Rebuilding Lilly’s Strength
As part of building back Lilly’s strength, I developed a little routine. I thought you might find it useful.
We’ve resumed our morning walks and are working up to full distance, which is about 3 miles and takes about an hour due to terrain. Here’s how the elevation profile goes:
- Slight hill from house to road
- Mostly flat with slight incline to corner
- Steep hill
- Mostly flat for a good half mile
- Steady incline to our turn-around point
- Then back … which is a steady decline, except for that one big hill
Sometimes, if we feel up to it, I throw in a 30-second run every 5 minutes. For those who know the lingo, they are pump-flow-volume intervals, which I’m told are proven to increase cardio strength much more than a steady walk or even a steady run. And, because I’m only mildly athletic, when I say run … I mean a good trot.
Lilly, by the way, has a beautiful trot. She could kick butt in the conformation ring in another universe.
But, the first day we did 3 intervals, she hid/slept in the basement much of the day, so I clearly had her do too much.
We work on core strength and rear strength in 4 ways. We play fetch up and down the steep hill in our middle pasture. I get Lilly to walk backwards, which I’ve read is really good for their hips and such. I call her to me, then I step into her and say BACK UP, and she takes a few steps back. Then, I call her to me again, and repeat. I’m also asking for her ROLL IT trick and her DANCE trick (pirouette on hind legs) to work on her core.
Lilly has a good STRETCH cue, which means put your paws on my chest, throw your head back and really stretch your whole body.
I also ask her to SPIN in both directions to limber up her spine.
Some Jumping and Weaving
A couple times a week, we do just a tiny bit of agility work … mostly jumping and weaving … and only for about 1-2 minutes.