By Gill Stewart at
Initially we explored strapless fitness walking poles (Urban series 300 and Activator)for use with our Wellness clients, specifically those who struggled to grip standard poles due to Arthritis or for use by our Physio partners for falls prevention and neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
We have been so impressed by the results we get and how quickly people seem to master the poles that we have begun to use them to help all our potential Nordic walkers to master how to engage the upper body and swing the arms correctly. The outcomes have been remarkable with many showing much better technique and feeling more upper body engagement than when trying to master traditional strapped poles initially
This is because the poles immediately place the hand into the correct position and can’t be over gripped due to the cleverly designed handle which is wider at the base. This handle also gently encourages the correct pole angle which is typically something beginners have trouble mastering.
Another key feature of these poles is the ‘core ledge’ which is where the user ‘pushes’ with the side of the hand as they step through a typical nordic walking action (except usually they would use a strap) This ledge is uniquely moulded for comfort and those who use it correctly report excellent postural improvements as it helps them stand upright and look forwards.
Those who have mastered the initial Nordic walking actions via these poles seem to have better technique when going on to learn how to push into the straps of traditional NW poles and achieve what we at NWUK call a good gear three! Some walkers are now choosing to stick with the strapless poles and seem to be able to comfortably integrate into Nordic walks with their regular groups and gain the same benefits. In fact many report that they feel more upper body engagement than with strapped poles which we feel is due to a lower risk of excessive bending at the elbow – a common issue with those learning to Nordic Walk
So, we at NWUK are always open minded and feel there is a real place for these poles for those with certain medical conditions, in need of stability or struggling to get the best from poles due to difficulty in mastering full NW Technique. If this sounds like you – why not give them a go?
There are two models – the Urban 300 series is twistlock and comes with a Nordic style ‘boot’ paw and the Activator is click lock adjustment and comes with a stability Paw (although paws are interchangeable on both models)
There are adjustable version of both too for those who would like to break them down smaller for convenience or travel