Common Bad Habits:
Below are some of the most common challenges people have when starting out pole walking. Ultimately these challenges more often than not end up becoming ‘Bad Habits’ for people!
Avoid White Caning
‘Same-legging’ is a term Keenfit has coined to name the incorrect use of walking poles where the user moves the same arm with the same leg instead of walking the more natural movement of opposite leg to hand.
Walking without poles is something we already do naturally – we don’t even think about it… we simply move, walking opposite leg to hand… But something funny happens when people put poles in their hands – it isn’t that they are geeky – it’s just amazing how geeky they can look walking same leg to hand!
To correct this mistake – STOP – start-over. . . as you step forward [with the leg you feel wants to move first] – at the same time extend forward the opposite arm.
Before moving anything else – think about your other arm & it’s opposite leg – Now at the same time move them both forward together – look straight ahead & don’t think – don’t think – don’t think – just walk!
Stop Same Legging
‘White-caning’ is a term Keenfit has coined to name the incorrect use of walking poles where the user extends the foot of the lead pole with a flicking or caulking of the wrist forward out in front of them (Please note there is not meant to be any offense towards people who are truly blind or have sight challenges).
One of the most common mistakes we see is people flicking their walking poles out in front of them – using them like white-canes & causing them to look like large walking praying mantises.
Your walking poles should never be in front of you.
To correct this mistake – Stop – lift your walking poles up off the ground while holding your forearms parallel to the ground – notice how your poles naturally go back on an angle when your hand is in a comfortable ‘handshake’ position.
The secret now is to keep your wrists locked, in that comfortable ‘handshake’ position. There should be no wrist action . . . note how much the wrists have to bend & caulk in order to flick the poles forward – this is not natural, comfortable or effective.
If you don’’t move your wrists your walking poles will automatically stay in the correct angle-back whether you are reaching forward of pulling back – in turn helping you to propel yourself forward & maximizing your follow-through & your benefits.
‘Scuffling’ is a term Keenfit has coined to name the incorrect use of walking poles where the user scuffs the foot of their poles along the ground before planting & pushing off – causing premature wear of their pole feet (Please note – Compression of the pole foot against the ground doesn’t wear them out – but abrasion does).
If you are wearing out your walking pole feet quicker than 4 to 6 months then you are scuffling. Scuffling is not necessarily dragging – it generally happens before planting & pushing off – the pole foot can scrape along the ground anywhere from 1 to 12 inches before planting & pushing off.
Start by listening – it is actually quite easy to hear the walking pole hitting into & scuffing the ground. To correct this mistake – first it is important to become aware that you are scuffling – then to consciously think about how you are bringing your poles forward – being sure that your hands are in the ‘handshake’ position & that your poles are on a backwards angle so that when they hit the ground they are ready to plant & push off – without scuffling.