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Swedish walking with bouncy BungyPump poles


February 19, 2013

A different kind of pole promotes a different kind of exercise

A different kind of pole promotes a different kind of exercise

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According to the American Nordic Walking Association, walking with poles burns more than 40 percent more calories per hour and works more muscles than normal walking. Swedish company BungyPump believes that it can better those numbers with its unique springy poles. We call it Swedish walking ("Nordic" includes Sweden, too, but Nordic walking is a Finnish export), and it's a potential new trend for fitness nuts.

Poles used for wilderness trekking and Nordic walking are rigid in nature and provide static contact with the ground. Some poles use an anti-shock system that provides a little bit of spring action to limit the impact on the joints.

BungyPump poles, in contrast, use an internal suspension system to provide a much more drastic motion. The smaller mid-section retracts into the upper section every time they hit the ground, providing more movement of the arms. The poles have enough travel to allow for most of the mid-section to be engulfed by the upper shaft. The user can adjust the resistance of the suspension, changing how much weight he is pressing down for different levels of workout.

A BungyPump rep that we spoke to said that its poles utilize more muscles than rigid Nordic poles, but its "90 percent of the body's muscles" claim is nearly identical to the ANWA's "up to 90 percent of your body's muscle" claim about Nordic walking. The company's assertion of burning 77 percent more calories than walking without any poles is well above the ANWA's 50 percent claim, however, and all you need to do is try or watch BungyPump to know that the arms are moving more thanks to the spring action. A study the company conducted in cooperation with Modo Sports Academy showed a calorie consumption increase of 32 percent over rigid walking poles.

In addition to increased fitness benefits, BungyPump poles are gentle on the shoulders and elbows and useful for rehabilitation purposes. While the company says that the poles help to relieve pressure on the knees and hips, just like rigid walking poles, it seems like the springiness would result in a bit less impact absorption. BungyPump believes that the poles are ideal for everything from serious athletic training to everyday fitness and weight loss.

BungyPump poles have been in use in Sweden for several years, and the company is hoping that the hardware will catch fire in other countries, similar to how Nordic walking has spread across the world and increased in popularity. It opened BungyPump US in California last year and is also working on widening distribution across Europe.

BungyPump poles include length-adjustment hardware and wrist straps. They come in several different models, including the Number One, which has up to 8.8 pounds (4 kg) of resistance, and the Energy, which has up to 13.2 pounds (6 kg). Both models retail for US$159.99 a pair.

The video below runs a bit on the technical side, but it does show the poles in use.

Source: BungyPump, ANWA

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

I use hiking poles when I day hike and backpack. I started hiking with 70 extra pounds with a bad back and using the poles helped to take the weight off my back and helped me stick to exercising. They also keep you from tripping.

Backpacking hiking poles are different then Nordic ones in that you use them like ski poles.

Rann Xeroxx

But can it make you run like a cheetah?

Shaun Patrick
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