Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nordic Walking Proves To Be A Great Cross Trainer For Runners Too

Originally hill bounding and ski walking with poles was a summer staple for dedicated cross country skiers deprived of snow during the summer. Hill bounding and ski walking with poles have been a key component of the best ski coaches' training sessions for over half a century.

As a running coach and ski coach I've seen my athletes (runners and skiers) benefit from using Nordic Walking Poles. Even those athletes with occasional shin splints and/or runners knee hugely benefit from the stress reduction that the poles provide - radically reducing the stress to the shins, knees, hips and back. Plus the runners get to utilize their upper body muscles while Nordic Walking. If using the perfect length poles and correct technique can help runners eliminate shin and/or knee pain, guess what it can do for individuals with new knees, new hips, bad backs, Arthritis, Scoliosis, Osteoporosis, MS, Parkinson's, Post Polio, Fibromyalgia and other joint and/or balance issues.

The young man pictured above is my most dedicated Nordic Walker. The cross training has helped to keep him injury free and he won the Michigan AAU Cross Country Championships and qualified for the Junior Olympics in Decatur, Alabama.

When I ran marathons cross country skiing was my favorite cross trainer. And now Nordic Walking and Nordic Runner are doable despite my runner’s knee.

Given the demands that athletes put on their poles it is logical that one-piece poles are safer, lighter and much more durable than cheap twist-locking adjustable length/telescoping/collapsible poles. Seniors and individuals with balance issues should also use one-piece poles that won't collapse unexpected.

At The American Nordic Walking System and WWW.SKIWALKING.COM we carry all 12 standard fixed lengths of poles and can easily custom fit poles to fit any height. We just received 145cm and 150cm Nordic Walking Poles from Lillehammer, Norway to accommodate super tall individuals. Retailers of twist-locking poles claim to fit all heights (one-size fits all), but they don't and when extended to their tallest settings are extremely wobbly and unsteady.

Walking with poles is the best!

Happy Holidays!

No comments: