Canine Calisthenics: New Workout Video for Pups and People

Britain's heartthrob gymnast Louis Smith has left us breathless and set our hearts racing with his extraordinary performances in the Olympics and on the British TV competition, Strictly Come Dancing. Now, the Olympic medalist and dance-show champion is sharing some of his fitness secrets in a new video.

The twist is that this video—Petsersize with Louis Smith—is aimed at you and your dog.

"As a dog owner, I know just how important it is to exercise your dog every day," says Smith, who added a Siberian Husky pup, Luna, to his family during the summer. For this "first man and dog fitness video" he has combined standard exercise movements for people, such as squats, lunges, and bicycle crunches, with canine trick moves, such as jumps and leg weaves. All you need is a dog, a squeaky toy and treats, and some space to move around. The exercises are designed for indoor workouts, in a space as small as a living room.

Smith, who teamed up with More Th>n Insurance and Wagglepets, a British pet-supply subscription service, to create this promotional video, is preparing for competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"It’s really important that I’m in peak physical condition, but I never forget about my dogs and their need for regular exercise and a proper diet," he says.

In the 11-minute video, Smith and a pair of dogs—Gift, a Border Collie, and Titch, a Russell Terrier, demonstrate six standard gym moves, each requiring your dog to know specific obedience skills or tricks, including:

  • Figure of Eight pairs human squats with canine leg weaves.
  • Squat Throw combines human squats and a lively game of fetch.
  • Standing Lunge and Feed has a dog running around the legs as a person holds a lunge position. The "feed" refers to the treat Smith delivers at the end of each runaround.
  • Bicycle Crunches, in which the dog jumps over your legs as you alternate them.
  • Pro Cobra, in which the dog runs from side to side in a semi-circle as the human lies in a prone position and extends arms straight out in front and to the back.

The gymnastics champion clearly loves dogs and the video is sprinkled with lots of encouragement and fun. The one exception is when the Border Collie shows him up in the sprints. "Pommel horse is my forte," he quips.



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