Now, as part of my care in healing up from my pulled muscle, stretching and exercises have become a three times a day regime for me. And we will keep it up to keep me healthy and fit.
It's really difficult for Mum to take pictures of us doing our stretching routine, but we got busy and put together a little video of part of our daily stretching routine. We apologize that the vid is such low quality...we had an incredible amount of trouble getting the darn thing to work. But you'll get the idea.
There are some other great resources out there and we'll share them with you at the end of our post. But first...
The importance of stretching
Have you ever watched a pup after they get up from a nap? Nearly 99% of the time, they stretch - they bow down and stretch their front legs and back, then lean forward and stretch each back leg. Dogs are very smart, they know the importance of stretching after resting and before any activity. It's innate!
Stretching is vital to any dog, athlete or just a little active, young or old. It prepares the muscles for work, and working the muscles is a part of everyday life. But stretching is most important for the dog athlete, to prevent injuries and enhance performance. And it can also...
- Relax the body
- Promote circulation
- Help with coordination, allowing freer and easier movement
- Improve range of motion
- Enhance the dog's body awareness
- And improve health
- Neck stretches - up and down
- Front and back leg extensions and tucks
- Cookie stretches - to each side
- Toe stretches - pulling and rotating
- Back stretches - creating a cat hump stretch for the back
There are some great resources available for more information on massage and stretching. Here are a few of our favs:
For additional resources visit my Squidoo Lens on Canine Athletes! And here are some good resources we found on the Internet:
Stretching for the Canine Athlete From Warm-Up to Cool Down
Canine Massage and Stretching – Improve your dog’s performance
If you have any stretching or conditioning routines that you would like to share, post them! We'd love to hear about them.