Cardio Canine: An Exercise Program for You and Your Dog Week #4

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Col—CC2‘Man’s Best Friend,’ is a common catchphrase. Its origin may seem obvious, but according to American history, it was a lawyer from Warrensburg, Missouri that coined the phrase.
It was October of 1869 when a farmer suspected local dogs of killing his livestock. To subdue the threat, the farmer, shot and killed a neighbor’s hound dog, known as Old Drum. In retaliation, the dog’s master, sued.
A successful trial followed, with attorney George G. Vest arguing “Gentlemen of the Jury, the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith….The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”
This excerpt from the speech, “A Tribute to the Dog,” was the inspiration of the phrase, ‘man’s best friend’. And these words exemplify some of the countless examples of the human-dog bond.
People go to great lengths for their pets; and dogs, well, they go beyond. Bomb-sniffing dogs parachute through the mountains of Afghanistan, sled dogs race across frozen tundras and guide dogs lead the disabled to safety. In every country, within every culture, dogs are of service. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? Your dog is your companion. You have raised him from a pup and he has been by your side at your best and your worst. That partnership has been the focus of this introductory series of, “Cardio Canine: An Exercise Program for You and Your Dog”.  Every time you complete a “Cardio Canine” workout, you reinforce your bond with your pet. These playful and athletic interactions keep you both fit and in communication with one another.

This week’s workout will incorporate a famous dog game, known for interval sprints and mental stimulation: Flyball. As there are entire organizations dedicated to this sport, its rules and technique, I have decided to tweak it for exercise purposes and rename it the ‘Cardio Canine Doggie-Relay’.
The object of our game is to race your dog as you navigate hurdles and obstacles. Hold a ball in one hand and stand at your start mark next to your dog. On your count, run as fast as you can, jumping over hurdles until you reach your end mark. At the end mark, toss the ball to your dog and run back to the starting point. Even if your dog is not a retriever, he will be delighted to chase you! ‘Cardio Canine’s Doggie-Relay’ is a instinct-churning, fat-burning way to health and excitement. You are going to need your 6-foot leash, inflatable water-bowl, water bottles, a ball, and a trail where you can create a obstacle course to match you and your dog’s athletic ability.

Cardio Canine Workout #4. Time 30- 35minutes

Warm-up by alternating between brisk walk and light jog for 15 minutes as you go to your trail.
Followed by 2 sets of:
Burpees with Push-Ups, 10x Open-toe Squat, 10x
Plank with Chatarunga Push-Up, 10x Open-Toe Squat, 10x
Followed by:
Bicycle Crunch, 50x
1 Set of:
Burpees with Push-Ups, 10x Open-toe Squat, 10x
Plank with Chatarunga Push-Up, 10x Open-Toe Squat, 10x
Followed by:
Bicycle Crunch, 50x
Recovery walk while you set up your obstacle course. Create 4 or 5 hurdles from bundles of branches of varying lengths, heights and widths and place them at varied distances on your path. If you want to really challenge yourself, create the course on a small hill and then, enjoy ….
4 Sets of:
Doggie-Relay Race
*Remember to go at your own pace and allow for rests/water breaks between relays*
Followed by:
Recovery/Cool down walk home

Exercises Explained

Burpee: Stand hip distance apart, squat and move into plank position, jump back into squat and then standing position. This entire movement will be consecutive, flowing from one position into the next. When you are in the plank position, you will do a push-up to increase the level of difficulty.
Open-toe Squat (aka the Pile Squat): Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes pointing outward. Keep your core and back straight as you lower to the ground. Your knees should not move past your toes. Bring yourself back to starting position.
Plank with Chatarunga Push-Up: You will be in the plank position, your elbows over your wrists. Your back will remain flat, not concave, and lower yourself down as far as you can without touching the ground. Your legs are firm and extended behind you. Lift your chest out and up as you push-up using your triceps muscles. Lower down and repeat.
Bicycle Crunch: Lie on the ground, clasp your hands behind your head and bend your knees so that your feet are on the ground. Lift your right knee and left elbow and bend both in to touch one-another, then repeat with left knee and right elbow. Make sure you do not pull on your neck and your core muscles are engaged while your back is firmly grounded.

And that’s it, after today, you have successfully completed 4 varied work-outs from the “Cardio Canine” program. You have trained all your major muscle groups and have conditioned your body with aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.
It is my hope that this series of articles has inspired you to work-out with your best friend. Please be on the lookout for the upcoming, “Cardio Canine: An Exercise Program for You and Your Dog,” website, books and athletic equipment. Please feel free to contact me with questions and/or comments at MarisaBellis@msn.com (please write CC in the subject line).

Until then, Happy Tails !!!

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