At Barefoot Paws we advise using Dynamic Stretches to get us and our dogs ready for physical activity.
Dynamic Stretching is using natural movement patterns to warm up our muscles. This increase in temperature enables our muscles to become more elastic. This reduces the likelihood of tearing. It is slight tears of the muscles that create muscle pain after the workout.
It also readies the central nervous system for the predicted workload. This means that the brain is able to direct efforts as efficiently as possible. Again, this reduces injuries and enables the body to function faster, stronger and longer. Since the brain is able to ready the required motor functions ahead of time.
The biggest benefit of dynamic stretching is that it prevents us - the handlers - from over stretching our dogs. Static stretching runs this risk. Dynamic Stretching gives us a method of readying our dogs within their movement range, which most owners do not appreciate. Why should you?
This type stretching strategy sets the body up for light work which can then transition into work. Not only the physical and nervous preparation is involved, Dynamic Stretching of this type also facilitates a deeper relationship between you and your dog.
Once we have completed our Dynamic Stretching routine our dogs muscles are warm enough to facilitate light exercise and their brains are ready to ensure that this light work will be efficiently managed.
This enables us to perform warm up exercises, such as a light to brisk walk, which allows our dogs cardiovascular system to safely and efficiently ramp up. Heart rate increases to push blood to the muscles and extremities, lungs open up to allow more oxygen to enter the bloodstream.
This pre-work warm-up actively prevents our dogs from running higher chances of muscular and skeletal injury caused by lounging at home all day waiting for you to come home for a run. You don't want to miss out on your running partner and neither do you want to see your dog limping.