Walking-Partner Workout: Exercise with Your Dog
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Turn a daily chore into a healthy and fun way to move more. Enlist your dog as your partner, and boost a leisurely stroll into a workout routine that will have you stretching, breathing, balancing, strengthening, and toning.
This move strengthens your legs and core. While walking forward, take a large step. Lower your body toward the ground, bending your back knee. (It's not necessary to drop your knee all the way to the ground.) Alternate lunges to do a total of 10. Walk a bit farther, then lunge again for a total of 30-50 lunges per walk.
This exercise helps tighten the rear end. As you walk, tighten your glutes, the muscles in your buttocks, as you extend each leg behind you. Focus on extending your hip and squeezing the muscles in your legs, not your lower back.
Use this workout to tighten your lower abs and legs. Walking forward, raise one knee toward your chest. Hold the knee there about 5 seconds, then slowly lower the foot to the ground. Do 10 lifts with each leg. If you are able, add a front leg extension. This move can help stretch your lower back and your hamstrings, the large muscles on the backs of your thighs.
This routine helps with flexibility and side leg strength. Stand with your feet wide, toes pointed slightly out, and lower your center of gravity. Shift your body weight from side to side, stretching the inner thigh and using the powerful leg muscles.
Try this exercise to strengthen legs. While your dog stops to sniff around, perform as many squats as you can. Stand with feet about hip-width apart, toes pointed forward. Lower your body as if you're going to sit in a chair. Squat only as low as is comfortable for your knees, hips, and ankles.
Doing this move can improve your agility and balance. Stop walking and turn sideways. Step one foot over the other, alternating stepping with the front foot and then the back foot. Grapevine 30 steps one direction, then stop and grapevine back to where you started.
This workout will help with coordination. Move your body sideways with quick, powerful shuffles. Using a toy or ball, play with your dog and cue her to move with you. Alternate sides and make directional changes as quickly as you can.
Try this routine to improve your range of motion. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With your abs pulled in and contracted, bend your elbow 90 degrees. Moving your shoulder away from your body, throw the ball forward. Try to throw 5-10 times on each side.