Please note that our straps are marked "left" and "right". There are three strap openings. • The medium sized opening is the one to slide your entire hand into. • The "Swix" or "Exel" logo and buckle should be on the top of the hand and the thumb in the thumb opening (smallest opening). • Keep the fingers loose and relaxed! Don’t statically grip the poles – let the straps do the work.
* the little loop at the top of the pole is for adjusting to hand size and providing a little extra room for gloves/mittens on cold days. Apply pressure down through the strap - behind the little finger (the heel of the hand). These straps allow you to push back against the poles without gripping the poles. Remember to keep your fingers loose and relaxed! Skiers get cold hands from giving their poles the death grip.
The Basic Technique: Always keep the poles slightly angled back. Nordic Ski Walking is not a hand above your heart type of exercise. Your hands and feet work opposite – when you lead with your right foot be sure to lead with your left hand (just like crosscountry skiing). Keep your fingers loose and relaxed. The pole plant is not out in front of you - it is only as far forward as the heel of the opposing foot (plant the right pole tip inline with the heel of your left foot). Let the fancy straps do the work – don’t squeeze the poles. As you become more comfortable start to "push" off a little after every pole plant – put the pressure on the strap (feeling the pressure on the heel of your hand).
Nordic Walking Introduction 1. With the Nordic Ski Walking Poles strapped on, the fingers super loose (don’t squeeze the pole grips), the arms relaxed and down at your side and the poles angled back – start walking without moving your arms, just let them hang straight down at your side. Just let the rubber pole tips drag along the ground. * Try this for 10-20 feet
2. Now, start to gradually swing your arms just like you would while casually walking. Continue to let the rubber pole tips drag. Keep the fingers super loose. When your right foot comes forward so does your left hand. * Try this for 20-30 feet
3. Fantastic! Keep those fingers really, really loose, poles angled back and now start to push back on the poles entirely by using the strap – don’t grip the pole, let your hands push down through the straps to help push and propel you along. Feel the pressure on the heel of your hand. You should feel the pushing starting to really work your arms. * Take as much time as you need with this one - 100 feet or around the block?
4. Great! Continue to keep your fingers relaxed and don't squeeze the poles (feel the pressure in the heel of your hand as you push back) and stop dragging the rubber tips on the ground. There is no need to drag the poles - I tell the skiers that I coach to pretend they are poking Snow Snakes. The lead pole never goes further ahead than the opposing lead foot’s heel. And the poles are slightly angled back. The motion isn’t out in front (except for balance when negotiating a log, the curb, ice patch or a steep downhill. Have FUN!