Adjustable Nordic walking poles come in 2 or 3 sections; you adjust the length of each section to get the overall pole length just right for you.
There are two ways of gauging what is right for you:
- Eye-ball it; or
- Precise method.
1. Eye-ball the length of your pole
When you are holding the pole with the pole angled back so that the tip of the pole is by your foot, then your arm should be bent. Just how much bend indicates the correct length depends; there seems to be two schools of thought:
(a) exactly 90 degrees;
(b) 90 degrees plus a bit more downwards — that is, about 100 degrees down.
2. Precisely calculate the length of your pole
This involves just a bit of math.
First, get your height in centimetres (cm). It must be in centimetres or this won’t work;
Now, plug your cm height into this formula: (height in cm) * .68
The resulting number, which will be in cm, will be exactly how long in cm the poles should be for you.
That’s the theory anyway. If it doesn’t feel right, you can always try method (1) instead!
Changing the length of Nordic poles to decrease or increase exertion
Either of the two methods above should give you the correct, normal length for you for a normal Nordic walking work out.
For less of a workout, which some professionals recommend for beginners and people who are a bit out of shape, have the poles shorter by a cm or two than normal.
For more of an upper body workout and a slightly harder workout overall, lengthen the pole by a few cm from normal.