Having someone to exercise with can be a motivation, but how about some workout moves you can do with your dog? The great thing about your dog is they are on call any time – no need to schedule a meet for some exercise and they won’t gripe about the bad weather an’ all. Workout moves you can do with your dog keep your pooch fit and healthy too. Win-win all round!
One of the best cardio workout moves you can do with your dog is running. Dogs love getting out into the fresh air and the cardio workout is as important for them as it is for you. Like us, dogs get lazy and end up making a big dent in the couch just like we do as we sit and flip through TV channels. Even if they are old, they will still love a little trot outside, just keep it as a brisk walk instead and don’t go too far if your dog is unfit – you still have to get back home.
All dogs have an intense need to please their owners and some of them are brilliant agility competitors – or could be. And short sprints are excellent for muscle toning and burning calories. Set up a relay or use a tree in your garden and race your dog to the tree and back in short sprints for a 90 second blast off, going to your mark, around it and back again as many times as you can.
Stair climbs are excellent for that coveted fitness mag gluteus maximus and one of the most fun workouts you can do with your dog is step climbing. Before you think you may have to sneak your pup into the office building over the weekend and conquer the stairs up to the top floor you don’t. Head out to a park in your area and do the stair climb or head out to the forest and take the hiking trail steps all the way to the top. You will work that pert derriere and your dog will get a full body workout too.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs at right angles – table top – and cross your ankles if you like. Hold the dog’s ball in your hand and place your hands over your head. As you come up into a crunch twist over at the last minute and pretend to give your dog the ball and go back into your crunch again. Repeat on the other side – your dog will get a work out too – just keep the ball in the air.
Strap light weights onto each wrist and move yourself into a squat position – anywhere you like. Make sure you have a dog ball or treat in your hand. Bend down and get into your low squat and show your dog the treat and stand up again lifting your arms to the ceiling and repeat. Your dog will love the jumping game – it’s a fun exercise for you and your dog where your arms will be burning extra calories – bonus!
Grab a tennis racket and some old balls and head out to the park. Practice your tennis swing and hit some high, low and lazy balls with both hands for your dog to catch and bring back to you – with some sprint intervals in between. It’s another fun exercise for you and your dog, provides a great workout for your whole body, and your dog will be in heaven with all the extra balls to catch.
You will need a wide open space for doing some of these workout moves with your dog. Grab his or her favourite toy and throw it as far as you can, then both of you sprint ahead and see who can get to it first. Repeat and repeat until you can’t anymore, let your dog enjoy their toy and take a leisurely walk home to cool off and let the heart rate come down.
Your dog will need to know how to walk and behave on a lead for this move to work without injuries. Get on your bike and get going on the road, the park – anywhere you like and let your dog walk or trot beside you while you cycle. Be watchful of male dogs who like to stop every few seconds and pee – give them a voice command to move on, and talk to them the whole way – your animal will love the encouragement.
With some thought, there are probably plenty more moves to workout with your dog. Get pooch involved in your exercise routine. It will do you both good and be fun too. Is your dog already your faithful workout buddy?
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