Nordic walking poles: calculate length and size table

How long do Nordic walking poles have to be? How are Nordic walking sticks measured? How to set up Nordic walking poles correctly? Almost all Nordic Walkers face these questions; most often beginners! In this article you will find tips for optimal Nordic walking poles length.

Just like you choose items of clothing based on your body measurements, the The length of the Nordic Walking poles can be adjusted to your body dimensions. Only then will you walk in a technically correct and permanently symptom-free manner!

"Optimal stick length depending on body length, arm length, leg length and upper arm-forearm angle."

An incorrect stick length leads to one wrong walking technique, incorrect posture and possibly physical discomfort. Avoid these negative effects.

The optimal stick length results primarily from Body length, leg length and arm length. In addition, that is especially Length ratio between upper arms and forearms essential.

So you can quickly find the right length for your Nordic walking poles

You will only find out which is the optimal stick length for you when you use the walking sticks regularly.

The optimal fit always depends on whether your posture is correct. Because too long or too short Nordic walking poles lead to one Change in optimal posture, which can give the subjective impression that the Nordic Walking poles fit. On the other hand, too small or too large Nordic walking poles lead to one wrong posture, stumbling or muscular imbalances.

"With adjustable telescopic poles, you have an inexpensive entry to find out the optimal pole length in the first few weeks."

It is therefore advisable to first borrow Nordic walking sticks in different lengths or to experiment with infinitely adjustable telescopic poles. Or you don’t buy Nordic walking poles that are too expensive at first, so that when you use them regularly, you can tell whether the length of the poles fits in practice or not.

In order for you to be able to walk healthy and easily, you have to calculate the optimal stick length. – © PantherMedia Stock Agency /

Use the following three criteria to find the correct length of your Nordic walking poles:

  • Body lengths formula
  • Upper arm forearm angle
  • Testing

Length of the Nordic walking poles: general size table as a first orientation

It doesn’t matter if you Select fixed length or telescopic poles want. Both types of stick must match your body measurements. With telescopic poles, however, you have the advantage that you can use the Stick length accurate to the centimeter and can still adjust after purchase.

In the case of fixed length sticks, on the other hand, you have to the purchase know which stick length is best for you. Nordic walking poles of a model are available in different lengths, which are in Gradations of 5 cm differ. The lengths of fixed length poles are based on this in the following size table:

133 to 140 cm 90 cm
141 to 147 cm 95 cm
148 to 155 cm 100 cm
156 to 162 cm 105 cm
163 to 170 cm 110 cm
171 to 178 cm 115 cm
179 to 185 cm 120 cm
186 to 193 cm 125 cm
194 to 200 cm 130 cm
201 to 208 cm 135 cm

The table of the optimal Nordic walking poles length is based on the product of the height with a standardized factor of 0.66. This factor results as the standard based on statistical studies.

How long should Nordic walking poles be, how do you set them correctly? The size table for fixed length poles provides an important first point of reference. – © PantherMedia Stock Agency / pikselstock

However, this size chart is only a very first clue, since it is not just about the length of the body. Because even with an identical body size they can Vary the length of the legs and arms.

The size chart above is primarily intended for fixed length poles; but it can also give a first clue for telescopic poles at which pole lengths the size adjustment should begin.

Note the difference between telescopic and fixed length poles

With Nordic walking sticks, there is basically between multi-part telescopic and one-part fixed length poles distinguished. With Nordic walking sticks with a fixed length, these cannot be adjusted to the centimeter. That is why it is all the more important to choose the right stick length for fixed length sticks.

"Variants of the fixed length sticks differ in increments of 5 cm."

Nordic walking poles with a fixed length are particularly suitable for strong and overweight Nordic walkers. They are also very good for additional stretching and strengthening exercises suitable. If you have actually found the optimal stick length and have been able to test it with such Nordic walking sticks, then fixed walking sticks are a good choice.

In contrast, adjustable Nordic walking telescopic poles are very variable in length, so that they can usually be infinitely adjusted to the existing body measurements. They are special for

  • Normal weight people,
  • growing young people,
  • use in different steep terrain,
  • Families with several Nordic Walkers or also
  • Beginners who do not yet know their optimal stick length,

Telescopic Nordic walking sticks have the advantage, that Due to the variability in length, they can be used by several walkers without any problems. The telescopic poles therefore offer significantly more flexibility.

"Telescopic poles can be used more flexibly, but they generate more vibrations."

The main disadvantage of Nordic Walking telescopic poles is their lower durability. Because due to the Rotating or folding mechanism telescopic poles are somewhat more susceptible to defects than fixed-length Nordic walking poles.

No matter whether fixed-length or telescopic poles: with the optimal pole length, you support the typical movement perfectly. – © f9photos –

As a rule, telescopic poles also have a heavier than fixed length poles. In addition, they are not so low in vibration. Telescopic sticks can be folded or pushed together so that they can be attached to one smaller pack size easier to transport: for example as luggage in vacation or at walking events.

tip: If you are very sensitive to inaccurately set sports equipment, especially as a beginner walking you should first use steplessly adjustable telescopic poles to test with different stick lengths over a longer period of time.

Body length formula: roughly estimate Nordic walking stick length

To find out in a first step how long Nordic walking poles should be, your own body length is measured in centimeters with a standardized factor multiplied. This factor is the result of statistical analysis.

Nowadays the factor is generally 0.66. In the past, higher factors up to 0.72 were used. The rounded product then provides a first clue as to how you can find the right stick length for yourself.

"Body length formula: height multiplied by 0.66."

Alternatively, you can also calculate with a low and a higher factor, which then result in a lower or upper limit. Take various common factors (0.66 and 0.7) and multiply your height in centimeters. Both products then result in one, so to speak Upper and lower value for the selection of Nordic walking poles with a fixed length.

With the right Nordic walking poles, walking is really fun. – © Sir_Oliver –

With a body size of 180 cm, for example, the two products would result in 119 cm and 126 cm, so Nordic walking sticks with fixed lengths of 120 cm and 125 cm should be shortlisted.

The calculated values ​​are now also for telescopic poles Starting point for further tailored settings. By considering the optimal upper arm and forearm angle, the leg and arm length are also taken into account.

Upper arm-forearm angle for the optimal walking technique

In a second step, you also consider the Upper arm forearm angle. For this second step you need fixed length sticks in the calculated lengths or adjustable telescopic sticks. You can borrow the Nordic walking sticks from friends or trainers, for example, or you can get advice from a specialist shop.

Nordic walking as an endurance sport promotes fat burning and increases performance in the endurance area, but only if the walking sticks are the right size. – © ARochau –

Now leave yours Hang your upper arms loosely vertically downwards and put the Nordic Walking poles with the normal grip on the floor in front of you. Then there is an angle between your forearms and upper arms.

"The upper arm-forearm angle should ideally be between 90 and 100 degrees."

If the pair of Nordic walking poles is the The angle between the upper arm and forearm is less than 90 degrees, then you should either sort them out of the shortlist or reduce the length continuously.

It is ideal if the angle is between 100 degrees and 90 degrees. In the case of a Nordic Walker with a height of 180 cm and arms of above-average length, a stick length of 130 cm would be too long; the 125 cm long Nordic walking poles could also be too long, so a stick length of 120 cm would be preferable.

Optimal Nordic walking stick length: test, test, test

If you take your first two steps theoretically optimal stick length found out, then test it. Because only in practice can you determine whether the Nordic Walking poles meet your needs.

When testing, make sure that you use the Perform Nordic walking technique correctly. Let friends, salespeople or trainers help you. Because especially inexperienced and beginners still have one at the beginning wrong posture and one wrong sequence of movements, which in turn leads to wrong conclusions about the optimal stick length.

Get started with the right Nordic walking poles. Then walking is twice as much fun. – © Peter Atkins –

It is a misbelief, that Nordic walking beginners should choose shorter stick lengths than advanced Nordic walking. It is also not advisable to shorten Nordic walking poles by sawing them off.

"Correct length of the Nordic walking poles supports optimal movement during walking."

In many cases, it is also a good idea as a beginner to use inexpensive Nordic walking sticks or telescopic sticks. Then test your passion for this beautiful sport over a longer period of time and you can find out the optimal stick length.

With the right length of Nordic walking poles you can achieve that typical walking movement, do not slow yourself down by Nordic walking poles that are too long or too short relieve pressure on joints and muscles. Walking is simply more fun and you get the most from the health-promoting effects.


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Christina Cherry
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