Effects of hiking downhill using trekking poles while carrying external loads

Bohne, M. and Abendroth-Smith, J.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of pole use in hiking while carrying different external loads.  Fifteen healthy male hikers formed the sample.  There were 3 conditions i.e. external loads of 3 different weights.  Each condition was performed with and without poles and a number of lowerlimb forces were measured.  The results showed a significant reduction in the sagital plane moment at each lower limb joint.  The only increase in power generation related to pack weight was seen at the hip.  The authors concluded that poles reduce the loading on the joints of the lower extremity.

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2007) 39(1), 177-183

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