Until recently, training poles were mainly used by skiers. Using them in other forms of activity has become popular in recent years. There are many types of poles of various designs.
Poles are very commonly used in several disciplines:
· during pedestrian training, e.g. Nordic walking .
· During mountain hiking, i.e. Trekking ,
· when running on unpaved terrain (mainly in the mountains and mountain marathons).
We have a number of types of poles at our disposal that will improve the effectiveness of our training or relieve our legs during hiking. Poles are not only a suitable solution for long mountain hikes or for covering long distances on foot. Walking with poles is a very good way to warm up the upper body and lungs, which in turn increases the efficiency of breathing. We can transfer as much as 40% of the body weight using training sticks. Therefore, it is also worth moving short distances with poles. From cross-country skiing, even the so-called "Nordic walking", which is practiced even when walking on asphalt. However, this term should not be treated too orthodox
Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that, as a consequence, the strengthening of the overall efficiency of the body can lead to rapid fatigue. It is a great idea for a quick, effective and sustainable training in the city, but not always this type of activity will be beneficial for long mountain treks. Then it is worth being able to fold the poles and attach them to the backpack - two factors become important here: the weight and the method of folding the stick. Alpine poles are ideal for hiking in the high parts of the mountains, incl. for climbers.
Also remember to warm up! Just like in the gym, when you work your hands without warming up, you can get inflamed joints of the wrists and possibly even the elbows. It is also very important to stretch your arms.
We have several types of sticks! Some of their features complement each other, so you can choose the product to your individual needs. The availability of walking poles is huge. They appear not only in sports supermarkets, but sometimes even in food discount stores. However, it is worth checking their quality before buying the product, because a cheap, low-quality stick will quickly land in a roadside trash can.
I. Sticks with cork handle.
They improve comfort and grip. Very advantageous when walking in winter, when warm hands do not lose temperature thanks to the cork surface.
II. Walking sticks, not foldable.
This is a very good and cheap option for people walking on a paved area or only locally, who do not need to fold the stick. These types of poles, similar to ski poles, are cheap and simple in construction. By purchasing this type of structure at a reasonable price, we have a guarantee that they do not wear out too quickly.
III. Sticks with a shock absorber
Advantages: they increase comfort.
Disadvantages: can wear out quickly due to the limited strength of the shock absorbers.
IV. Poles without shock absorber
Probably the best option for trekking trips to the mountains and long-lasting - less likely to wear out.
Cons: May be too heavy for moderate exercise such as Nordic walking.
Advantages: structural stability.
V. Sticks with different folding options.
We have two techniques for folding the clubs. We can choose one that folds and unfolds by rotation on a special thread. Cheap sticks of this type can be problematic. This technique most often applies to poles with a shock absorber.
Latches are much simpler, necessarily made of hard plastic or metal. The plastic latches broke quickly. Such high-quality sticks guarantee their longevity when hiking in any conditions. There are also Z-Pole folding sticks as below.
VI. Nordic walking sticks
These are sticks with a structure with a special hand-holding strap.
Pros: Good for balance training - they do not require a firm grip and fit firmly to the hand.
Disadvantages: their utility is limited during mountain hiking. Removing the stick from your hand, e.g. in order to change clothes or eat food, causes additional nuisance.
VII. Sticks with overlays.
They are often added to the set, and often you have to buy them. We are talking about outlays for walks on paved terrain, mainly asphalt. The high-end poles also have an additional plate in the set, if you want to walk in deep snow. This option may be necessary in winter, so it is worth having them in your backpack. A modest plate, factory-fitted to the poles, is used rather for mud walks. In deep snow, the stick will undoubtedly get buried, and pulling it out is tedious.
VIII. Trekking poles
They are usually folded with a latch. They have a simple grip, analogous to ski poles with improved ergonomics of the handle and grip. However, they can be slightly heavier than other walking poles.
We should also remember about the correct technique of
coordination of movements when walking with poles!