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Old 07-09-2008, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Default Nordic Poles vs. Trekking Poles

You might think that Nordic poles and trekking poles are the same, but that's not true. They are actually quite different. Nordic poles are used for the sport "Nordic walking." According to an article on About.com about their differences:

"The exerstriding [walking with trekking poles] technique has the walker extend the pole forwards and plant it while the arm is at the handshake position. The walker then pushes the pole firmly while stepping forward, like a pump handle. The flared bottom portion of the grip allows for putting pressure on the pole during this arm stroke. The walker keeps a grip on the pole handle at all times.

In Nordic walking, the poles are continuously angled backwards and the pole plant comes when the arm is bent, then a more gentle resistance is given while stepping forward. The hand eventually releases the pole completely on the backstroke, with the glove or strap snapping the pole grip back into the palm as it comes forward."

Because the Nordic walker has to let go of the poles with each stride, it does not match the benefit of trekking poles, which provide maximum support. For this reason, ActiveMSers recommends traditional trekking poles for walking if you have balance issues.
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