Pup It Up: Exercises You Can Do with Your Dog

Close up of big fluffy Labrador Retriever on a walk with owner

If you’re unique like us, you love two things above all else: fitness… and doggies. While you’ve also probably got a place in your heart for your spouse, career, hobbies, hopes and dreams, etc. — if you’re being completely honest with yourself, nothing compares to the ooomph of breaking a sweat, and the awwwww of playing with your pooch.

And if this does actually sound like you, we’ve got something pretty perfect to propose to you and your preciously prized pooch — we’re combining your two loves into one! Because we’ve come up with the ultimate workout you can do right alongside your doggie! This easy fitness routine is ideal for those looking to get fit while spending quality time with their furry friends. If this sounds like you, read on! 

Dog-Assisted Sit-Ups

Man in tanktop doing a situp with a medium sized dog at his feetThis fun puppy-promoted exercise gives you a chance to crank out that core, while giving your doggie a ‘lil bit o’ love. Just get into a regular sit-up position, lying flat on your back with your knees raised in front of you and your feet on the floor, and have your canine companion sit at your feet (preferably with their paws resting on your knees!). Then, every time you come up and feel the burn, you’ll also hopefully feel a couple wet kisses on your nose… talk about encouragement!

The Wagging Wall Sit

Like the standard wall-sitting exercise, this one is great for working your quads, glutes, hams, and calves. It’s not that great of a workout for your pooch, but they’ll just be happy you included them. For smaller dogs, hold them in your arms as you perform a wall-sit (back along wall, knees at 90º angle above your toes). For bigger dogs, get them to stand on their hind legs and place both paws on your knees. They’ll probably be licking and slobbering all over you while you do this, which will probably help take your mind off of the searing burn you feel in your own hind quarters. 

Tennis, Anyone?

German Shepherd running on tennis court with ball in mouth

This might sound a bit ridiculous, but it really works! Grab yourself a tennis racket and a couple of tennis balls. Place two tennis balls on either end of a tennis court. Go to one end of the court and hit the ball over the net — your pooch will dart to get it, and you follow right behind them. By the time you get to the other side, grab the next ball and hit it over. Your pooch will probably drop the first ball as they run to the second (but if they’re particularly tenacious, bring about 5-6 balls to make them have to drop it).

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Big dog playing tug-o-war with owner in a park

This one is specially for those with big, hulking beasts: we’re talking your St. Bernards, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, German Shepherds, Rotts – you get it. An active game of Tug-O-War can be just the thing to give you both a workout. Get yourself a heavy length of rope, and get to pulling. If you manage to get it out of your doggie’s mouth, run away and have them chase you. If they get the better of you, chase after them and get what’s yours. Although fun, this exercise routine has the effect of doing a series of running lunges and squats. 

Take to the Trails

Owner running on a trail with a leashed dog

Sure, you’re used to taking your dogs on daily strolls so they can relieve themselves on every bush, hydrant, and fence that meets their approval. Now, it’s time to take it up a couple notches with a trail run! The benefits of walking/hiking/running trails are many, both for you and your dog: the soft ground is easier on your joints as well as your puppy’s paws, and the uneven terrain will force you to adapt and work up even more of a sweat. Don’t worry about your dog though, they’re four-legged anatomy is pretty much built for the twists, turns, hills, and dips you find on trails. If you’re more of a bike rider, taking to trails is also better than the street, as you won’t get your dog too tuckered out. 

Person doing push ups with a dog resting on their backPuppy-Ups

This can work whether you have a small or large dog. But get into your regular push-up position, with your little toy dog on your back, or with your big beefy brute up on their hind legs with their front paws on your back. And proceed to do those push ups with a little help from your friend!

Build an Obstacle Course

Brown and white cocker spaniel dog running on obstacle course with owner

For those with a bit of room in their backyard, why not put it to good use with the perfect at-home workout with your dog — an obstacle course! For inspiration, you can watch shows like ‘America’s Top Dog’ or the doggy agility competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Fill it with obstacles like old tires, ramps, hurdles, and other hard-to-get-around objects, and the both of you will surely be sweating up a storm in no time. And if your poochie doesn’t exactly know what to do, you can start it yourself and they’ll be right there behind you figuring it out.

We hope our doggie-friendly workout is just what you and your poochie needed to get hearts beating and tails wagging. Looking for more workouts that you can do from the comfort of anywhere? Why not sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial with Studio SWEAT onDemand! We’ve got tons of virtual fitness classes that can be done from the comfort of anywhere, such as Indoor Cycling, TRX, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing, Barre, Bootcamp, and tons of others. Now you probably can’t do all of these with your dog, but maybe by this point they’ll be happy to watch you from the corner of the room? Either way, sign up today and get your sweat (and pant) on!

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