As an athlete, human, or canine, it's important to continuously improve your fitness and performance. One of the best ways to achieve this is by progressively overloading your workouts, which involves gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty of your exercises over time. However, to avoid hitting a plateau or risking injury, it's crucial to periodically regress the exercises as well.
Regressing exercises means going back to a simpler or easier version of an exercise your dog may have already mastered. This could include reducing the resistance in strength training, decreasing the range of motion, or simplifying the movement pattern. There are several benefits to regressing exercises, even for experienced canine athletes.
Firstly, regressing exercises can help your dog to perfect its form and technique. By going back to the basics, you can focus on proper alignment, control, and activation of the correct muscle groups. It allows you to target specific muscles in a more controlled manner. This will not only improve your dog’s performance in the long run but also reduce the risk of injury.
Secondly, regressing exercises can help to correct imbalances and weaknesses in your dog’s body. It's common for athletes to develop strength or flexibility imbalances due to the specific demands of their sport or training program. Regression identifies and addresses these imbalances, strengthens any weaknesses, and corrects areas of limited or reduced flexibility, thus reducing the risk of injury.
Thirdly, regressing exercises can help your dog to break through plateaus and progress to more advanced exercises. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find that your dog is not improving or making progress as quickly as you'd like. By going back to simpler exercises and focusing on form and technique, you can build a stronger foundation and prepare your dog’s body for more advanced movements.
Finally, regressing exercises can help you and your dog to avoid burnout and stay motivated. If you're constantly pushing your dog to the limit with high-intensity workouts, you may eventually hit a wall. Your dog may lose motivation. You may even enter a state of overtraining with your dog. By periodically regressing the exercises and focusing on technique and form, you can give your canine athlete’s body and mind a break while still making progress toward your performance goals.
Regressing exercises is a crucial part of any athlete's training program. It can help to perfect their form, correct imbalances, break through plateaus and avoid burnout. By periodically regressing exercises, you can ultimately progress to more advanced and harder exercises while minimizing the risk of injury and maximizing performance. So, next time you hit a roadblock in your dog’s fitness training, consider regression and see how it can benefit you in the long run.