7 Exercise Moves To Do With Your Dog
1. Wall Sits + Fetch
This quad-killer can be done with just a wall and your pup’s favorite fetching toy! Lean with your back against the wall with your feet shoulder width apart, then slowly slide down the wall until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. (Warning: not for the weak-kneed.) You should feel the burn in your upper thighs, not your knees. Throw the ball for your dog to retrieve! Stay in the wall sit position for 20 to 60 seconds – depending on your strength – throwing it as many times as needed. Rest for 30 seconds between sets of three.
2. Curtsy Lunge + Shake
Practice your pup’s manners with the curtsy lunge! Step your right foot back and behind your left hip, then repeat on the other side; left foot behind right hip. As you step back, offer your hand to your dog and say the “shake” command. This workout move targets the glutes and hip flexors! Provide positive reinforcement after each set of 10 lunges and a belly rub after all three sets.
3. Planks + Wait
Lying on your stomach, push yourself onto your toes and forearms. Focus on keeping your back flat and your head up, engaging your abdominal muscles for full benefits. Before you assume the position, place a treat on your dog’s paw or nose give the command “wait.” Don’t worry about your dog – planks are harder than they look! Last as long as you can in the plank position, then release your patient pup.
4. Mini Hurdles + Heel
Get your cardio in with some speed training exercises on mini hurdles. Jump, skip or hop through your preferred hurdle arrangement, having Fido run alongside or behind you. Larger dogs can get tangled up, so space out hurdles appropriately or make a dog-friendly obstacle course. At the end of the trial – run down and back at least three times – practice “heel” with your dog. For every successful sit give your dog a treat.
5. Jump Squats (for both!)
With feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, squat down and come up into the air. Jump high enough that your legs are fully extended! Bring Fido into the equation with a treat in hand. Every time you jump, have your pup jump too. Depending on your activity level, do 10 to 20 jump squats per set, with three sets total.
6. Russian Twist + Tennis Ball
Another ab-blaster, the Russian twist is even more agonizing when you add a dog. Balance on your bum and lift your feet and knees off the ground, with your back at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Rotate your torso left and right: that’s one rep. Traditionally the move is done with a balance ball or weight plate, but for a dog-friendly version you can use a tennis ball! Either play keep-away or fetch, doing 10 reps and three sets.
7. Interval Sprints + Moral Support
A component of circuit training, sprint intervals get your heart pumping and are a great metabolism booster. Be sure to stretch and get your blood moving before engaging in such an intense exercise. This exercise may not be the best for flat-faced dogs or those with heart conditions. Mark your intervals at 40 to 50 feet from the starting point, then sprint for your chosen interval (typically 30 seconds) with your dog at your side. Rest for a period twice as long as the sprint – 60 seconds in this case. Repeat the sprint/rest combo five times, and get plenty of water for you and your pup afterwards.