TREKKING POLE FORCES DURING DOWNHILL WALKING

  • M. Bohne
  • G. Dixon
  • J. Abendroth
Keywords: gait, hiking, gender

Abstract

This study examined gender differences when hiking downhill with trekking poles. Fourteen men and thirteen women were recruited who had hiking and poling experience. Integrated pole forces were examined over two pole strikes (left pole followed by right pole) prior to and during a stance phase of a step. Total pole force was compared between gender, as well the percent of pole force during the actual stance phase of the step. Left and right pole strikes were also examined for symmetry. Men generated a greater combined pole force than women (0.61N/kg vs. 0.48N/kg) but the differences were not statistically significant. During the stance phase, 48% of the combined pole force occurred for men, but only 35% of the pole force was noted for the women. Pole forces were less symmetrical for the women as well, although also not statistically different. Similar total pole forces between gender with less pole force during stance phase indicates pole walking technique differences rather than a lack of upper body strength, for women, who previously demonstrated less footfall force changes when walking with poles than without, in comparison to men.
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities