Nordic Walking by definition is “Panaerobic”…some estimate that 90% of one’s musculature is involved. Whatever the amount Dr. Schwartz defined it as basically any movement activating all 4 limbs and as much muscle as possible.
It’s a nice alternate day exercise for me – I find it works well doing HeavyHands one day and this the next. HeavyHands really works the shoulders and “lifting” muscles. As the arms go overhead they really get the heart pumping.
Nordic walking works in a slightly different way, moves the “lifting muscles” of the arm and shoulder with light resistance and gives more work to the muscles required to “push off” as the body is propelled forward.
What Nordic walking ISN’T is a Longstrength exercise. By Schwartz’ definition they were rhythmic calesthenics that involved all limbs and can be done for time, not just “reps”.
I also don’t like the lack of hip and quad action that upright walking alone gives. That’s where a Nordic Longstrength move comes in for me.
Basically while standing with arms front, I keep my arms ahead (usually more straight than shown) and sink back into a hip hinge. The return to standing is by a movement that resembles a kettlebell swing, i.e. a hip thrust while – to one degree or another – using the lat muscles to pull upright as well.
It’s a great posterior chain exercise and lat exercise. I got the idea from “gruntbrain” and his poles with “T” handles and from kettlebell swinging.
Though it can be done as a braced knee bend, in my opinion the hip hinge and lat action keep it quick paced and easier on the knees.
Currently I use it to fill in gaps on the walk when I’d otherwise be inactive for some reason or if my path on a given day might not have much up hill work.
Now that I’ve found my “groove” in the exercise (doing it as a hip hinge instead of a squat made it faster and more enjoyable), it’s time to ramp up some reps and see how they go.
What other Longstrength exercises do you see as possible using Nordic Walking Poles?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!