If you’ve ever seen hikers confidently striding along with their hiking poles, you might have wondered what all the fuss is about. As we’ve discussed in our Walking Poles Benefits article, hiking poles can provide stability, improve posture, and even help you burn more calories. But how do you actually use them effectively? In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of using hiking poles, from adjusting them to mastering the perfect walking technique.
Step 1: Choose the Right Hiking Poles
Before you can learn how to use hiking poles, you’ll need to choose the perfect pair for your needs. Factors to consider include adjustability, weight, grip, and material. For a wide selection of high-quality poles, check out Rock & Mountain’s range of Hiking Poles.
Step 2: Adjust Your Hiking Poles to the Correct Length
Once you’ve got your hands on the perfect pair of poles, it’s time to adjust them to the correct length. To do this, stand upright and hold the poles with your tips touching the ground. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle. If necessary, adjust the length of the poles until you achieve this angle.
Step 3: Get a Grip on Your Hiking Poles
Now that your poles are the correct length, it’s time to get to grips with how to hold them. Slide your hand through the strap from the bottom, then grasp the handle, with the strap resting comfortably against the back of your hand. This will help distribute your weight evenly across your hand and reduce the risk of blisters.
Step 4: Master the Art of Walking with Hiking Poles
With your poles adjusted and your grip perfected, it’s time to start walking! Begin by planting the pole on the opposite side of your forward foot (right pole with left foot, and vice versa). This alternating pattern helps to maintain balance and distribute your weight more evenly.
As you walk, focus on maintaining a natural arm swing and avoid overextending your arm when planting the pole. This will help you conserve energy and minimise strain on your joints. Remember to adjust your pole length when navigating steep inclines or declines, shortening the poles for uphill sections and lengthening them for downhill stretches.
Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice
As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. The more you use your hiking poles, the more comfortable and efficient you’ll become. So hit the trails, explore new terrain, and enjoy the added benefits that hiking poles bring to your outdoor adventures.
In Conclusion: Get Out There and Conquer the Trails with Your Hiking Poles
Now that you know how to use hiking poles, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. By following our step-by-step guide, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards of using hiking poles, including increased stability, improved posture, and a more efficient full-body workout. So grab your Hiking Poles, lace up your boots, and embark on your next adventure with confidence. Happy hiking!