Nordic Walking in Mud: How to Stay Safe

Updated: Mar 2, 2019

Snowdrops and crocuses in Fletcher Moss Park

Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury, in February

Although the first snowdrops and crocuses have started to appear across our parks in South Manchester, the muddy season is still in full swing, and for many of us the thought of slipping and sliding about while out Nordic walking (not to mention coming away covered in mud up to our knees) can present a bit of a challenge.

In fact, a recent poll has found that almost half of the 2,000 surveyed participants in Britain tend to avoid spending time outdoors in wet and muddy conditions because they dread cleaning up afterwards...

However, Nordic Walking on muddy ground can provide us with an excellent enhanced workout: our leg, core and upper body muscles have to work extra hard to compensate for slipping and sliding backwards and sideways, so we’re burning more energy and toning up much more than usual.

Moreover, Nordic Walking poles are ideal balance tools, providing stability and traction on slippery ground and thus making a walk in the mud much safer.

Stuck in the mud in Wythenshawe Park, Manchester

Stuck in the mud in Wythenshawe Park, Manchester

Here are a few tips on how to stay safe while out Nordic walking in muddy conditions:

1. Reduce your stride length and speed – take smaller steps and slow down.

2. Put your feet down firmly (but still without slamming your heels into the ground) – don’t be afraid of mud splashes!

3. Remember to engage your core muscles to maximise your balance.

4. Place your poles firmly into the ground to increase your stability – think car in four-wheel drive mode or four-legged animal!

5. If necessary, adjust the arm swing: although we always aim for extending our arm swing past our hip to fully engage our chest, shoulder, back and arm muscles and to loosen up our shoulder and neck areas, slippery conditions can make it necessary to plant the poles a bit further in front and to reduce the backward swing; that way, at least one pole is in firm contact with the ground at all times, increasing your stability.

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