Nordic Walking is walking with specially-designed poles. The poles allow you to involve 90% of all the muscles of your body in one, simple-to-learn fitness activity.


Walking with poles develops greater overall strength, improves cardiovascular function and increases caloric use by up to 40% over regular walk, and it’s FUN!

Nordic Walking has been the fastest growing fitness activity in Germany, Finland, and other European countries over the last 7 years.

While the results of Nordic Walking are impressive, your perceived exertion is no greater than a brisk walk.


Nordic Walking Community:

How to get started

Find a Nordic Walking Professional in your area.

Following notes correspond with the short video clip (above), we were fooling around and decided to use some of the footage to introduce you to this amazing workout! (please forgive blurriness and quality of video). The "real" version is on the newly updated DVD: POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking. Please see the DVD page under the POLES tab. DVD is $14.95

Set pole length

  • Position tip at your heel
  • Elbow at your side with forearm forward
  • Bend in elbow at 90 degree angle
  • When learning, it can help to start with slightly shorter poles.

Set the rubber tip

  • With pole angled forward, the tip should be flush against the ground.
  • Anchor the tip between your feet and twist the pole so your fingers are facing forward.

Nordic Walking – Learning Progression

  1. Shake hands
  2. Arm swing drill
  3. Drag the poles
  4. Lightly capture poles with lower fingers
  5. Raise arms to “shaking hands” position
  6. Notice stride lengthening
  7. Feel the tips bite the ground
  8. Bob Moon Drill for Muscle recruitment
  9. Move and Groove!

Two drills to learn correct arm movement:

  1. Lift arm as if you were extending to shake someone’s hand
  2. Alternate swinging arms without poles
We LOVE Drills!
They facilitate Muscle Memory!

Start walking with poles:

  • Drag the poles
  • Find your rhythm (reciprocal/alternating gait pattern)
  • Stop Thinking!
  • Lightly capture poles with lower fingers
  • Longer lever arm movement
  • Move from the shoulders - no elbow pumping
  • Notice stride lengthening
  • Let the pole tips bite the ground
  • Focus on push thru from shoulder
  • Pressure of the strap is on the base edge of your palm as your straight arm pushes thru
  • Feel the effort in your lats


  • Try walking in grass without rubber tip to get good adhesion
  • If you’re thinking of trying to manage the poles, you’re thinking too much. Focus on moving your arms from your shoulders.
  • Arm moves from the shoulder not the elbow.
  • The long lever length of the arm is what engages the muscles in the back

How to connect back muscles to arms:

The Bob Moon Muscle Recruitment Drill:

  • Tips by heels, extend arms as straight as possible
  • Push against straps for one full breath
  • Hold and release, do this 5 more times

By end of the drill, back muscles begin to fatigue so you’re aware of the connection of the back muscles (especially the latissimus dorsi muscles) to the arm movement

As you really get grooving and giving the pole a good finish, you’ll notice your torso gently rotating as you walk.