Fitness on the Go outlines 6 exercises perfect for the dog park
By David Pineo
We all know we should be exercising every day — that’s a given. But let’s be honest — sometimes, we’re just too busy to get in that much needed workout, despite our best intentions. As dog owners, we also know that our furry best buds need their daily exercise too — and this is non-negotiable. So why not kill two birds with one stone? That’s where David Pineo comes in.
Pineo is the owner of Fitness on the Go Toronto, and is a coach, trainer and author who has a passion for transforming lifestyles by making fitness fun. He believes that fitting fitness into our everyday actions and routines is the most effective way to make sure we stay on the ball. Through his love for dogs and the outdoors, he developed a routine that takes advantage of your daily dog walk, making it easier than ever to get fit alongside Fido.
One of the best ways to get fit quick (and give your brain and mood a boost while you’re at it) is interval training. Interval training is a fast and very effective way to get incredible fitness results, giving you the most bang for your buck. In as little as 20 seconds per interval, you can get your metabolism to a peak state and turn your body into a fat burning machine. Here are six exercises you can do with your furry friend so you both get a great workout.
Special thanks to Angus from World of Angus for being our fitness dog for this feature! Keep chasing that ball while looking good doing it, Angus!
Warm Up: Jumping jacks or high knees.
5-10 light sets should do the trick.
First step: Throw the ball. This will determine your interval time. I recommend a ball chucker to get a long-distance toss. Start each exercise at the fastest but safest pace you can manage until your pup returns with their ball. You want a 20-30 interval with a maximum of 1 minute of active rest in between. But my dog doesʼt bring the ball back? Lucky you, you get double the workout! Throw the ball to get a minimum of 20 seconds of each exercise. Then walk, run or jog over to grab the ball and repeat. You want to complete 3-5 sets per exercise. Be sure to modify if you are brand new to fitness or have health concerns.
Exercise 1: Squats Raise
This major-muscle activator is a calorie burning beast. Try it as an air squat (demonstrated below) or over a bench if you’re new to squats.
1. With your feet slightly wider then shoulder width apart, slowly sit back like you’re sitting down in a chair.
2. Keep your feet flat on the ground with your chest up and your core tight.
3. As you bend, make sure your knees do not travel in front of your toes.
4. Raise your arms overhead as you come up, holding your dog’s leash tight.
Exercise 2: Lunge Twist
Time to finish off those legs and activate the core with this go-to leg burner.
1. Holding your leash tight, extend your arms in front of you parallel to the ground.
2. Using an extended step, plant your front heal. Keep you chest up proud and your core tight.
3. Lower your body straight down until your front and back knee create 90 degree angles.
4. Twist 90 degrees to your outside leg and back to center. Push off your front heal so you’re back to standing. Alternate legs.
Exercise 3: Back Row
Key for correcting your posture from all that online time hunched at a computer… like right now.
1. Find a tree, pole or bench. Wrap the leash around the pole at an equal length.
2. Keeping your shoulders rolled back and down, row back and forth keeping your upper body neutral and facing forward with your chest up.
3. Make sure your knees are slightly bent for stability.
4. Use your back muscles keep tension and pull. Rotate back and forth as fast as you can.
Exercise 4: Push Ups
These are demonstrated on the ground as classic push ups, but if you’re just starting out, find a bench or raised surface.
1. Set up your hands at mid chest level. Bring them outside of your body the width of your hand.
2. Extend your body all the way out into a plank position, flexing your butt and backs of your thighs to lengthen your body and lock it in.
3. Keep your hips and butt down, level with your back and legs. No downward facing dogs (ie don’t raise your bum in the air above your back). Lower your body down until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
4. Push up to 90% extension of the elbow, try not to lock them.
Exercise 5: Dips
1. Find a bench or a raised flat surface. Sit on the edge and extend your legs all the way out.
2. Keeping your toes flexed towards you, hands, and at your sides, slide your butt off the edge so your hands are supporting your upper body.
3. Lower down to a maximum 90 degree elbow flexion.
4. Push up to a 90 % elbow extension. (Yes it may burn, but this means you’re getting stronger!)
Exercise 6: Mountain Climbers
If there is a mountain nearby, take your dog and go climb it!
1. Get into plank position on the ground or on a bench.
2. Start alternating legs, raising your knees towards your shoulders.
3. Keep your hips down and body long.
4. Alternate as quickly as you can. Be sure to push yourself!
That’s it, you just completed your workout! This routine can take you as little as 15 minutes, but will keep you and your dog feeling like a champion. Take time to stretch and drink water to hydrate. Remember to always consult a doctor before performing any exercise routine and work at your own pace. Working with a trainer is highly recommended until you are comfortable. Have fun!