> Les Conseils d’Arja

The advice of Arja Jalkanen-Meyer, a specialist

A good Nordic walking session last between 1h30 and 2h and takes place in three steps :

                                               1. WARM UP!
Remember to warm up from head to toe, without forgetting your fingers, by small flexions, rotations and pendulum movements.
Prepare your body for exercise by doing 10 repetitions per limb of the following exercises :
- Hold the sticks horizontally at your sides, and turn your head slowly to the right and left.
- Sticks horizontally at your sides, make small circles with your shoulders, without moving the bust. Then reverse the direction of rotation.
- Place the head to tail sticks horizontally in front of your chest, spread your feet to hip width and flex your legs. Rotate your chest by pushing one shoulder forward at a time.
- Plant the sticks on the ground in front of you, and move your pelvis from left to right. Then repeat the movement of the pelvis from front to back.
- Keep your sticks planted in the ground, and climb your knees alternately with your legs.
- Sticks on the ground, lift one leg and gently swing it back and forth. Then repeat the leg balance by crossing left and right.
- Bend your half-squat legs, keeping your back straight.
- Make small rotations with one ankle, then with the other.
- Put your hands in the loops and lift the sticks in front of you. Release and squeeze the handles of your sticks alternately with your hands.
- Point your poles back and make sure you have room behind you. Swing the arms back and forth alternately in a wide movement.
     >  Adjust the straps, and walk well! 

                                                                              2. NORDIC WALK ! 

The movement of Nordic walking resumes that of ordinary walking with a natural pendulum arm-leg opposite. To get the right gesture :

- Move one arm forward and grasp the stick with your hand. Place the tip on the ground, under your pelvis, tilting the stick backwards.
- Move the opposite leg to the arm, knee slightly bent. Put the heel down first.
- Push on the stick until the arm is extended backwards. Open your hand by releasing the grip of your fingers on the stick.
- Push hard with the back leg and propel with the foot.
- Straighten the bust by tilting it slightly forward all the time. Open your chest.
- Straighten your head and look away.
- The opposite stick and foot land on the ground at about the same time.
- The poles remain permanently inclined backwards. Plant the stick behind your centre of gravity.
- Enlarge your steps gradually.
- A posture too straight pushes the body up and back, not forward.
- If the stick is planted too much in front of the body, it slows down the advance instead of helping it.
- If the front knee is stretched, the leg no longer fulfils its forward traction role.
- If the back arm does not push enough and if the hand remains tight on the stick, you lose a lot of propulsion force.
- Too small steps do not propel enough.



Look for a quiet place out of the wind and rain, drink some water, loosen your loops and do the following stretches. Hold each position for about 5 deep breaths. Stay still in positions, avoid swinging or bumping.

Stretch as follows: 
  • Plant the sticks on the ground in front of you. Spread your feet and tilt your chest forward, keeping your arms straight and your back flat. To raise the bust at the end, bend the legs.
  • Plant the sticks apart at your sides and spread your feet to hip width, bend your knees. Push your arms backwards while keeping your torso still in an upright position.
  • Place the two poles on your left, bend your left leg and tilt your chest towards the poles. Lift your right arm over your head and push your hand up. Then repeat by reversing the direction.
  • Sticks standing beside you, take a big step back. Bend the front leg and extend the rear leg. Push the back heel back and the pelvis down and forward. To get back up, first bring the back foot under the body, then stand up slowly. Then repeat the same movement with the other leg.
  • Place the sticks horizontally in front of you and grab them in the middle. Bend your arms, bring your hands back towards your stomach and push your elbows forward over your sticks. Allow the upper back to round but stand upright. Then stand up straight and open your shoulders. Finish by shaking your shoulders and the rest of your body.

     > Another good yawn, drink some water, and enjoy the shower !

>> To go further, don't hesitate to get the book + DVD of Arja Jalkanen-Meyer and to discover his website !


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