Activities For Figure Skaters With Dogs

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Introduction

You may figure skate at competition level or like to partake in the sport for the beauty and fitness of it. Either way, we are guessing that you don’t have your furry best buddy on the ice with you when you are practicing your triple axel or salchow. That doesn’t mean that you cannot combine your love of the sport and your adoration of your dog! An athlete needs to continuously work to keep fit - and a dog needs to have physical stimulation in their life to be happy and content. Try these activities with your dog so that you can both put your best foot forward at all times - on and off the ice!

Warm Up

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Any Day
Free
Normal
10 - 20 min
Items needed
Treats
Leash
Activity description
Warming up before any form of activity or exercise is essential to avoid injury during the workout or excessively sore muscles afterward. Giving your muscles and joints a chance to loosen up will allow for an increase of blood flow through your muscles. Not only do humans benefit from the preparation of the heart before exercise, but your eager canine partner will also feel a boost in their performance as a result of the increase in body temperature and the lubrication of the joints. Grab your pup's leash for an enjoyable time outside prepping for the workout. If the weather is inclement, keep the fun indoors!
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1
Stretch
Stretching is an essential part of your warm up before your exercise session. Do a few squats and walking lunges to get the muscles warmed up in your legs. Put your arms in motion by doing arm circles. As for your pup, gently manipulate their legs by straightening them out away from the body.
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2
Windshield wiper
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Extend your arms out to either side and pull your knees up to a ninety degree angle. Keeping your torso on the ground and rotate your knees to the left and to the right. Keep the motion slow and steady. Tell your pup to lie on their back and let them roll side to side, mimicking you!
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3
Flying stretch
Lie on the floor exhaling as you extend your arms in front and your legs behind you. Point your toes and lift both of your legs and arms up as if flying like superman. Have your dog lie on their tummy and move into the froggy position, which stretches their legs well.
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Bird Dog

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Rainy Day
Free
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description
For a figure skater, core strength is key to a successful skate. For an exercise that strengthens the core as well as the arms and legs, try the bird dog. This activity helps you work on balance and stabilty (as you know, a very important facet of figure skating) and when done in combination with exercise for your pup, helps you to master your spins and landings. As for benefits for your dog, they are with you, which is number one in their books. Work on these moves on a rainy day when you want to work out despite being stuck inside, all for the cost of a few dog treats!
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1
Get into position
While keeping your abdominals tight and spine straight, move on to your hands and knees. Reach forward with your right arm while raising your left leg behind you. Straighten the leg and keep the right arm straight. Maintain a parallel form. Repeat with the other side. Do 15 reps per side. Your dog can practice their sit-stay as you begin the exercise.
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Doggy moves
After you do your 15 reps per side, have your dog stand, facing you. Ask them to stand and walk forward three steps. Have them sit and give them a small training sized treat. Repeat this stand, walk forward, and sit movement six times. Doing so will give your pup a mini leg workout.
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Balance and Bond

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
5 - 20 min
Items needed
Balance disc
Wobble Board
Activity description

Part of a figure skater’s fitness regimen involves working on balance. An ability to hold your form no matter what move you are performing on the ice is key to a graceful skate. Involve your dog as you work towards fine tuning your balance. The strengthening of both your dog’s and your stabilizer muscles can be initiated by a fun daily or even weekly regimen. You will need to purchase a balance board and disc but the equipment will do double duty as both you and your dog can use it. These exercises can be performed either indoors or outside so invite your pup for a session of bonding and fitness!

Step
1
Balance disc
Using a balance disc is a good way to build on your pup’s coordination skills. Using the disc is a good way to introduce balancing exercises to your dog because the disc is low to the ground and doesn’t make them particularly nervous about the instability of the apparatus. You can have your dog place either their front or back paws on the disc, and have them stay in place for 30 second increments. Increase the amount of air in the disc to provide more of a challenge as your exercise partner gets used to balancing. When your dog has finished the exercise, practice balancing on the disc yourself!
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2
Wobble board
After your dog masters the balance disc, move on to the wobble board. The board is unique in that it has a ball for a base. Start your dog off on a beginner board - it has no ball base and moves only front to back or side to side. Advanced boards will have a ball and move in all directions. Have your dog place their front paws on a low bench and their back paws on the board. When you take your turn, work on balancing your body on the board to increase your core strength. If you work on the wobble board when outside, you will have the soft surface of the grass to cushion the occasional tumble!
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More Fun Ideas...

Fetch

Work on building a strong arm and at the same time, develop your pup's cardiovascular fitness with a rousing game of fetch. Take the game to the beach to increase the intensity by running in the sand!

Walkabout

Leg strength is an all-important part of figure skating and walking is an essential part of your dog's routine. Take your dog on a daily walk through the neighborhood, being sure to include a few hills in the route.

Conclusion

Involve your best bud in your fitness fun to increase core strength, leg strength, balance and more. A fit dog means that you can include them when going on hikes, beach runs and long walks. Not only does your pup get to spend tons of time with you, you will both feel healthier, happier and on top of your game!