How to use Nordic Walking poles ?

Have you just bought your Nordic walking poles and are just preparing for your first walk? To maximise the benefits of Nordic walking and guarantee effective muscular exercise, you need to learn how to use them correctly. Watch this video of Nordic walking basic techniques!

The movement in Nordic walking is a natural one, but with a little technique, you will also work all of the upper body muscles. By pushing down on the poles, you will propel yourself forwards and accentuate the movement of your arms during walking.

In this video, the double world champion of Nordic walking Olivier Capelli will explain all of the movements of Nordic walking. Discover with him a simple exercise for learning the movement of the poles in Nordic walking and understanding how to use the wrist straps to achieve the complete movement.

5 tips to remember before your first Nordic walking session

1 - When one arm moves forwards, the opposing leg moves forwards in step with it

This seems simple, but using poles often leads to a moment of panic and lack of coordination. Try to forget the poles and walk as naturally as possible. As soon as you lose coordination, drop the poles and let them drag along behind you for a few metres before taking them up again.

2 - The pole should be placed in the centre of your stride

The tip facing backwards, the poles between your stride, midway between your 2 feet. In this way they can fulfil their role correctly: propel you forwards when you push with your arms.

3 - Your hand opens up when level with your hip

After you have pushed your poles into the ground, your hand should grip the handle firmly to push it easily using your arm. Once you have propelled yourself, your arm will move backwards. When your body is level with your pole, this is when you should open your hand up completely and let go of the pole to reach your arm backwards. It is in order to complete this movement that Nordic walking poles are equipped with wrist straps: these make it impossible to lose your poles whilst walking!

4 - Stand straight!

Once again, try to forget the poles. Look straight ahead, this will open up your thorax and allow you to breathe to the maximum of your lung capacity, whilst also relieving pressure on your spine.

5 - What about the movement of the feet?

The movement of the foot in Nordic walking is the same as that for active walking, in 3 phases. After the heel hits the ground, the foot unrolls fully until the push off with the big toe.

Now you know how to use your poles correctly during your Nordic walking sessions! You're now ready to put on your Nordic walking shoes, grab your poles and let yourself enjoy the pleasures of this comprehensive sport!


Nordic walking poles are the characteristic feature of this complete sport. Thanks to Nordic walking poles, this sport works out all of the body's muscles. Without them there would be no such thing as Nordic walking! Find out about all of the elements that make a Nordic walking pole with Olivier Capelli, double Nordic walking world champion.