The top 5 errors made by beginner Nordic walkers: how to avoid them

Are you planning to start Nordic walking or have you just started?To help you to learn the right way to do it, we will give you some valuable tips for Nordic walking so that you can make fast progress. At the end of this article, you'll be able to simply grab your Nordic walking poles and walk!

1 - Choosing Nordic walking poles that are too long or too short

The size of your poles is very important in achieving the right movements in Nordic walking. Choosing a pair of poles of your height will aid in propelling you forwards, therefore effectively working the muscles in action, but also extending the movement by stretching the arms out behind you as far as possible.

If your poles are too long, you will have difficulty propelling yourself. If they are too short, the movement will not be ample enough.

2 - "Ambling"

During your Nordic walking sessions, you should aim to walk as naturally as possible: the foot which is on the ground should be opposing the hand which is pushing the pole into the ground. The poles simple accentuate the movement of your arms. The most common error made by beginners to Nordic walking is thinking too much about their poles and ending up ambling, or walking by coordinating the arm and leg on the same side.

To correct this, simply stop, and start walking again leaving your poles to drag along behind you, thanks to your wrist straps. When you feel ready, take up the poles once more and start to drive them into the ground in step with your natural stride.

3 - Driving the poles into the ground in front or behind your steps

For an efficient movement, drive the Nordic walking poles into the right place: mid-way between your two feet. This gives the poles the correct angle to be able to propel you forwards and works your muscles correctly, but it also ensures that you complete the full movement.

If they are driven in too far in front of you, it will be difficult to push against the poles and will strain your joints until you injure yourself, and conversely if you drive your poles in too far back, you will not be able to push to the maximum on your poles and effectively tone your upper body.

4 - Keep your Nordic walking poles in your hands

If you want to maximise your Nordic walking sessions to tone yourself up and work your cardio, your movements must be as full as possible: hold the poles firmly in your hands at the moment you are driving your poles into the ground, but let them go when they are level with your hips in order to stretch your arm fully out behind you.

By keeping your pole in your hand throughout the movement, you will have difficulty reaching back as far as possible with your arm.

Don't worry! Nordic walking poles are equipped with wrist straps which allow you to drop your poles during walking without risk of losing them!

5 - Walking in the wrong shoes

Your feet have specific needs during Nordic walking, so your comfort and therefore the pleasure you will gain from your sessions is largely dependent on your choice of footwear!

For Nordic walking, you will often be walking on slippery and damp ground. This is why you need sports shoes with maximum grip, but also with good flexibility to ensure that your foot can unroll correctly and guarantee your comfort.

So forget rigid hiking boots and flimsy trainers, nothing is better than a pair of shoes specifically designed for Nordic walking!

Now, you know all the pitfalls! Now you know all there is to know to start Nordic walking and make fast progress, so grab your poles and get the most out of your next session!


Using Nordic walking poles properly allows you to master the most fundamental Nordic walking technique: moving the poles to better propel yourself on to new walking sensations.

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Nordic walking is dynamic walking that is practised using 2 special poles. Using poles means that you can exaggerate the arms' natural movement to propel the body forward. Thanks to this propulsion from the poles, Nordic walking is thus faster and works out the whole body.