Hind Leg Exercises for Dogs: The Slimdoggy Squat
It is very important to make sure that your dog’s exercise routine is diversified and hits their systems and muscles in a balanced fashion. Otherwise, although you may have a fit dog, you might also have an injured dog. We have written about our philosophy on how to create a balanced training program from a macro (system) perspective. Today we are going to focus on a micro level (targeted body parts) and show a simple exercise to work your dog’s hind legs.
Front Leg vs Hind Leg Strength
Many dogs tend to have stronger front legs than hind legs. This is because they tend to (inadvertently) load their front legs more than they do their hind legs during activity. (Many humans have a similar problem as we tend to have strength and mobility discrepancies between our right and left limbs). This can lead to a relative weakness in the rear legs which can increase injury risk. Further, as your dog ages, the disparity in limb strength can become obvious. We see this often in senior dogs whose back legs begin to bow and buckle while standing.
Slimdoggy Squat for Hind Leg Strength
There is a pretty simple way to avoid, or at least minimize, the hind limb buckle and that is to make sure that you work your dog’s hind legs directly. There are many ways to isolate the hind legs. One very simple drill that we use is called the Slimdoggy Squat. (You can call it anything you like!). Here is a video clip of Slimdoggy Steve and Jack working on this exercise.
Like the human squat, this is a great way to build leg strength in your dog. For a simple progression, use a weighted vest like the K9FitVest. Try this 2-3 times per week for 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps. Over the course of a few months, you will notice a difference in the way your dog stands and should see an increase in hind leg muscle tone.
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!