Reserve approximately 15 minutes for the first phase of the functional warm-up.
Do a warm-up walk in walk/trot/canter with increasing intensity, where the dog can at first also do it’s business. The goals of the first phase of the functional warm-up are:
- Activating the cardiovascular system
- Enhancing the generation of body heat and thus warming up tissues
- As a special note now that the athelete in question is a dog, giving them the chance to do their business is part of their basic needs and is also taken to account
Start this part with a brisk walk, during which the dog is allowed to sniff and do its business. Try to observe the dog: what does its walk look, what about trot? Are both forelegs taking equal length strides? How about hind legs? How is the dog using its back?
You don’t need to be a a canine professional to be able to observe your own dog! When you start consciously paying attention to your dog’s movements and the way they move every day, you will soon learn to notice possible changes.
When the dog has finished its business, it’s time to up the exercise intensity. Walking-trotting shifts to trot and light stretches of canter, the intensity of which is incrementally increased for about 10 minutes. Ultimately your dog should be trotting/cantering briskly and be slightly winded. If it’s possible to have your dog move off-leash, you might not need to increase your own tempo.
Done on uneven terrain (forest) this phase already starts to activate the supporting and stabilizing muscles of your dog, as well as wake up the nervous system. Done on pavement or road this phase works precisely for warming up.
With Back on Track -products getting the dogs temperature up is efficient even in cool or damp weather. The efficacy of the products is based on partially reflecting the body’s own heat back as far-infrared wavelengths. Research has shown far-infrared wavelengths to increase circulation. It’s utilized especially in preventing injuries, which is why Back on Track -leg wraps and coats would be good to use prior to training or competitions.
Do consider that during warm-up it’s important for your dog to be moving in a relaxed manner in all the gaits it needs to use in the upcoming sport exercise!