Warm Up and Cool Down

Let's begin by learning good technique with a qualified instructor or highly able fitness advocate, who can easily pinpoint your difficulties, while helping you correct them quickly, before you risk an injury. And because of the repetition in your routine, we want to break bad habits before they injure you.

Recently there as been lots of controversy about whether to warm up or not before, after or during exercise. The Warm-Up and Cool-Down exercises are just as important as the Balance Walking itself. Because these exercise movements below are completed using poles they become your surest way to measure your bodies starting level and of course the body's changes after a great session.

Note: For ease of movement as you stretch with the pole, it is not necessary to have your hands strapped in to the straps. Simply stretch holding the grip.
1st the warm-up will increase circulation, heat the muscles and joints, and result in much more fluid movement. Using your poles as part of the warm up brings naturalness to readying yourself to be active.

2nd the cool-down is important to prevent lactic acid buildup, resulting in stiffness that would interfere with your next session. Remember any changes in how you start, where and when you walk, how long, how vigorous all impact differences in one session over another.

Here are some good exercises to incorporate into your routine. Some are listed as warm up, some as warm down and some positions and movements can be done in your warm up and warm down. Practice these exercises a couple of times at home and they will become easier to remember as a routine. This is not a complete list, as I will make new additions from time to time. Remember your Chung Shi's, and if you are working up to, or waiting to try a pair, that's OK...
Now that you have started, let’s always seek to maintain our Health by being active and sharing Balance Walking with family and friends...
Remember, a Body in Motion tends to stay in Motion...

Warm Up & Cool Down

Quad Stretch
·1   Hold both or one pole in one hand in front for support.
·2   While one hand is holding the pole(s), use your other hand to pull your ankle gently to bend your knee and begin to feel slight pull on your Quad.
·3   Then switch hand holding pole(s) and leg.
·4   Hold till the count of 2, repeat 2 times on each leg.

Lat Side Stretch
·1    Stand straight while holding poles with grip a bit wider than shoulders above your head.
·2    Bend sideways, till upper hand is over your head.
·3    Switch to the other side and stretch, and then come back to neutral. Repeat 5 times in each direction.


Warm Up

Glute Squat
·1    Stand with feet apart at shoulder width and with knees and toes facing forwards. Hold the pole with knuckles facing forward on your shoulders behind your head or in front of you at shoulder height.
·2    Squat down at an angle of about 90 degrees (heels on the ground) and straighten up again. You can add a push up on the pole straightening your arms either as you squat down or as you straighten up. Repeat 5 times minimum.

Glute Stand and Lunge
·1    Poles planted just beyond arms length, shoulder width.
·2    Take generous step forward, firmly planting foot and kneeling on back leg.
·3    The lead leg is the gauge of up to a 90 degree knee bend. Comfortable range.
·4    Pushing away from lead foot while using your poles to come back to starting position. Repeat each leg 5 times.

Calf and Hamstring Stretch
·1    Poles planted at arms length, shoulder width.
·2    Place one heel just behind pole plant, keep leg straight in front with toes pointing up. You can use to pole pressing against the pole for a greater stretch.
·3    Bend other knee while leaning forward with straight back. Be careful and gentle.
·4    Hold till the count of 2, repeat 2 times on each leg.

Ankle Raises
·1    Poles planted at arms length, shoulder width.
·2    Exhale as raise up on your heels until you are on your toes to the count of 2.
·3    Slowly Inhale and lower heels to starting position. Repeat 5 times minimum.

Chest Flys
·1    Poles planted at arms length, shoulder width.
·2    Lean forward using poles for very little support yet rely on your abdomen to gradually return to upright while outstretching arms.
·3    You can recruit your upper back muscles by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat 5 times.

Upper Torso Twist
·1    Stand straight while holding poles on your shoulders, with hands wider than shoulders, towards the full length of the poles.
·2    Keep your eyes focused straight ahead.
·3    Repeat 5 times in each direction.

Legs n Arms Swing & Bounce
·1    Grasp poles midway, begin to swing arms rhythmically back and forth as you begin to squat / bounce gently in a coordinated smooth fashion.
·2    Repeat this 5 – 7 times.

Cool Down

Buttock Stretch
·1    Poles planted at arms length, shoulder width.
·2    Imagine sitting with your leg crossed over your knee without a chair, leaning forward slightly and knees behind your toe.
·3    That’s where the poles come in for support.
·4    Hold till the count of 2, repeat 2 times on each leg

Back Stretch
·1    Plant poles just past arms length at a shoulder width.
·2    Keep arms straight lean on poles.
·3    Bend at the waist keeping your back straight. Avoid hyper-extending.
·4    Breath easy in and out through motion. Hold to count of 2, Repeat 3 times.

Upper Shoulder Stretch
·1    Holding your pole behind your back, place hands with your palms back a bit wider than shoulder width.
·2    Lift pole upwards until you feel a gentle stretch.
·3    Hold till the count of 2, repeat 5 times.

·1    Grab the top of the pole grip with one arm.
·2    Bring pole over head slowly and down your back slowly; grasp the bottom with other hand palm against your back with your thumb up.
·3    Pull down on lower part until you feel the stretch slightly.
·4    Hold till the count of 2, repeat 3 times.

Feeling Great, Let’s Go Balance Walking