Activator Instructions

Download the ACTIVATOR User’s Guide

ACTIVATOR Poles (patent pending)

Did you know that there are over 182 independent studies listed on PubMed that identify the benefits of specialized walking poles? These benefits include improved core strength, posture, balance, improved confidence for walking; reduced impact on hips and knees and increased endurance! Health Care Professionals are recommending the ACTIVATOR Poles for rehab and many conditions because they were designed by an occupational therapist with eight unique features for increasing safety, performance and stability.    We hope you enjoy the ACTIVATOR poles that have been built for walking and active living!

Unique Components of the ACTIVATOR Poles:

Button-Locking System:  An easier and safer method vs turning locking systems.  200 lbs of weight bearing capacity per pole.  Maximum suggested weight of user:  300 lbs
New – Ergonomic CoreGrip (patent pending): Designed for effective core strengthening while providing greater comfort and supporting the wrist in a neutral position to reduce strain.
Strapless:  For injury prevention.  A study by Knobloch (2006) found the highest rate of injury for Nordic walking is related to the strap.
Bell Shape Tips:  Provides greater stability than boot shape tip
3 Anti-Vibration Features:  Reduces vibration and impact on joints
Telescoping:  4′ to 6′ inches.  Poles are collapsible for storage & travel
Carbide Steel Tip:  Provides stability in slippery conditions, trails & beaches.

Adjusting Your ACTIVATOR Poles

When you first get your poles you will need to adjust them for your height.

Step 1: Stand tall with your poles upright and relax your arms so that your elbows rest at a 90-degree angle. This is the correct pole length for your height.

Step 2: Notice the perforated holes on the top portion of the pole. Pull the bottom portion of the pole downward and turn it until the silver stripe lines up with the holes. Continue to pull down on the lower part of the pole until the button pops into the correct hole for your height. You may need to adjust the pole slightly up or down before the button locks securely into place.

 ACTIVATOR Technique

Step 1: Take hold of your poles

Make sure that the CoreGrip with the letter “R” is in your right hand and the pole hand with the letter “L” is in your left hand. Hold onto your poles with an easy grip, making sure your hands go all the way around the grip.

Step 2: Begin walking

In a natural walking motion, swing your right arm forward, lifting the right pole, as you step forward with your left leg. Then swing your left arm forward, lifting the left pole, as your right foot steps forward.

Step 3: Check your posture and grip

As you walk, remember to stand tall with your shoulders relaxed and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your poles upright as you swing them forward. Keeping an easy grip, push down on the ledge of the ergonomic CoreGrip. This will allow you to weight bear on the poles, increase your balance and stability and intensify the workout as well as take more pressure off your hips, knees and ankles.

Important:  This technique was developed in conjunction with the specific features of the ACTIVATOR poles.  A study by Bechard (2015 unpublished) at UWO found significant off-loading for the knee joint when using the Activator technique.

Quick Tips

Adapt your poles to different terrains & winter!

Hidden beneath the rubber boot tip of each pole is a sharp carbide steel tip, which provides increased stability on wet and uneven terrain, such as grass, trails, gravel, sand and snow.   This feature allows you to stay active all year round and are an excellent tool for preventing falls in the winter time. You can also purchase snow baskets to keep the poles on top of the snow while winter walking or snowshoeing.  To attach the baskets, take off the rubber tip and push the basket to the 3 grooves and then rotate the baskets until you achieve a tight fit.

Using your ACTIVATOR Poles on your travels

Collapse your poles to their shortest length (29 inches).  They generally will fit in a medium size suitcase by placing them on a diagonal. Durable Urban Poling carrying bags are available to protect poles while in storage and in transit; the bags also make carrying easy.  Take the rubber tip off to expose the carbide tip for walking on trails, beaches and hikes.   

Replace your tips periodically

Your ACTIVATOR poles come with a high-grade rubber tip for stability, off loading & reduced vibration. Replace your bell shaped tips when the tread wears out, or roughly one year with regular use.

Gradually Increase your time

Start by using your poles for only 1/3 of your maximum walking time and gradually increase your distance/time.

Take care of your poles

Store your poles in a dry, moderate-temperature location.  You can also purchase a carrying bag for travel or storage.

Read carefully through the User’s guide and the precautions listed before using your ACTIVATOR poles (guide is at the top of this page and comes with your poles). 

 Precautions:

Consult your health care professional (physician, therapist or other) before using the poles if you currently use a cane, crutches or walker and for training for any medical condition that affects your balance, stability, ability to grip the handles, vision, depth perception or coordination, or if you are currently recovering from an injury or surgery.

DO NOT use the ACTIVATOR poles on stairs unless trained by a therapist or other health care professional.
ACTIVATOR poles should not be used on ice.
Always use both poles.
ACTIVATOR poles may help to prevent or break a fall, but falling on them may affect pole integrity. Do not use poles that have been fallen on or that have been damaged in any other way.
Replace your poles approximately every 2 years if you are over 200 lbs or a heavier user.  Use exceeds more than 5-10 km per week.
Ask your therapist how to use the poles for transferring out of the car and use both poles.

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Provide variety in your routine, try double poling

Use the standard rhythm and technique, but swing both arms forward at the same time planting the boot tips slightly behind the handles. Then, keeping your arms straight, press down on the base of the handles, walk between your poles and feel your arms extend past your thighs and behind your body.
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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