Monday, May 20, 2019

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.  There is NO CORRECT POLE LENGTH.  There’s only optimal length.

Our techniques are designed to help you use poles efficiently so that you can achieve the many benefits.   Nonoptimal technique can cause strain in your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders – even your neck. Learn how to avoid 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 HIKERS 3 major benefits:

  1. On flat terrain, you get great exercise OR achieve ease of use
  2. On uphill, you improve endurance, posture and power
  3. On downhill, you’ll be at the optimal length to preserve your knees and improve your performance.

Optimal pole length gives people with mobility challenges benefits as well, which include:

  1. Enhanced mobility
  2. Optimal Posture

The traditional teaching on pole length is pervasive and consistent.  Everyone will tell you the same thing (as if every user was exactly the same) – set your poles at a 90 degree bend in the elbow.  Our training is completely, yet subtly different.  Every pole user is different; every person is 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.


One Response to “Why optimal pole length improves performance on the trail”
  1. RedMango says:

    Very nice post!

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