find a natural rhythm and enjoy your surroundings!
See you on Friday for part two of the Beginners' Workshop!