People have a distorted perception that gait assisted with poles (nordic gait) is something derogatory to human biomechanics, or a sign of ageing.
On the contrary, poles facilitate the transition of forces between the arms and the legs and reinstate quadruped strength, primal to humans. Furthermore, poles are an extension of the arms, functioning like dolphin fins for our inner fish.
I have learned with Ivaldo Bertazzo that the suspension warranted from the use of poles lengthens the cervical spine and organises thoracic forces, permitting axial cranial extension.
When going down hill, poles relieve pressure from the knees and the lumbar spine. The arms take on the function of protecting knees and lumbar disks.
Up hills, using poles distribute the muscular tonus through the whole body. The arms have function and purpose, rather than simply “hanging by the sides”.
The result is a sense of flotation and suspension of mass in space.
Poles are also fun and facilitate/optimise locomotion. Watch this video until the end and you will see just that.
I can’t wait to take my poles to Womad tomorrow!
Thanks Ivaldo Bertazzo and Phillip Beach for the inspiration and the transpiration you bring to my life!