I’m often asked to check a walker’s technique and give them some coaching tips. We all want to get the most out of our Nordic walk and really you’re probably doing just fine. But you can always listen closely to get some feedback from your own walk.
First, listen to your tips connecting to the ground. Do they land softly or do they jab the ground? Your pole should follow your arm swing and the tip should land gently, remember that Nordic Walking is low impact. No stabbing the ground, let your pole tip find the ground and begin the follow through.
Next, listen to your actual footstep. Is it quiet? Does your heel land softly followed by your foot rolling through and off the toes in a fluid motion? Or does your heel hit and the rest of your foot slap down onto the ground. There are many factors that might inhibit a smooth transition between heel and toe. It could be that you have a fairly rigid foot and need to work on flexibility. A stiff soled shoe can also be a contributing factor. You might be over striding. Think low impact and land lightly onto each step.
Finally listen to the rhythm created by the landing of the pole tip and your heel with each step. The tip should land first with the heel right behind it. Listen for a slight syncopation of the two contacts while you walk. It helps to take the rubber tips off and walk on a hard surface to make it easier to hear.
Having trouble listening? Get a friend to take a video you Nordic walking and do a self assessment from what you see.