Definition of Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking is a form of physical activity, where regular, natural walking is enhanced by the addition of the active use of a pair of specially-designed Nordic Walking poles. However, the characteristics of natural, biomechanically-correct walking and appropriate posture are maintained in all aspects.
The arm movements of the correct NW technique respect the range of movement of natural walking. Additionally, there are some features of cross-country skiing (Classical technique) involved, such as:
- The backward pole position during the loading phase,
- The control of the poles through grip and strap,
- The active and dynamic use of poles.
Technically correct use of poles actively engages the upper body into the act of walking, to propel the body forward. The physical strain is distributed in a balanced and appropriate way to various muscle groups of the whole body.
The correct pole technique gives an opportunity to significantly intensify the act of walking by increasing the muscle work of the upper body. It also gives an opportunity to involve the muscles of the rest of the body.
Nordic Walking is a safe, natural, dynamic, efficient and suitable-for-all form of a physical activity that trains the body in a holistic, symmetrical and balanced way.
The overall goal of Nordic Walking is a general physical and mental well being.
Nordic Walking is based on the following cornerstones and principles:
- Safe, healthy, bio-mechanically correct movements and gait
- Correct body alignment and correct posture
- Natural and fluid movements that engage the muscles of the upper and lower body as well as the core
- Symmetrical and complete training of the whole body
- Effective aerobic conditioning due to the activation of both large and small muscle groups that provide rhythmic and dynamic movements
- Increased blood circulation and metabolism
- Continuous alternation of activation and relaxation of the muscles, promoting relief in tight muscles
- The intensity and training goals can easily be adapted for individual needs
- Learned skills can be transferred to everyday life
- A physical exercise that is suitable for all, irrespective of age, gender or physical condition
- A non-competitive physical activity.
Consequently, the technique and teaching of Nordic Walking are based on three main pillars:
- Correct posture
- Correct walking technique
- Correct use of poles