MY Backyard/Basement Training Routine

During the late fall and early winter months, because I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, MY backyard training routine must have the capacity to be taken indoors.  Consistency of routine is what I shoot for, not duration of workout.  This particular workout occurs every other or every third day depending on what kind of endurance work I can fit in on MY “off” days whether it’s a bike ride, run, snowshoe, or cross country ski.  Someone once said that it takes six week for something new to become a habit.  I find this so true and it is for this reason that I try not to take too much time off, as I hate the six-week break-in process.

I begin MY workout with 5 minutes of jump roping on a soft surface (grass or mat depending on the elements).  You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to jump rope in the snow.  It’s a hoot.  Jumping rope gets the blood flowing and turns on your body’s proprioceptive system, which helps you avoid those sprained ankles that can occur while doing MY next exercise – wind sprints.  MY wind sprints fit in my basement but all you really need is a hallway.  The wind sprints look similar to running lines like they do during basketball practices.  Upon finishing this exercise I usually require a few yoga poses to allow MY cardiovascular system to catch up to MY body.

Next, I borrow my dog’s cavaletti poles, which I position on the ground and walk grape vines through.  Doing grape vines always brings back fond memories of P.E. class and laughing at the boys as they tripped over themselves while the girls just glided by.  Next comes a series of walking high kicks (kick your leg out so you can touch your toe with your opposite hand and repeat with the opposite leg – bending your knee is allowed), and stationary running butt kicks and the warm-ups are complete.

Now comes the fun stuff.  Lunges, box jumps, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and medicine ball work for MY core.  So there you go, MY backyard/basement training routine.  And as for my dog, the winter is her off-season.  She can be found giving me her wag of approval for my effort, all the while knowing that when it’s HER turn for stairs, hill work, trail running, cavaletti, disc activities, and agility drills her partner will not slow her down or sideline her with a nagging injury.  Damn those human knees and ankles.  Who was responsible for those designs anyways?

This not so subtle hint is part of the Dog Agility Blog Event that can be found at

Thank you for reading and have a safe and happy holiday season.

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  • Andrea Harris

    great take on the subject! thanks :)

    • rpelletier

      You are very welcome.

  • Michele Fry

    Yes, sadly, I’ve come to realize that handler fitness is a must. My dogs run fine, jump well, weave fast, and follow my every command just as I deliver it. I’m the one who needs to get control of my body — develop the habit of exercise and fitness!

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