Benefits Of Hiking Poles: 15 Proven Tips For Growth




Benefits Of Hiking Poles

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Ever found yourself panting and pooped out from a hike? Trust me, I’ve walked in those exact shoes. It was during my personal journey to make hiking more manageable and fun that I discovered the transformative power of trekking poles.

In this blog post, you’ll uncover 15 tried-and-true tips demonstrating how these humble aids can supercharge your fitness progress, enhance stability on tough trails, lessen joint stress and provide so much more – turning every hike into an all-encompassing workout experience.

Intriguing isn’t it? Let’s keep going!

Key Takeaways

  • Hiking poles provide benefits on all types of terrain, including uphill, flat, and downhill. They engage arm muscles, distribute weight off the legs, and provide extra support.
  • Using hiking poles can help burn more calories compared to regular walking. Nordic walking with fitness poles burns up to 67% more calories.
  • Trekking poles improve balance and stability while reducing stress on joints like knees and hips.
  • Hiking with trekking poles helps build upper-body strength and provides a full-body workout.

Advantages of Trekking Poles

Trekking poles provide numerous benefits for hikers, whether they are navigating uphill terrain, flat terrain, or downhill terrain.

Uphill Terrain

Hiking uphill is hard. But trekking poles make it easier for me. They help to use my arm muscles, not just my legs. A new study says this can save your legs from getting too tired.

The poles give extra support when the ground is tricky. They also take some weight off my limbs and put it onto my arms and poles instead. This helps to stop pain in the back too!

Flat Terrain

Hiking poles play a big role on flat terrain. They help keep your stride straight and steady. The shock absorption from the poles lowers stress on joints. This means less pain for you after the hike! Trekking poles also set up a good rhythm for your steps.

This can make you walk faster.

A sudden shift on flat land can toss you off balance too. But not when you have hiking poles! These handy outdoor tools stop such slips before they happen. Statistics show that trekking poles give lots of benefits even when strolling over easy, flat grounds.

Downhill Terrain

Hiking poles are a big help on downhill terrain. They cut down the strain on your joints. The poles soak up some of the shock, making hiking smoother and nicer. This helps to keep our legs from hurting when going down hills.

Poles are even more useful when slopes are steep or slippery. They give us extra support and keep us stable. You can also use them for balance when crossing streams, walking through rocky areas, or moving on hard paths.

Other benefits

Another benefit of using trekking poles is that they can help to reduce the strain on your joints, especially your knees. As you hike, the poles absorb some of the impact from each step, which can prevent excessive pressure on your joints and minimize discomfort.

This is particularly beneficial when hiking downhill or on uneven terrain. By providing stability and support, trekking poles can also decrease the risk of injury while you’re out exploring nature.

Additionally, these poles can serve as a helpful tool for checking the stability of rocky or slippery surfaces before stepping onto them. So not only do hiking poles provide balance and engagement of upper body muscles but they are also essential for joint support during hikes.

Do You Burn More Calories With Walking Poles?

Using walking poles while hiking can increase your calorie burn and provide numerous other benefits. Want to know the techniques and advantages? Keep reading!


Here are some techniques for using hiking poles:

  1. Nordic walking: This technique involves planting the poles firmly behind you and pushing off with each step, engaging your upper body muscles as you walk.
  2. Proper grip: Hold the poles with a relaxed but firm grip, ensuring that your wrists are aligned with the handles.
  3. Arm movement: Swing your arms naturally as you walk, allowing the poles to move in sync with your stride.
  4. Stride length: Take slightly longer strides when using poles to maintain balance and rhythm.
  5. Uphill terrain: Lean slightly into the hill and use the poles to propel yourself forward, taking pressure off your legs.
  6. Downhill terrain: Plant the poles ahead of you to provide stability and support as you descend, preventing strain on your knees.
  7. Flat terrain: Use the poles to maintain a steady pace and reduce impact on your joints.


Using trekking poles while hiking has numerous benefits. Firstly, it can help you burn more calories compared to regular walking. Nordic walking with fitness poles burns up to 67% more calories and urban poling can increase calorie burn by as much as 46%.

Secondly, using trekking poles engages and exercises about 90% of your muscles, giving you a full-body workout. Additionally, hiking with poles can improve your balance and support your joints, reducing the risk of injuries.

Moreover, using trekking poles helps build upper-body strength and provides stability on uneven terrain. So if you want to enhance your hiking experience and maximize the health benefits of walking, don’t forget to bring along a pair of trekking poles!

A hiker using trekking poles on a snowy mountain peak surrounded by a bustling atmosphere.

Comprehensive Guide on Benefits of Hiking Poles

Trekking poles, also known as hiking poles or walking sticks, are a valuable piece of gear that can greatly enhance your hiking experience. These poles offer numerous benefits that make them worth considering for hikers of all ages and fitness levels.

One major advantage of using trekking poles is the added stability they provide. Whether you’re navigating uphill or downhill terrain, the poles help distribute your weight and offer extra support, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

They also improve balance on uneven surfaces like rocky trails or river crossings.

In addition to stability, trekking poles allow you to utilize your arm strength while hiking. By engaging your upper body muscles, you can increase your overall endurance and efficiency on the trail.

This means you’ll be able to hike longer distances with less fatigue.

Another benefit of using trekking poles is their ability to alleviate stress from your joints, particularly in the knees and hips. The poles act as shock absorbers, reducing impact and strain on these areas during descents.

This can be especially helpful for individuals with existing joint issues or those who carry heavy backpacks.

Overall, trekking poles are an underrated but highly effective tool for hikers. They provide stability, improve balance, boost endurance, reduce joint stress, and enhance overall comfort while out on the trail.

So next time you hit the trails, consider grabbing a pair of hiking poles to take full advantage of these benefits!

How do Trekking Poles Help?

Trekking poles help by providing proper techniques for using them and offering bonus tips for an enhanced hiking experience.

Proper Techniques

To get the most out of your hiking poles, it’s important to use proper techniques. Here are some tips to help you hike with trekking poles like a pro:

  1. Adjust the height: Make sure your trekking poles are set at the right height for your comfort and preference. This will help in maintaining proper technique and effectiveness.
  2. Grip placement: Hold the grips of the hiking poles firmly but without excessive tension. Your wrists should be straight, not bent or angled.
  3. Arm swing: As you walk, let your arms swing naturally and rhythmically with each step. The movement should come from your shoulders, not just your elbows or wrists.
  4. Planting the pole: Place the pole slightly ahead of you as you take a step forward. This helps distribute weight and provides stability.
  5. Timing: Coordinate your pole planting with your opposite foot. For example, when your left foot steps forward, plant the right pole.
  6. Uphill technique: When hiking uphill, shorten the length of your poles to provide more support and leverage. Use them to push off from the ground as you climb.
  7. Downhill technique: On downhill sections, lengthen the poles slightly to help with balance and reduce stress on your knees and joints.
  8. Sidehill technique: When traversing uneven terrain or side slopes, keep one pole planted uphill while using the other pole downhill for added stability.
  9. Stepping over obstacles: Use your trekking poles to test unstable terrain or step over rocks and roots to avoid potential hazards.
  10. Resting on flat terrain: When walking on flat terrain or taking a break, let your arms relax by holding the poles loosely or attaching them to a backpack.

Bonus Tips

Here are some bonus tips to help you make the most of your hiking poles. First, always make sure to adjust the length of your poles so that they are comfortable for you. This will ensure that you have proper form and can maximize the benefits they provide.

Secondly, when using your poles, try to plant them on the ground slightly ahead of you and push down as you step forward. This will give you added stability and help with balance while hiking.

Lastly, remember to use a relaxed grip on your poles and let them do the work for you. By following these tips, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all the advantages that hiking poles have to offer during your outdoor adventures!

A confident woman hikes with walking poles in the mountains surrounded by beautiful nature.

Benefits of Hiking With Trekking Poles

Hiking with trekking poles offers several benefits, including the ability to burn more calories, boost your workout, build upper-body strength, improve balance, and support your joints.

Burn More Calories

Hiking with trekking poles can help you burn more calories compared to hiking without them. In fact, using these poles while hiking can increase your heart rate and provide an excellent upper body workout.

Walking with poles burns about 450 calories per hour, which is significantly more than the 280 calories burned per hour without poles. So, if you want to boost your calorie-burning potential and get a great workout during your hikes, don’t forget to bring along your trusty trekking poles!

Boost Workout

When hiking with trekking poles, you can boost your workout and get more fitness benefits. Using these poles engages your upper body muscles, giving you a full-body workout. As you hike, the action of swinging the poles activates muscles in your arms and shoulders.

This not only burns more calories but also helps build strength in those areas. Additionally, the extra effort required to use the poles increases your heart rate and metabolism, making it an effective form of endurance training.

So if you want to maximize your calorie burn and strengthen your upper body while enjoying the great outdoors, grab a pair of trekking poles for your next hike!

Build Upper-Body Strength

Using trekking poles while hiking is an excellent way to build upper-body strength. When you engage your arms to push and propel yourself with the poles, it activates muscles like the triceps, biceps, pectorals, and latissimus dorsi.

By increasing the pressure on your arms, you make them work harder and become stronger. This helps tone and strengthen your upper body while enjoying a hike. Additionally, using trekking poles can also increase your metabolism and activate more muscles throughout your body, giving you an even better workout.

So grab those hiking poles and start building that upper-body strength on your next adventure!

Improve Balance

Improving balance is one of the key benefits of hiking with trekking poles. These poles provide added stability and support, especially when navigating tricky terrain or crossing streams with a heavy backpack.

By using trekking poles, you can distribute your weight more evenly and maintain a steady footing, reducing the risk of slips and falls. This increased balance not only enhances your hiking performance but also makes the overall experience safer and more enjoyable.

So, if you want to feel more confident on uneven ground or slippery surfaces, grab a pair of trekking poles and start exploring!

Support Joints

Using hiking poles provides excellent support for your joints while you’re out on the trails. When you’re hiking, especially on uneven terrain or going downhill, your leg joints can take a lot of stress and strain.

However, by using trekking poles, you can distribute some of that weight onto your arms and shoulders. This helps to reduce pressure on your leg joints, making the whole hiking experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

So if you want to protect your knees and ankles from unnecessary strain, make sure to bring along a pair of trekking poles on your next outdoor adventure!

Which Poles are Right for You??

When choosing the right poles for you, consider factors such as material, grip material, design, and sizing.


When it comes to choosing the right trekking poles, one important consideration is the material they are made from. Trekking poles are typically made from either steel or carbon fiber.

Steel poles are heavier but more durable, while carbon fiber poles are lightweight and offer greater shock absorption. Another crucial aspect is the grip material used on the pole handles.

Cork grips are considered the best option as they provide comfort and wick away sweat. However, rubber grips can be used for trekking in extremely cold conditions. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each material to select the right trekking poles that suit your specific needs and preferences.

Grip Material

Choosing the right grip material for your hiking poles is important for a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience. There are different options to consider, such as cork, foam, and rubber grips.

Cork is often considered the best choice because it’s comfortable, durable, and can wick away sweat. It also resists moisture from sweaty hands, making it ideal for hikers. Foam and rubber grips are also common choices that offer good performance.

When selecting your hiking poles, consider the grip material that feels most comfortable in your hands and provides a secure hold during your hikes.


When choosing the right trekking poles, it’s important to consider their design. Factors like weight, price, shock absorption, shaft construction, and grip type should all be taken into account.

The design of your trekking poles will determine their stability and how they reduce pressure on your leg joints during hikes. It’s crucial to select poles that are suitable for your specific needs and hiking style.

The design of your trekking poles can also enhance your workout and make it more effective. So take the time to find the perfect design that will improve your hiking experience and boost your overall fitness level.


Choosing the right size trekking poles is crucial for a comfortable and effective hiking experience. You want to ensure proper fit, suitable length, and correct height. Many trekking poles come in adjustable lengths, making it easier to find the right size for your needs.

Some are sold in fixed lengths or ranges of sizes. It’s important to choose the size that works best for you, as poles that are too tall or too short may not provide the desired benefits and comfort.

By finding the optimal sizing options and adjusting your trekking poles accordingly, you can enhance your hiking experience by providing optimal support and stability while enjoying all the benefits of using hiking poles like burning more calories, boosting workouts, building upper-body strength, improving balance, and supporting your joints.


In addition to the benefits of hiking poles, there are also accessories available that can enhance your hiking experience. Read on to discover how these accessories can make a difference in your next adventure!

Airline Travel

Airline travel can be a bit tricky when it comes to bringing along your hiking poles. Many airlines aren’t too keen on allowing them as carry-on luggage because of their long length.

It’s important to check with each airline’s policy, as some may allow them as carry-on items while others might require you to check them in with your bags. The TSA specifically states that trekking/hiking poles are not allowed in carry-on luggage but can be packed in checked bags instead.

Keep in mind that there may also be restrictions on the size and type of hiking poles allowed on an airplane. So, before you head out for your next hiking adventure, make sure to do your research and know the rules regarding airline travel with trekking poles.

How to Use Trekking Poles

Using trekking poles is easy and can greatly enhance your hiking experience. Here are some simple steps to help you use them effectively:

  1. Adjust the length: Extend the pole until your forearm is parallel to the ground when holding it vertically.
  2. Grip the poles correctly: Hold the grip firmly, with your thumb wrapped around the top and fingers curled around the bottom. This ensures a secure hold.
  3. Plant the poles correctly: Place the pole tips slightly behind you as you step forward, planting them firmly into the ground.
  4. Use a natural arm swing: Allow your arms to swing naturally as you walk, coordinating your pole plants with each step.
  5. Ascending uphill: Use your trekking poles to push yourself upward, engaging your arm muscles along with your leg muscles. This helps reduce strain on your legs and boosts your hiking performance.
  6. Descending downhill: Place each pole slightly ahead of you and use them for support and balance while descending steep slopes. This helps ease pressure on your knees and reduces the risk of injury.
  7. Crossing uneven or challenging terrain: Utilize both poles for added stability by planting them firmly into the ground on either side of you as you navigate through rocky or unstable surfaces.
  8. Swinging river crossings or muddy areas: Use one pole as a balance aid, extending it across the water or mud while maintaining stability with your other foot.
  9. Using trekking poles as tent support: If camping, consider using one or both of your trekking poles to support your tent, saving space in your backpack and reducing overall weight.


Based on the benefits discussed, I highly recommend investing in a good pair of hiking poles. They can greatly enhance your hiking experience and provide numerous benefits. When choosing hiking poles, consider factors such as material, grip material, design, and sizing to find the right fit for you.

Additionally, don’t forget about accessories like airline travel adaptors if you plan to take your trekking poles on trips. With hiking poles in hand, you’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages they offer while exploring the great outdoors!

Conclusion on Benefits Of Hiking Poles

In conclusion, using trekking poles while hiking offers numerous benefits. They provide extra stability and support on all types of terrain, reduce stress on joints, and help improve balance.

Additionally, hiking with trekking poles can increase calorie burn and overall workout effectiveness. So grab a pair of trekking poles and enjoy the many advantages they offer for your next outdoor adventure!

FAQs on Benefits Of Hiking Poles

1. How can hiking poles benefit my hiking experience?

Hiking poles provide stability and support, reducing strain on your legs, knees, and ankles. They also help improve balance and increase endurance during hikes.

2. Can hiking poles help with steep or uneven terrain?

Yes, hiking poles are especially useful for navigating steep or uneven terrain as they provide additional stability and can help prevent falls.

3. Do I need to be an experienced hiker to use hiking poles?

No, both beginner and experienced hikers can benefit from using hiking poles. They are suitable for all levels of experience and fitness.

4. Are there any health benefits associated with using hiking poles?

Using hiking poles can help improve posture, reduce joint pain, and decrease the impact on joints while walking or climbing uphill or downhill.

5. What should I consider when choosing hiking poles?

When choosing hiking poles, consider factors such as weight, adjustability (for different terrains), grip comfort, durability, collapsibility (for easy packing), and the type of tips suitable for the terrain you will encounter during your hikes.

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