By Gill Stewart at
At Nordic Walking UK we always recommend that you get started with a qualified Instructor who can look at your height, gait and fitness levels to agree a good starting height for you. If you are unable to catch up with an Instructor see the guide below re adjusting the poles for height before you use them.
Step one – Loosen the adjustment on the poles so the sections glide up and down easily and have it at a length that looks higher than you would require. See HERE if you need help adjusting the poles
Step two – Stand upright with good posture and both feet facing forwards. Tuck one elbow into the waist on the same side and check that the shoulder and elbow are vertically in alignment.
Step three – Bend the forearm, making sure the elbow remains close into the waist and in line with the shoulder (90 degree angle)- your hand should now be in line with the elbow (horizontally) and the wrist in a neutral position .
Step four – Now hold the Nordic walking pole HANDLE with your arm in this position and the pole in a vertical position with the base on the floor directly below the line of the hand (whilst your arm is in this position). Ideally you would not have rubber paws on the pole so it sits cleanly on the floor*
Step five – Gently push the pole downwards until your hand is gripping the centre of the handle grip area whilst your forearm is in the start position outlined above
Step Six – Stop when your hand is slightly lower than than your elbow so so that a drop of water might trickle slowly down your forearm.
If you are using strapless Nordic walking poles the principles are exactly the same and in both cases, it is best to be slightly lower than 90 degrees rather than too far above that.
NOTE – once you start moving with the poles you may well have to readjust and you will almost certainly need to do so again once you master technique and get fitter.
That’s why it is best NOT to buy fixed length poles if you are beginner to Nordic walking
* paws will also add some height so be aware of that too and adjust accordingly.
If your rubber paws wear unevenly or you have any discomfort it might be an indication that your poles are too long or too short – call our experts on 0333 1234 540 for advice.