overweight dog

Pump Up Your Workout With Your Pup

You both could use a new routine. So get an awesome workout and train your dog at the same time! Our friend Bruce Gilbert, personal trainer and organizer of the LA fitness class Bowwow Workout, shares with us how to get fit fast -- with Fido by your side.

Photo: Thinkstock / The Nest

Shuttle runs

This one is great for your cardio burn, and it teaches your pup how to sit and stay. Find an empty tennis court or field (as you'll need about 35 yards of running space). Command your dog to sit and stay. Run 15 to 20 yards away from your furball, touch the ground, and then run back. Once you reach him (or her!), turn and run back the other way about 25 to 35 yards, touch the ground and run back (again) to your pup. Give the little guy a treat as a reward for sitting and staying, and then repeat 5 to 10 more times. Don’t get frustrated if your dog takes awhile to get the hang of “staying.” Gilbert warns: “This one takes a lot of practice, especially if you have not mastered the sit and stay for more than five seconds.”

Calories burned: Approximately 210 in 15 minutes.


This is a great exercise for burning off some pent-up energy (his and yours!) while killing major calories. “This is great to do before a walk because it levels off your dog so you can train more easily,” says Gilbert. “I use this before going to puppy class as it helps my dog focus more on me and what I want from him.”

Calories burned: Approximately 350 to 400 in 30 minutes, depending on how much your pup pulled you.


Squats turn your pup into exercise equipment, especially if you have a small dog – you can use them as extra weight. Hold Fido close to your chest as you do 20 squats. Can’t pick up your dog even if you tried? Try doing squats with a side-step in between each rep. “This will keep you both moving, and you can also add a 180-degree turn between each rep to keep your dog’s attention,” says Gilbert.

Calories burned: In conjunction with the other strength-training movements, you’ll burn around 900 to1,000 in an hour.


A dog’s dream! Tip: How fast you sprint will dictate the intensity of this exercise. Jog for two minutes followed by an all-out sprint for 15 seconds. Switching from jogging to sprinting lets your dog burn off energy while he’s also learning to follow your direction. “This is a great way to wear out a hyper dog,” says Gilbert.

Calories burned: 400 to 500 in 30 minutes.


Yep, good ol’ fetch is a great exercise for both you and your canine companion. Of course, sitting and throwing the ball won’t do you any favors (except maybe tone up one of your limbs!), so get up and get moving. Throw the ball, chase, run.

Calories burned: 500 in an hour.


If your dog loves splashin’ around, head to a body of water and do both of you some good. They don’t call it the doggy paddle for nothing.

Calories burned: 600 in an hour.

Put it all together

“If you're short on time, you can put some of these moves together for a killer workout that will leave you both panting,” says Gilbert.

Start with a jog or sprint for 10 minutes. Next, do push-ups, followed by shuttle runs. Finish with squats, followed by mountain climbers. That’s one set. Repeat two more times, and if completed in less than 45 minutes, you will have burned 475 to 500 calories.

Not into this routine? Keep these stats in mind:

Cycling burns about 300 calories per hour.

Jogging (5 mph) burns about 600 calories per hour.

Running (8 mph) burns about 1,000 calories per hour.

Swimming burns about 500 calories per hour.

Rollerblading burns about 900 calories per hour.

Hiking burns about 450 calories per hour.

-- Samantha Leal