Do you warm up your dog before sport performances? Have you ever stopped to consider why warming up is important and how it would best be done?
Warm-up before sport specific exercise is an important, and for the majority of dog handlers, already a standard practice. On average 20-30 minutes are used for warm-up per training session. On a yearly level this comes to about 35 hours for someone training twice week, even more for those who train more frequently.
35 hours a year: quite a lot of time. How could you optimize it?
The purpose of the warm-up presented on this course is to prepare both the mind and the body of the dog for the coming performance. This warm-up is a variation of a functional warm-up created for human athletes. It is based on research, which showed the routine reduced the risk of injury by half in floorball players when done twice a week (Pasanen, Kati. 2009. Floorball injuries : epidemiology and injury prevention by neuromuscular training).
Purpose of warm-up
The purpose of warm-up is to prepare the body for the upcoming challenge. This includes:
- warming up tissues in preparation of the exercise
- activating the cardiovascular system
- waking up the neuromuscular system
- activating the muscles (including smaller stabilizing muscles) needed in the exercise.
When done right, warm-up increases focus and thus also prepares the dog’s arousal level for the coming performance.
The warm-up consists of four phases and begins moderately, the intensity is upped gradually along the way. You should use about 20-30 minutes for warming up depending on the base fitness level of the dog; the purpose isn’t to tire out but to prepare for what’s to come.
The structure of a functional warm-up
On the course, you will learn a four-phase warm-up routine. It begins moderately, and intensity is gradually increased along the way. You should use about 20-30 minutes for warming up. The exact time needed depends on fitness of your dog; the purpose isn’t to tire out but to prepare for what’s to come.
Who is this course for?
The functional warm-up for a sportdog benefits especially those dogs needing speed, power and coordination in their chosen disciplines. However the warm-up routine is also a great gymnastic exercise for all dogs, a proprioception exercise for puppies or an interactive exercise for seniors. With seniors we recommend leaving out the force production enhancement exercises found in phase 4.
Welcome to the course!
In collaboration with