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Top 3 Ways to Workout with your Dog

By Thomas Delauer

We’ve established that our furry family members are more than likely some of our best accountability partners that we could possibly have… That look of sorrow that they give us when we opt to have that extra cup of coffee on the couch in the morning rather than going out for a run with them. There is no better accountability system than a big pile of guilt being laid on you by man’s best friend. But let’s talk about some ways that you can get a bit more creative with how you workout with your dog (and no, I’m not talking about using them as dumbbells like I’ve done).

It’s time to dive into some new ways that you can get your cardio and even your High Intensity Interval Training in with your dogs! No more boring fasted cardio while you both smell the morning roses. Nope, we are talking about some fun and creative ways that not only gamify the process of working out for you, but leave your dog feeling like he had a truly interactive playtime with you. It’s really the best of both worlds!

1) Fetch Tease Ab Workout

This one will leave your abs more sore than doing one thousand rope crunches AND you’re going to get a chuckle out of the entire process too (which will only help your abs out more)!

The goal of this exercise is to accomplish as many situps as you possibly can before your dog realizes that you’ve tricked him into thinking you’ve thrown the ball for him.

Here’s how you’re going to do it:

  • Start sitting in a traditional sit up position on the ground while holding a tennis ball (or your pup’s favorite toy).

  • Hold the ball while performing a sit up and at the top of the movement, pretend to throw the ball for your pup.

  • Once your dog runs for the ball (or so he thinks) try to knock out as many sit ups as you possibly can until he comes back.

  • Repeat this until he catches on… Eventually, he will catch on quicker and you can advance to stage two.

Stage 2

  • Assume the same position as Stage 1

  • This time, when you rise up to the top of the movement, throw the ball for him. This does two things- 1) it shows him that you DO actually throw the ball so that he doesn’t think he’s getting jipped every time, and 2) it gives you an opportunity to crank out some more sit ups

  • Now, get as many sit ups as you can before he returns

  • Repeat until either one of you hits failure

2) Fetch Intervals

There’s nothing too fancy about this one, yet we still don’t see many people doing it these days! Now, a quick note, - If you have a greyhound, you might find this one difficult J

Here’s how you’ll perform this exercise with your dog:

  • Throw the ball or stick (or favorite toy) for your dog and literally kick into an interval sprint along with your dog. You’re going to race him to the stick.

  • If you beat him to the stick, you’re going to perform air-squats until he fetches.

  • As soon as he fetches, you’re going to meet with him, rest for 30 seconds, and do it again

  • This time, if you reach the ball first, you’re going to do lunges (you can vary this up too)

  • This simple exercise mimics the same kind of movement that you would get out of doing boring old cardio in the gym, except you get the added benefit of making your dog the happiest guy on earth AND you’re going to find that time flies a lot faster when you’re outside enjoying yourself rather than being cooped up in the gym.

3) Squat Jumps!

This one may only work for those with more agile dogs, however, one question that is asked A LOT is how to keep up with agile dogs. There are a lot of people out there with dogs that flat out have so much agility and energy that their owners don’t know what to do… Well, here’s a quick solution for you!

Here’s how you’re going to do this one:

  • Use your dog’s favorite ball or toy

  • Assume a neutral squat position and hold the ball so that your dog is well aware that you have it.

  • Squat down and touch the ball to your dog’s nose so that he is prompted to jump for it when you stand up.

  • It’s important that you raise your hands up with the ball when you stand up so that your dog knows it’s okay to jump and so that you get more of a workout out of the process. (You don’t want your dog to know it’s okay to jump every single time you squat).

There is a good chance that your dog will peter out pretty darn quick with this one, so if that is the case, climb down on the floor and hold a plank position for about a minute while he recovers, then repeat the madness!

These are just a few of the easy ways that you can get out and about with your furry family for the remainder of the summer. As fall approaches and the weather begins to cool down, you’re going to want to make sure that you can get the most out of your outdoor time before winter!

Remember, our furry counterparts operate in an interval like fashion when it comes to exercise. Quick, short bursts of activity are great for them, and coincidentally, they’re great for our midsections too!