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Are you fit for purpose...
If you have you ever said 'if my dog had a
different handler he would be amazing' or 'I wish I could keep up with my dog.' then you'll
want to find out more about a new physical regime called AgilityFIT which could improve your
performance and extend your agility life. Personal Trainer Mike Wood has sent us this article. Read this article.
It makes sense.
By now most people
understand the importance of warming up their dog before training or competing, and there are
many courses already out there for those who don't and want to learn. But how many of you spend
any time warming yourselves up prior to training, preparing your own body for a competition or
exercising specifically for your chosen sport? If your dog shows the slightest sign of a limp
or any sort of discomfort, we rush them to the canine chiropractor/osteopath while we limp
round with bad backs and niggling injuries.
It's not rocket science
to tell the difference between the physical capabilities of a dog compared to a human being.
Dogs are built to accelerate from a standing
start to full speed without any significant training. It's in their DNA and a consequence of
their evolution. The human body is not. Usain Bolt has had to train for years to hone his body
into the elite athlete he is today, albeit from a starting point underpinned by natural talent
and ridiculously long legs. Usain is unique. Most human beings will never achieve this level of
ability, but even he has to warm up.
So you're standing in the
queue... I bet you've warmed your dog up - given him a run round, thrown his toy, maybe
massaged some crucial areas, but what have you done to warm yourself up? You may have to queue
for 20 minutes or more, dead time which you could be using to prepare yourself. Everyone
knows that the body performs better if it is properly warmed up, and yet we don't bother to
keep ourselves AgilityFIT.
Getting ready to compete
Warming up is simply more than physical preparation. It is as much, if not more, a
psychological tool to prepare yourself mentally for the challenge ahead. Simply by
concentrating on a few simple routines, exercises and stretches, a warm up can help you
visualise, focus your mind and breathe confidence into a run that may otherwise have been
hampered with doubt.
Getting the blood flowing
through your system keeps the mind and muscles oxygenated, and maintaining a regular fitness
regime tailored to your sport, as opposed to simply padding along on a treadmill for hours,
helps train your body to cope with the specific movements and stresses dog agility handling
places on your mental and physical self.
For dog agility, it's not
about being faster, it's about being sharper, more agile and teaching your body to react by
employing training techniques that apply themselves to the movements you use when running a
course until they become second nature. It's no good if your mind is three or more jumps ahead
if your body can't keep up!
What is AgilityFIT?
Designed specifically for agility, AgilityFIT is low impact, fun
and for everyone, with no specialist equipment or clothing required - just you, your enthusiasm
and a good sense of humour.
Intended for people of
all abilities, ages and fitness levels, AgilityFIT will give you simple, easy tips and tricks
on how to warm up properly, how to stay warm and ready whilst queueing, and exercises you can
do at home, when walking your dog or anywhere you have the space and time to improve your
general fitness and therefore performance. This is not about running miles, pushing weights or
spending hours in the gym, AgilityFIT works with you and your needs specifically in Agility,
helping improve your mobility, awareness and coordination to give you the edge when you step
onto the competition course.
A single workshop event,
AgilityFIT is aimed at anyone who trains or competes in Dog Agility, and you only have to bring
yourself - no dog needed! Come in your usual training clothes; no skimpy lycra or specialist
equipment. In fact nothing specialist is required at all. Do as much or as little as you like.
Every exercise is tailored to the individual, with differing levels of difficulty for those who
like a challenge - and those who don't!
The workshop has been
designed by Eleanor Balchin, who has been competing consistently at the highest level of
agility since the 1980s and running the very successful Pachesham Agility club for 17 years and
Personal Trainer Mike Wood, a fully insured instructor specialising in mixed martial arts. Now
retired from the ring or cage, he knows the importance of mental and physical fitness to
succeed in competition and now teaches and coaches classes and individuals for combat sports.
Working with Eleanor, he has applied numerous techniques to AgilityFIT to work with all levels
of ability and fitness, making it a course anyone can participate in and learn from.
Don't be the weak link in
your team. Be AgilityFIT.