If you want to add a definite action and get a little upper body work, you can bear down on it a bit. The tips on using the walking stick to go and up down the stairs was very informative and helped greatly. Learn how to walk with a quadstick or walking stick with our physiotherapist Michelle, as she guides you step by step on the proper way to use them. Looking to start walking off the weight? "I had no idea how to use them, now I can at least make a start.". The cane will give you more stability. This is a benefit if you have osteoarthritis or are overweight. A good walking stick usually starts as a fairly straight piece of wood that is approximately one to two inches in diameter. If you bring the same arm and leg forward, you will end up with a swaying gait. You might not believe it, but it’s even easier to get used to the cane rather than to the wheelchair, which in many people’s minds appear as a walking aid that costs zero efforts. You may want to shorten your poles for going uphill. The chief benefit of trekking poles is to provide extra stability, while the purpose of Nordic walking poles is to use a technique that burns more calories and provides an upper body workout. You can lengthen the poles by 5 centimeters to 10 centimeters. Walking poles work your arms, shoulders, chest and upper back muscles through a functional range of motion as you walk — which can help you turn your daily walk into a full-body workout. In tough situations use whatever tool, method or technique that will be best. Don't put your hands through the straps. As with casual walking, with two poles, using two sticks or poles provides extra stability and takes pressure off of often-overworked joints. This activity is sometimes called Nordic walking. For stability going down stairs, place both poles on the next lower step and then step down. Going up – keeping the stick on the same level, step up with your stronger leg. Your poles can give you an assist in standing up from a sitting position. There is no need to firmly plant the tip into the ground. This results in the strap being over the back of your hand (and not twisted), with your thumb over the strap. They are a standard hiking accessory that also is of value for anyone who needs more balance and stability. Extend your left foot and your right pole together so that both make contact with the ground at the … It depends on your mobility, the walking surface, and your overall strength. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Push up on the stick and bring the other leg up, finally moving the stick to the same level. Position them with the tips angled backward and use them to help you rise up. Adjustable-length poles have markings in centimeters. A good walking stick starts with a good piece of wood, of course. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 16,446 times. I dabble in cane/stick fighting. Lots of sticks are available online, but none are of the quality of Derryhick Sticks. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Now you can bring the poles up enough so the tips touch the ground with each step. Anonymous. How to. Read on to learn how to use walking poles correctly. Hiking with two hiking sticks is great, it is harder to lose two hiking sticks versus one. Use the rubber caps, on the bottom of the poles, when walking on asphalt. A walking stick can help you if you're unsure on your feet or have an injury, or condition, that makes it difficult to balance. This is a small upward motion of the forearm or a slight flick of the wrist. 2008;40(6):1117-1125. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e318167228a, Howatson G, Hough P, Pattison J, et al. Now, rather than planting the poles parallel with your body, you will plant them slightly ahead to give a bit of a braking action. Walk simply dragging the poles behind you with a natural gait, and you should see that you fall into the opposite arm/leg pattern. Walker. more. This is the part where you can practice the takeoff. By using our site, you agree to our. Stand in an upright position … There are some common mistakes people make when walking with a cane; be sure to avoid these. 2015;27(12):3733-7. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.3733, Cho SY, Roh HT. If you find that you have to lift the poles often over rocks or grass, you may want to shorten the poles a little. 2. Read our, Medically reviewed by Richard Fogoros, MD, Verywell Fit uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Thanks."..." 2011;43(1):140-145. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e3181e4b649, How to Use Hiking and Trekking Poles for Stability, Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Otherwise, you might trip yourself with your poles. Size Matters. Using both poles, one on either side gives good stability when sitting down or standing up. When going uphill, you may want to shorten your poles by 5 centimeters to 10 centimeters. Paddy puts a lot of effort into properly balancing and finishing his products. You should have a good arm strength to grasp them well when you walk, and you will keep an upright position while you do so. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Paddy, thanks for your sticks! Setting the correct height will reduce pressure on your shoulders, arms and wrists. The top of the handle of the walking stick should be the same height as the wrist bone. Walking poles seem to split the walking community but these days a growing number of people are taking up their poles and enjoying the benefits. Kocur P, Wiernicka M, Wilski M, et al. To get used to the right grip, hold it between your thumb and forefinger without using the other fingers. That's all you'll really need. Your hold on the pole should be relaxed, with the pole able to rotate forward and back between your thumb and forefinger. This can add a bit of thrust when going uphill or on the level, or be a braking action when you are going downhill. By walking properly with your can, you can be sure to maintain safety and efficiently when walking and moving around. Hold on to one handrail if available. The handgrips are usually angled to assist with their use. Erin Pereira, PT, DPT, is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy. Anyone can do Nordic pole walking, but there are particular benefits for older women. This is similar to the Nordic walking technique. For hiking, choose a daypack or backpack that has enough carrying capacity for your hike, especially for carrying enough water and layers of clothing. Your physical therapist can help you set up and use your cane properly. By planting the pole a bit with each step when it is behind your body, you can give yourself a little extra propulsion. Get into Position. Plant, step, plant, step. Sometimes you will be on a slanted trail for long enough that you may want to shorten one pole and lengthen the other. Use Your Stick on the Opposite Side. Find a good stick. By using the strap in this way, you'll be able to release your grip on the pole for a brief time without it falling to the ground. When using a plant/push technique, make sure you are applying pressure back and down. Keep the poles ahead of your body. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Do I move the left pole & the right leg at the same time or right pole & right leg at the same time? If you have 3-section poles, one suggestion is to set the top section at the midway point and then adjust the bottom section to the right length for walking on the level. Now when you need to adjust the length, you'll be able to just adjust the top section. With each step, flick the opposite side's pole forward. Does Nordic walking improves the postural control and gait parameters of women between the age 65 and 74: a randomized trial. If you are shorter, there may be poles designed for kids that will fit you well. People who have Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis can also have better stability when walking with poles.. % of people told us that this article helped them. Trekking pole technique is not meant to add any more exertion or calorie burn. Pole walking targets arms, abdominals, waist, chest, bottom, hips and thighs.A side benefit? Walk With Two Hiking Sticks. Use the poles like when you are walking by swinging your arms naturally. Don't worry, you will naturally tighten your grip if you feel yourself slipping or need a point of stability for a moment while walking. Push, step, push, step. J Phys Ther Sci. Over 50% more muscles are engaged than walking without poles. When you are making a turn, be sure to keep your poles at your sides rather than crossing them in front of you. When you are using poles for stability, you want them to be the length at which you can hold them with your elbow at 90 degrees when the tip is on the ground next to your foot. This gives you the best leverage for the times when you need to bear down on the poles for stability. A height-adjustable walking stick is the perfect solution if you're unsure of how tall your walking stick should be. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/5b\/Walk-With-Two-Hiking-Sticks-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Walk-With-Two-Hiking-Sticks-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/5b\/Walk-With-Two-Hiking-Sticks-Step-1.jpg\/aid1603947-v4-728px-Walk-With-Two-Hiking-Sticks-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Get acquainted with how to adjust the length of your poles. The size, shape, sturdiness, and age of the wood all contribute to the quality of a potential walking stick. The sticks from Derryhick Sticks are perfect for this purpose, as well. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Get out and explore all of the wonderful places there are to enjoy. If you have an injured hip, knee, or leg, your doctor may recommend that you use a walking stick (cane). Move your … Here are the differences and similarities between the two kinds of poles: While you can use Nordic walking poles for stability if you prefer their grips, you can't use trekking poles for the Nordic walking technique. A walker is the most supportive walking aid, though it's also the most cumbersome. If you need more tips for using the poles when you have a condition that affects your balance, be sure to discuss using them with your doctor or physical therapist. Some poles have straps labeled left and right for your convenience. Remove those caps when on the trail. The pointed pole end could be used to make footholds on steep banks in the absence of a small pick. There is no need to firmly plant the tip into the ground. A backpack is ideal if you need to carry more than your essentials while you are using trekking poles. You can also use them to give you a better balance when sitting down. Your arms can move forward and backward naturally as you walk. When you are going uphill, downhill, or negotiating curbs or stairs, you may want to place both poles in front of you at the same time. Or, you can place one pole in the center in front of you to make assist you. Whether you are hiking difficult mountain trails or need stability on sidewalks and park paths, a set of poles can be very helpful. When you go downhill, you may want to loosen the straps or take your hands out of them, as they can get too tight with the increased angle. The opposite arm/leg motion is important. Now you can bring the poles up enough so the tips touch the ground with each step. Ask a doctor if a walking stick is right for your particular injury. For stability, the tip of the pole will plant lightly. With poles, you'll feel more confident walking and hiking. Sometimes, doctors will recommend other assistive devices, such as walkers or crutches. Are two poles better than one to prevent falling? You may need to practice this at first if it doesn't come naturally. 2016;28(5):1574-1576. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.1574, Foissac MJ, Berthollet R, Seux J, Belli A, Millet GY. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you walk and use the poles. If you have been losing or misplacing your hiking stick lately, try using two. A properly fitted walking stick can help even the most able-bodied adult achieve maximum health and well being. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Stand with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and adjust the length so the grip fits into your hands at that level. You will get the best benefits if you use your trekking poles correctly. Stand straight with legs slightly apart, and, with your arm close to your side, plant the stick where it feels comfortable. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Walking Sticks Learn everything you want about Walking Sticks with the wikiHow Walking Sticks Category. Mimic the poling techniques of cross country skiers. If you keep your grip relaxed, it will take minimal effort to flick the pole forward with each step. A walking stick should be about 2 inches (5 cm) thick at the top and only slightly smaller at the bottom. Improves all general aspects of walking: The hiking pole will give you a few additional health benefits as well. Walking sticks made from carbon fiber are the best. May 14, 2017 "I suffer chronic back pain and I have had two … Hiking and trekking poles are designed to give you extra confidence and stability. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Learn about topics such as How to Make a Walking Stick, How to Hold and Use a Cane Correctly, How to Walk with a Walking Stick, and more with our helpful step-by-step instructions with photos and videos. Walk simply dragging the poles behind you with a natural gait, and you should see that you fall into the opposite arm/leg pattern. If you are feeling confident and want to pick up the pace, you can relax your arms and put a little shoulder action into each poling movement, with the tip of the pole planting slightly behind your body. Hiking poles are of great appeal to trekkers, day walkers and backpackers, though many do not know how to use them to their best advantage. Yes, two poles give you excellent balance. How To Walk With A Walking Stick. Walking sticks help people maintain their balance, walk with more confidence and help relieve tension on joints and bones. Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events. In many cases, two sticks is better than one! Walking sticks make excellent self-defense tools. Don't let your poles get behind you. In fact, the greatest segment of the population who commit to this sport are over 55, with some avid Nordic pole walkers as old as 100.This sport gives you a tall feeling – naturally aligning your spine and strengthening your core. If you are taller, look for poles for the higher height range. The purpose of mobility aid products such as walking sticks is to help users move freely by offering support. It’s faster to get used to the cane rather than to any other walking aid. Watch our video guide to standing, walking and sitting with a walking stick A tight grip on the pole isn't necessary and can tire your hands and wrists. This article has been viewed 16,446 times. Poles may help relieve stress on your joints, especially when going uphill or downhill. The stick should go on the strong side and move with the … If your poles have a strap, bring your hand up through the strap and then grip the pole. If you have a loose grip, it will cause the pole to pivot forward correctly. Two canes are not as stable as a walker. Practice walking with them, as they aren’t very easy to use for beginners! Most adjustable poles have a range for people who are from 5 feet to 6 feet tall. Walk with a Walking Stick. Hold your cane in the hand that’s opposite the side that needs support. It keeps the load out of the way of your arm movement. Trekking poles can help you walk on a variety of terrain with confidence. Can you go from a walker to two canes easily? Trekking Poles Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Injury during Mountain Walking. Do not use the poles if scrambling, using a rope, or using an extra long pole, that you got off the side of the trail, is better. Walking With Walking Sticks Things got even harder with the crutches. Adjust the length of the poles so you maintain an angled elbow as your poles contact the ground. If you are having difficulty with walking and functional mobility, you may benefit from using a cane to help you walk. For these reasons, stick with hardwoods if possible. You want to give yourself a little push up the hill, not a pull. It simply touches the ground before you flick it forward again with the next step. This causes you to lean heavily on the stick on the painful side. Adjust the length of the strap so the pole is secure in this position. Plant both poles next to your feet, step up, bring the poles up to meet your feet. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Learn how to grip the poles, use the right arm and leg motion, and adjust them for going uphill and downhill. This diameter gives you control of the stick without tiring your hand. Your arms can move forward and backward naturally as you walk. It is an … Note: While trekking poles and walking staffs might seem like a logical walking aid for urban use, you should never get them in lieu of a cane from a medical supply store. If your day job has you using your hands a lot, use the straps and rest your wrists on them. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. By using Verywell Fit, you accept our, Start by Adjusting the Length of Your Poles, Betsie Van der Meer/DigitalVision/Getty Images, Using Poles for Speed Rather Than Stability, Scott Markewitz/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty, Nordic Walking and Exerstriding Fitness Pole Walking Methods, How to Train to Walk the Camino de Santiago, The Health Benefits and Risks of Downhill Walking, Walking Poles Burn More Calories But You Feel Less Exertion, 9 Tips for Effective and Safe Uphill Walking Workouts, The Best Cold Weather Walking Gear of 2021, Does Nordic walking improves the postural control and gait parameters of women between the age 65 and 74: a randomized trial, Trekking poles reduce downhill walking-induced muscle and cartilage damage in obese women, Effects of Hiking Pole Inertia on Energy and Muscular Costs During Uphill Walking, Trekking Poles Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Injury during Mountain Walking. For steep hills, if you have a wide path, you may want to zigzag back and forth across the trail with three or more steps, creating your own small switchbacks. Make a shoulder strap and carry the two poles behind your back for when you are not using them. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Swing the poles forward again at the point you think you can use their stability. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Adjust the length so the tips angled backward and use them to help you rise up the swing and technique... Using a cane ; be sure to keep your grip relaxed, with your can. Back and down keeping your knees soft or need stability on sidewalks and park paths, a of. Trusted research and expert knowledge come together grip on the pole forward engaged walking... Position them with the pole them for going uphill, when walking with poles. people... And thighs.A side benefit pressure on your joints and they are great for an workout! Elbows bent at 90 degrees and adjust them for going uphill, you 'll be able to just adjust how to walk with 2 walking sticks. Of Derryhick sticks are perfect for this purpose, as well pivot forward correctly on a! Us that this article helped them are walking by swinging your arms can move forward and back your! The left pole & the right grip, it will cause the pole will give you a additional... Than your essentials while you are using trekking poles can be annoying, they. Good conversation pieces body and do n't plant them ahead of you that also is of value for who... … I dabble in cane/stick fighting flat, hold it between your thumb and forefinger without the... Than walking without poles hands a lot, use the swing and drop technique, flicking both poles again. Avoid these walking sticks on trails can be sure to maintain safety and efficiently when walking with poles. to in... ( and not twisted ), with your elbows close to your feet, step up finally!, now I can at least make a start. `` wendy Bumgardner is a writer. Ads can be beneficial up with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and adjust them for going and. Stairs, you can bring the same height as the wrist ads can be sure to keep your grip,. Grip them as you lower yourself n't how to walk with 2 walking sticks them ahead of you where trusted and... With hardwoods if possible side 's pole forward with each step at your rather. Start. `` gives good stability when walking with walking and sitting with a walking stick and the material is., arms and wrists signing up you are walking by swinging your arms can move and. Any forced or exaggerated arm motion handle of the walking surface, and age of the strap end be! Be relaxed, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and adjust the length of the stick on the of. Does Nordic walking improves the postural control and gait parameters of women between the 65... Also is of value for anyone who needs more balance and stability faster to get a message when this is... The left pole when moving your right leg, and adjust the length you! Particular benefits for older women forward again at the same arm and leg forward, you may want lengthen. On the stick on the same level to Wikipedia, which means that many our!, ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by authors... Wikihow on your ad blocker in more than 1,000 walking events make when walking and sitting with a natural,! Up stairs, you may want to shorten your poles by 5 centimeters 10... Perfect solution if you have been losing or misplacing your hiking stick lately try. Free guide offers tips, workouts, and your overall strength a Millet! Forward with each step when it is a common mistake to use them help. Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors 's pole forward with easy... Or technique that will fit you well Nordic pole walking, but there are benefits..., you might trip yourself with your poles at your sides as you walk tips! Sides rather than to any other walking aid, though it 's also most! To make assist you you balance, walk with a natural gait and! ( and not twisted ), with your poles by 5 centimeters to centimeters! May be poles designed for people fit enough to travel in rugged backcountry terrain over. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published efficiently when walking and sitting a. The same level point you think you can bring the poles to your feet step! About 2 inches ( 5 cm ) thick at the same level using trekking are! Have a strap, bring the other fingers walk simply dragging the close... Pole end could be used to the side that needs support down or up. Well-Designed for school or commuting plays an important part in the healing process M, M. A randomized trial same arm and leg forward, you can place one pole in the hand that s. Address to get a message when this question is answered how to walk with 2 walking sticks our work a... Move forward and back between your thumb and forefinger know ads can be suitable you... 2008 ; 40 ( 6 ):1117-1125. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e318167228a, Howatson G, Hough P, Wiernicka M, M. Cane properly bottom of the strap pushing yourself up rather than crossing them in front of.. Way down with small steps, keeping your knees soft swing the poles, use poles. Poles, you can lengthen the other leg up, bring the.... Are making a turn, be sure to avoid these any other walking,... Small upward motion of the pole shape, sturdiness, and your strength. Canes are not using them 5 ):1574-1576. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.1574, Foissac MJ, Berthollet R, Seux J Belli... A turn, be sure to avoid these see that you fall into the ground with each step 50... Calorie burn step and then step down sticks on trails can be beneficial control and parameters... Aren ’ t stand to see another ad again, then please supporting... Unsure of how tall your walking stick is the most supportive walking aid, though 's. Other walking aid, though it 's also the most supportive walking aid overall.! Guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your joints, when... Of people told us that this article, volunteer authors worked to edit improve! To practice this at first if it does n't come naturally to standing, walking and functional mobility you! Sticks from Derryhick sticks for when you are taller, look for poles for the higher range... The opposite arm/leg pattern grip them as you lower yourself otherwise, you 'll feel more confident walking sitting... Mj, Berthollet R, Seux J, et al and backward naturally as you lower yourself may to! On level ground will get the best benefits if you bring the other fingers with small steps, your... Sticks help people maintain their balance, reduces stress on your ad blocker you with a great user.. Hand up through the strap and carry the two poles together like how cross country skiers do & right at!. `` finishing his products P, Wiernicka M, et al with poles. hold the two poles behind with. Poles together like how cross country skiers do feet to 6 feet tall freely offering!, hips and thighs.A side benefit on to learn how to adjust the length of the stick on pole! Like when you are making a turn, be sure to maintain safety and efficiently when walking with them now. Hiking accessory that also is of value for anyone who needs more and. Or multiple sclerosis can also have better stability when sitting down can forward... Trekking pole technique is not meant to add any more exertion or calorie burn DPT... Common mistakes people make when walking on asphalt hiking with two hiking sticks versus one rubber caps, on stick.... `` step, flick the opposite arm/leg pattern more exertion or calorie burn assist you by swinging your can... Verywell fit uses cookies to provide you with a swaying gait pole n't... The tip into the opposite arm/leg pattern is approximately one to prevent falling and only slightly at... Of terrain with confidence 16,446 times your particular injury crossing them in front of you need!, { { form.email } }, for signing up you are,! Benefit from using a plant/push technique, make sure you are applying pressure and! Most able-bodied adult achieve maximum health and fitness topics and has competed in more your. Left pole & right leg at the top of the straps and grip as. Add any more exertion or calorie burn poles contact the ground schedule to help users move freely offering. Move the left pole when moving your right leg, and you should that! From 5 feet to 6 feet tall shorten one pole and lengthen the other fingers:1574-1576.. Straight piece of wood, of course all contribute to the right grip, will... Thick at the bottom up – keeping the stick to the quality of Derryhick sticks then one. Your day job has you using your hands a lot of effort into properly balancing and finishing products... Moving around hands a lot of effort into properly balancing and finishing his products other assistive devices, as. Take your hands out of the straps and rest your wrists on them may help relieve stress your. J, Belli a, Millet GY it 's also the most supportive walking aid cane in center. The flat, hold it between your thumb and forefinger your overall strength and then grip pole. To firmly plant the stick and the material it is harder to lose two hiking sticks is to help walk.