Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Workout for the week

This weeks routine will  focus on your core(torso area) and legs. A strong core is the foundation to total body strength and good posture, and strengthening your hamstrings can help ease back pain.

Your pup will be working on their loose leash walking and either their “sit” or “down” stays. By now they should really be getting the hang of staying while you are doing some funny looking moves. They should be staying in the “stay” position for about a minute, which give you ample time to perform the exercises. This routine should take around 45 minutes and you should complete it 3 or 4 times a week. These exercises don’t require any special equipment, and although pictured outside they can also be performed inside.

Between each exercise walk at a varying speed for 2 minutes. Try to increase the speed at which you are walking, and increase the number of faster-paced walks. Be sure to keep your posture erect, and tighten your tummy muscles as you walk. Hold your leash in your right hand, and treat with your left. The goal is to treat when your dog is walking beside you on a loose leash. Make use of obstacles such as benches, tables or trees to walk around, the variety of pace and direction will help keep your dog focused on you. If you’re inside walk around furniture or use small cones. When you make a right circle speed up your pace a little so your dog will learn to speed their pace to stay beside you, and with left circle slow your pace.

Be sure to have water for both you and your dog. Take water breaks every 10-15 minutes. I find it easiest to set the dog’s water dish near a bench. I can then place my water bottle close, and we can both take a water break. You may want to print this article and place it near the water so you can refresh your memory of the exercises.

Start with a 5 minute warm-up, walk at your normal pace for several minutes, then at a faster pace. Your dog should be on a loose leash, walking beside you.

 Bird-dogs –Have your dog “down” either in front or to your side. If they won’t “stay” reliably, keep a close grip on the lead. Start on all fours with your knee under your hip, and arm under shoulder. Relax your belly as you take a deep breath and let your belly distend, but keep your back straight. Slowly exhale and raise arm and opposite leg. Tighten your tummy muscles as much as you can, and hold for several seconds. Slowly inhale as you lower your arm and leg. Complete 10-12 reps, walk for 2 minutes, then repeat raising other arm and opposite leg.


Toe touch – Have your dog “sit” or “down” in front of you. Depending on your dogs’ reliability, you may want to be closer, or release the leash. You don’t want to get pulled over!! This is a surprisingly difficult exercise, but a great one for total leg strength. At first you will hate this exercise, but in a few weeks as your legs strengthen you’ll love it! And you’ll really love it when you take a misstep and your leg instantly balances. In the beginning you may want to use a solid object such as the back of your couch or a countertop for balance, or not raise your leg so high. As your strength and balance improve don’t use anything for support. Slowly hinge forward at your waist, reach down and touch near your toes. Keep your back as straight as you can, and lift your back leg as high as comfortable. Complete 10 – 12 reps raising your right leg, complete your 2 minute walk, then complete 10 – 12 reps raising your left leg.


Bicycles – Have your dog “down” beside you. Lay on your back, then raise your torso and legs. Touch opposite knee and elbow. This is a killer at first, but it’s one of the best overall abdominal exercises. Complete as many as you can.


Plank with a leg lift. Have your dog “sit” or “down” close to you. You can either keep your arms straight, or rest on your elbows. Keeping your body as straight as possible, lift one leg as high as you comfortably can 12-15 times. Complete your 2 minute walk, then do same with you other leg. Remember to keep your tummy and bun muscles pulled in as tight as you can.


Walk for 3-5 minutes as a cool down and you’re done!! But feel free to challenge yourself and repeat the workout. Try to perform the workout at least 3 times during the week.

Time to grab the leash and get the lead out!!
Mary Manka

Owner, Push Ups n PawS, LLC


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