Nordic walking with sticks: technique, benefits and contraindications

Nordic walking, in its current sense, is a relatively new word in world sports. This term was first introduced in 1997. Norwegian walking with sticks or Finnish walking with sticks are all synonymous with this type of outdoor activity. Another name is Nordic walking. Let's learn a little about Nordic walking: how to walk and what equipment is needed.

Features of walking with sticks

According to one version, the native of Finland Marko Kantaneva first described this type of physical activity. Walking and jogging were used by skiers as training exercises outside the winter season. In addition to helping athletes prepare for the competition, the benefits of Nordic walking for the health of people with the most diverse levels of physical fitness have been proven.

Nordic walking with sticks: technique, benefits and contraindications

Walking with Nordic sticks is a great way to strengthen the cardiovascular system, bring muscles to tone, get a boost of vigor and energy.

Consider some of the features of this lesson:

  • You move with extra weight.

    Sticks weigh a little, but in 30-60 minutes even this small weight will seem much more than at the beginning of the walk. This means that the load on the muscles is more significant than with normal walking.

  • At every step you wave your hand. And this means that, in addition to the legs, the shoulder girdle will work. For people with osteochondrosis and just a motionless lifestyle, this is a big plus: blood circulation throughout the body improves, muscles not involved in ordinary life are trained.

  • For breathing, raising your arms at every step will be very useful - the chest will expand, and when you lower your arm, it will narrow. Due to this, the lungs are better ventilated. Plus, there will be an increase in lung volume due to increased load. As a result - increased stamina and better saturation of tissues with oxygen.
  • Do not be alarmed by the word “Increased workload” in the previous paragraph.

    You can safely control the speed and activity of movements.

  • Significantly increases your stability on the road relying on sticks. Climbing uphill is facilitated. For people who have begun to develop diseases of the musculoskeletal system, Nordic walking (also called it) will be much easier than usual. This is due to the fact that body weight is redistributed due to reliance on sticks.

  • And one more plus associated with sticks - when you take a break, you can lean on sticks and throw a substantial part of your weight on them. This significantly reduces the load on the back, which you will immediately feel.
  • There are no contraindications for Nordic walking. Nordic walking is considered one of the safest sports.
  • The technique of Scandinavian walking is simple and does not require special skills.

  • This type of activity is very effective in terms of losing weight. Often losing weight is recommended to run.But overweight, inadequacy of the cardiovascular system, problems with joints and spine can interfere with active running. But walking is possible for everyone. Here Nordic or Swedish walking with sticks helps a lot.

    In terms of calorie consumption, this lesson will almost correspond to a jog. In addition, you can go many times longer than run.

Answering the question of what is Nordic walking it is worth saying that this is not some kind of special walking in Scandinavian, Swedish or Finnish. All people move the same way - on two legs. It’s just here that you use the stick support at every step.

Nordic walking with sticks: technique, benefits and contraindications

We are more likely to walk with ski poles, because people do not always have the opportunity to purchase special equipment for these purposes. Yes, and we have a long winter, there is a lot of snow - ski poles are quite suitable for such conditions. True, you can’t knock on the asphalt anymore - it will be inconvenient.


There is much talk today about Nordic walking. Someone goes skiing, someone takes 2 canes, and someone buys exceptionally expensive equipment from leading brands.

Later I will tell you which sticks are better, and how to choose them, in general.

So, what is the use of Nordic walking:

  1. Improvement of blood circulation.
  2. Training of the shoulder girdle
  3. Prevention of osteochondrosis: strengthening muscles, reducing the load on the spine.
  4. The possibility of long walk at times increases all its useful properties, in comparison with the same run. But negative factors, on the contrary, are fewer.

  5. Nordic walking for seniors is one of the few sports that they can safely practice without risk to their health.
  6. Nordic walking is beneficial for the respiratory system - it has been proven that the lungs train, ventilate. And this provides the prevention of respiratory infections.
  7. The consequence of the previous paragraph is the saturation of blood with oxygen. O2 molecules will be delivered to every cell in the body.

    A 40-60 minute walk at an average pace is enough.

  8. Rehabilitation benefits have been proved (and this is in full use today). Nordic walking is used as rehabilitation after fractures of the hip, knees, lower leg. People walk with sticks as with additional support - and better stability and reduced load on the fused bones.


Nordic walking with sticks brings many benefits.

Everyone talks about this, everyone holy believes that the lesson is absolutely safe. In principle, it is. As always, there are a few buts.

And this is immoderate human enthusiasm, which can drive the heart even with such a harmless occupation. If you walk too hard with sticks, you can hurt yourself.

In addition, if you get dressed incorrectly, you can sweat and catch a cold. And you can slip, break a stick, scratch on its chip.

In general, there are many risks.But they are all determined by a conscious factor, since Nordic walking with sticks has contraindications, in the medical sense, as such. Of course, you should not give physical activity to people with serious diseases of the heart or musculoskeletal system.

In order to minimize risks, we proceed as follows:

  1. We choose the sticks correctly.
  2. We choose clothes and shoes - everything should be convenient and reliable. It makes sense to spend money on one pair of good sneakers, you can not save on this. High-quality shoes will dampen movement, sit comfortably on your foot, and will last you at least 5 years. In other words, one pair of good shoes is better than a few pairs of bad shoes.

  3. We pay attention to our well-being. If you feel weak, have caught a cold, are injured or overworked, it is better to stay home and recover. Elderly people with heart disease or having a heart attack should walk slowly, gradually increasing the duration of their walks.
  4. In contrast to the previous paragraph, do not cancel the walk due to a bad mood or household chores. Your health comes first.

    Do not forget how useful Nordic walking with sticks and go to the park!

The correct technique

Now the most interesting thing is the technique of Nordic walking. In this case, there is no particular instruction. They did not expect? The only skill you will need to get started is the walking skill. Walking with sticks, in fact, you need the same way you walk without sticks. Hand movements are only added.

All technical aspects are aimed solely at increasing the effectiveness of classes. You may or may not comply.

Imagine how you go skiing:

  • Step by step, arms and legs move in the opposite direction, that is, the left foot forward - the right hand forward and vice versa. Similarly, your Nordic walking sticks will move.
  • The movement of the hands comes from the shoulder, and not from the elbow.

  • The height of raising a hand is about 45 degrees.

In general, this movement is natural, it will be difficult for you to start walking somehow differently.

There is no such clear and unambiguous decree how to walk Nordic walking correctly (unless you are a Finnish athlete-skier, of course). All people walk in different ways. It depends on physical fitness.

Someone throws sticks high and briskly paces, while someone who is weaker goes slowly and periodically drags them along.

Naturally, you need to lean a little on the sticks, straining the shoulder girdle. Otherwise, the whole point of taking them with you is lost. Then it's better to just take a walk.

In large cities, Nordic walking training is common.

This is a whole direction in fitness, where you can not only conduct training, but also sell the necessary equipment. For Nordic walking lessons, people often take quite a lot of money.

Therefore, it is up to you to attend a special school or not.Perhaps it will be more comfortable for you to engage in a team where the coach will be your external will. If, however, everything is in order with motivation, you can do it yourself.

In Scandinavian walking, the walking technique for losing weight is no different from other techniques for other purposes. The main thing is to move actively, so that the pulse rises a little higher than with normal walking. Then you can burn more calories.

Speaking of technology, we can say that for Nordic walking there is only one rule - to walk with sticks.

Do we need a warm-up?

Do we need a warm-up before getting out of the chair and going to the kitchen? So you answered the question.

Of course, warm-up movements will never be superfluous. Kneading joints and pulling stiff muscles is always helpful. Let's just say: let it be not a warm-up, but some kind of addition to Nordic walking in the form of exercises. Because standing in the middle of the forest and doing such a “charge” is very useful.

Nordic walking with sticks: technique, benefits and contraindications

Without fail, this type of activity does not require any preliminary exercises.

Of course, if you are going to run with sticks - then you really need to stretch yourself, as before the sprint run.

In the case of a regular walk or workout for weight loss, it will be useful to vary the speed of steps. It is best to start small, gradually accelerating to 5-7 km per hour or alternate between fast and slow motion intervals.

First you need to walk slowly, slightly raising the stick with each step. We do not make special efforts to support it.

After 2-3 minutes we accelerate, and we raise the sticks higher. After 10 minutes, you can already move your hands at full amplitude. This will be the optimal workout.

To do the exercises is better in the middle of walking or after it. They took sticks, put them together and did squats (a comfortable number of times), turned the body, waved their legs and hands, you can even do fencing (just don’t kill anyone, the ends of the sticks have rather sharp metal teeth).

Thus, the warm-up before Nordic walking is walking itself.


For Nordic walking with sticks there are no instructions regarding clothes. There are tips. As well as not for Nordic walking with sticks of equipment.

If your city has a club of such a walk, there you will certainly be offered special hats, sneakers, and pants.

In fact, you can buy clothes at any sports store. It is suitable for any walks. You can wear ordinary comfortable clothes according to the season. Consider the degree of load you want to give - if you are actively moving and sweating, you need to dress easier than in the case of a leisurely walk.

But with sticks it’s more difficult.

How to choose them is described in detail in this article. Just remember that it is better to take Exel or Leki, Ergoforce. And the length is selected based on your height - multiply it in cm by 0.68 (for older people by 0.66) and round to a multiple of 5.

Effectiveness for losing weight

Walking with sticks for losing weight will be much more effective than just walking. For the same time, you will spend more calories, since you will have to move not only your legs, but also your hands. In other words, if you practice Nordic walking, the weight will go away faster.

Nordic walking with sticks: technique, benefits and contraindications

Also, Scandinavian walking for weight loss has several advantages over jogging. For example, when it hurts a person to run, this is the only way to spend calories on foot (yes, there is also an exercise bike).

For weight loss, the rules of Nordic walking are:

  • Walk every day at about the same time.
  • The duration of the walk is at least 40 minutes.
  • Keep your speed at about 5-6 km per hour.
  • Watch your pulse. The optimal pace will be such that you can not calmly maintain a conversation without holding your breath.

    And you should be able to say a simple phrase.

  • The technique of Nordic walking is simple - walk as you prefer and move your hands.

From any physical training, including Nordic walking, there are much more benefits than possible inconveniences. Therefore, try to move more, lead an active lifestyle and do what you like.



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