Olympic gymnast Louis Smith recently released a workout video for dog owners and their dogs.
The 26-year-old, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics, hopes the new video will help both dogs and their owners get fit together.
The exercise includes short sprints, squat throws, crunches and lunges.
In the video, Louis also performs a figure-of-eight routine with the pooches as they weave in and out his legs.
Louis says the activities he and his furry exercise buddies do can be performed at home by owners and their pets using just a ball, toy or healthy treat.
The video coincides with new research shows that one in three dogs in the UK are overweight. It was released during the Dog Obesity Awareness Week which is celebrated from January 1 to 7.
Here’s how to do each of Louis’s Petsercise Workout:
Figure-of-eights (three sets of eight repetitions in each direction): Start off with a slight bend in your knees and feed a dog toy or treat through, under and around your legs in a figure-of-eight motion. Your dog should closely follow your hands through your legs, also creating a figure-of-eight motion. For the human, this gets the lower body working, while encouraging the dog to run and get their heart rate up. Do eight repetitions in each direction. Afterwards, let your dog have its toy or treat. You don’t want to frustrate your dog too much as they’ll lose interest. Rest for one minute and then repeat in both directions two more times.
Squat throws (three sets of eight repetitions): This exercise is a good cardio and muscular workout for both owner and dog. Start by holding a ball and position your feet shoulder width apart. Get down into a squat position, and from here as you go back up to a standing position, launch the ball forward. Not too far, just a light release. Your dog should chase after the ball. As they do so continue squatting. When the dog returns the ball to you, launch it again, continuing the squatting motion. Do eight repetitions and take a 60-second rest. Repeat two more times.
Bicycle crunches (three sets of 10 repetitions each side): Stretch your legs out straight and hold your arms outstretched at your sides. Keep your head and feet off the floor. Bring one leg towards your head until your knee is at a right angle to your body and your calves are parallel with the floor. Now, with a treat or toy in your hand, encourage your dog to leap through the space between your straight leg and your raised leg. Switch the treat into your other hand, lower your raised leg and raise your other leg. Encourage the dog to once again jump over.
Sprints (five sets of 10 repetitions): This is a quick cardio hit for both you and your dog – and introduces some healthy ‘dog-eat-dog’ competitive spirit into the routine. Establish a 10m area – bigger if you have the space. This can easily be done outdoors. However, if you are indoors a long hallway, kitchen or living room will suffice, but ensure the floor is not slippery. Starting from one end, and with a treat or toy visible in your hand, sprint to the other end and run straight back as fast as you can with your dog running alongside.
Standing lunge and feed (three sets of five repetitions): This exercise that will hit the glutes and legs while also giving your dog a little run. Start standing, feet together. Take a big step behind you with your left leg, lifting your left heel off of the floor, keeping most of your weight in your right leg. Slowly bend both knees, lowering your body straight down until both knees make 90-degree angles, being sure to keep your front knee in line with your ankle. Now, using a treat, ball or toy lead the dog around your front and back legs in a circular pattern. Keep repeating this so the dog is running circles around your legs. All the while holding the lunge stance.
Pro cobra (three sets of four repetitions): This exercise helps define the back muscles and gets the dog running back and forth in an arc. Start off by laying flat on the ground, chest to the floor, then drive the dog toy or treat in front of you. Bring the dog toy around the side and then your dog will run round after it. As you bring arms to your side extend your shoulders and lift your upper back. When you bring your arms together outstretched in front of you, swap the treat into your other hand.
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