Somewhere between mum’s preoccupation with my bar dropping and the time mum has spent at Pilates and the Physio dealing with her own back issues she has come to the decision that I need to do more Core Strength Work.
So the Pilates place mum goes to doesn’t exactly want my paw prints all over their equipment so instead it looks like the Core Strength sessions are not going to be held in some swanky studio but instead home here welcome. Actually that is another big plus of doing this core work at the moment… Winter here in Sydney has started (not that it has really felt like it with the temperature still being pretty warm) but the daylight is shorter so this conditioning stuff mum and I can do inside of any evening once the Toddler has gone to bed.
So beside the logistical benefit of not doing training outside in the cold and dark there are also some other benefits…. Yep just like you 2 legged humans having a strong core is really important. While mum hopes it will help with my jumping she also hopes it will help avoid injuries. Here is a little piece from Barking Dog Fitness on the Importance of Core Strength for your Dog.
Mum wouldn’t go out and just run a marathon without a build up of slow and steady training and getting me doing Core Strength work is no different. So we are starting off with just 5 minutes or so a couple of times a week and also with nice easy exercises. Even though something looks simple it actually has me working my core muscles to keep me stable.
Here are our 1st 3 exercises:
Beg: this may sound counterintuitive to have mum wanting me to beg and I am generally pretty good at doing those sad puppy dog eyes like I have never been fed but this is slightly different. From a sitting position mum has been holding my food just above my nose. It has taken me a bit of time to realise what she wants me to do is lift up off my rear legs to get the food… Ahhh… The moment I lift up mum says ‘yes’ and I get the food (ideally while I am still up if she is quick enough). This lifting myself up off my back legs is something I haven’t really done before so we are starting with just 3-5 goes and just a short time up (like seconds). As I get stronger we will progress the time, height and number of repetitions.
Cushion Touch: for this mum grabbed one of the old cushions. She placed it on the floor and asked me to do ‘Step Up’ and ‘Feet’ like we have been practicing for rear end awareness work. The difference this time is that rather than a solid step I am stepping onto an uneven and slightly wobbly cushion. We are just starting with a single cushion and doing front legs and then back legs on the cushion. As we progress with this mum will need to donate larger cushions and we can do both front and rear legs together. We will also extend the time I spend on the cushions.
Check out my abs at work….
Although I do prefer this use of the cushions…
3 Legs On a The Ground: Like the ‘Beg’ this one requires no equipment. Mum simply puts me in a stand and sits or kneels beside me. Helping support my weight to begin with she raises one of my legs just slightly off the ground. This changes my centre of balance and forces me to use my core to stabilise (the same as you humans trying to balance on 1 leg). We just do a set of these raising 1 leg at a time for a short period. As we progress with these than each leg can stay up for a little longer and we will also get to a point where 2 legs (the opposite legs) will be held up at the same time (just don’t get too tricky…. I can’t stand on just 1 leg mum).
So there you have the start of our conditioning work. 5-10 minutes that can be done inside and will help keep us dogs healthy for many years to come.
Here is another article that we came across. While not keen on all the exercises (particularly the wheelbarrow) it is a good read.
What do you think do you want to join us in a core strength challenge?
Watch out for my abs of steel 6 pack in the making… Bodhi