Core Workout for a Dog?
Thank Dog its FitDog Friday! This week, we are focusing on one aspect of our K9Kamp fitness challenge, hosted by our friends Peggy Frezon and Kol’s Notes. We chose to use the K9Kamp challenge to motivate us to modify Slimdoggy Jack’s regular exercise routine to include a more diversified set of activities than his normal run and walk.
Today’s post is about Jack’s core training. Like with humans, dogs can really benefit by having a strong core such as increased athletic performance and protection against injury. Core work is also a relatively low impact way to burn calories so it can be a vital component to an older/injured dog’s exercise routine.
One of the simplest ways to exercise your dog’s core is to use a balance cushion. As shown in the pictures, we place Jack’s paws onto the cushion and have him maintain balance without falling off. We use a 1 minute on/1minute off protocol and do 4 sets. This structure is very similar to the drill that I use myself for my own fitness routine.
Note that Jack is wearing his K9FitVest which we used for his sprinting drills (which we completed before our core work). We keep the vest on Jack for his core work to slightly increase the intensity. What you can’t see from the photos is how Jack uses his core to stabilize his body on the cushion. He is gently swaying side to side and making adjustments to keep himself on the cushion. Not only is this great for his core, it also enhances his proprioception (his ability to balance). He also really seems to enjoy this move!
Now some of you may look at these picture and think that this exercise looks easy so “why bother”? To you folks I submit a challenge of my own: grab a balance cushion next time you are in the gym and stand on it with 1 leg for 1 minute at a time. Unless you have regularly worked on this type of move before, you will find it challenging to stay balanced and notice aches in muscles that you never knew existed!
There are so many other exercises that you can do with your dog to work their core and we plan on featuring several in future posts. In the meantime, we encourage you to add some core work into your dog’s workout routine. Try it out, twice weekly, for 5-10 minutes is all it takes.
After the workout is over- my workout buddy Jack and I both store our weighted vests in our gym. Lots of sweat (and dog hairs) on these for sure!
Do you have a ‘go to’ doggy core/pilates move that you recommend? Share it in the comments please!
Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!