It’s one of the oldest and most common forms of exercising your pooch but does taking your dog for a walk really help with getting them fit and lean? In today’s blog post we are going to show you three ways you can build lean canine muscle with dog walking!
When it comes to exercises that build muscle it’s very important to focus on activities that are ‘high intensity’. High intensity activities stimulate your dogs type 2 muscle fibres. These are the muscle fibres responsible for that hard, ripped look on a dog.
Some breeds have Type 2 muscle fibres naturally such as pitbulls and american bullies. Other breeds like herders and hounds, not so much. Instead they are naturally composed of more Type 1 muscle fibres which are less defined and not as obvious. The good news is that you can increase a dog’s Type II muscle fibres and improve their muscle definition.
How to Build Lean Muscle with Walking
The truth is, it’s virtually impossible to build optimum lean muscle with just basic hand walking. The reason being it does not challenge the growth and repair phase of a dog’s muscles. Sure, it may get your dog tired if you walk them fast non stop for 1 hour or so but when it comes to conditioning, walking your dog is only good for two things: Emptying their bowels and letting them enjoy a sniff around OR recovering from a workout.
So how does walking build muscle? The answer is you simply make the walk harder by adding resistance to the walk. There are TWO key ways you can add resistance to a dog walk and that is by having your dog pull weight with the use of a pulling harness OR by having them carry weight with the use of a weighted collar or hiking harness. All are effective ways, it just depends on your needs!
Pulling weight with a weight harness is the most preferred method of adding resistance to a dog walk. This is because it’s more natural for your dog and uses their biomechanics in a more efficient way plus it is one of the safest way! By having your dog in a weight pull harness and the weight connected behind your dog, they have to push against the load using their back legs which is the part of a dogs body which generates 80% of their total body power. Weight pulling also provides the best opportunity for building muscle because you have full control of how much weight you add. If you’re going to pull weight with your dog please make sure you use a safe and purpose made harness that distributes the weight evenly across your dogs body. If you have a large dog we recommend our Big Dog Pulling Harness. For all other breeds we recommend our Heavy Duty Pulling Harness.
Carrying weight is also another way to add resistance to a dog walk. One of the safest ways for your dog to carry weight is by using a specially designed hiking harness. Not only are they an effective method to increase your dogs muscle mass but they are also a useful a pretty cool and practical way to carry important items during a hike such as car keys, snacks and water! 🙂
Weighted Dog Collar
Weighted dog collars are also a useful way to make a walk or hike more difficult. They are also versatile in that they can be used in almost any workout you can think of from flirtpole, treadmill sessions and spring pole workouts!
Which method works best for you? Let us know!
Keep Them FIT!