Why optimal pole length improves performance on the trail
I recently saw a video on YouTube about how to set pole length. It was beautifully presented. But it was filled with information, presented as fact that is so contrary to everything we teach that I need to clarify what we teach and why.
Our techniques are designed to help you use poles efficiently so that you can achieve the many benefits. Incorrect technique can cause strain in your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders – even your neck. Learn how not to use the “Death Grip.” The thumb joint is fragile. Reducing knee stress at the expense of a strained or damaged thumb joint is completely counterproductive.
Optimal pole length gives you 3 major benefits:
- On flat terrain, you achieve ease of use and can avoid strain
- On uphill, you improve endurance, posture and power
- On downhill, you’ll be at the optimal length to preserve your knees and improve your performance.
The traditional teaching on pole length is pervasive and consistent. Everyone will tell you exactly the same thing – set your poles at a 90 degree bend in the elbow. Our training is completely, yet subtly different. Walk around on flat terrain with your poles set at 90 degrees. Then try our method, feel the difference, and decide what feels better for the joints of your hands, wrists, elbows and SHOULDERS.
Next post: How to set starting (Baseline) pole length.