6 Muscle-Blasting Workouts You Can Do With Your Dog

The last time I didn’t own a dog was my senior year of college. But the day after graduation, a good friend deposited his border collie in my living room (he couldn’t take her home with him) and I suddenly had one. Staring at me. I had no idea what to do at first, but I have owned dogs ever since.

They require a lot of fucking time. Caring for Mandy, my two-year-old beagle-boxer, takes a good two hours each day. We go to the park for 60 minutes in the morning. When I get home, it’s a 45-minute walk. Then, there’s always a stroll at the end of the night for one last pee.

I don’t mind it at all. Our walks are my favorite part of the day. But in finding time to take care of my dogs, I had to cut some things from my life. The first activity that went away was lifting. All through college I worked out, but in my ensuing six years, I’ve barely touched a weight.

That’s not a problem, though, because I’ve found a way to still stay FUCKING HUGE. It’s a simple routine, tailored for dog owners, which can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a dog. And yourself.

Here are six muscle-blasting workouts to do with your dog.

Please note: the efficacy of these workouts is dependent upon the size of your dog.

Doggy Curls

The classic. Not only does it work the sexiest of sexys (my biceps), it’s the easiest to do. Simply cup your dog’s underbelly with both hands and curl up. Here. Here’s a photo.

It’s good because it doesn’t annoy with average dog, and because most weigh between 30-50 pounds, exactly what you usually throw on the easy curl bar.

Yea, I know my weights. Hey ladies.

Doggy Bench

A little harder, but really pumps the pecs. Sure, on a typical bench, you can strap on 225 and blast away, but that works none of your stabilizers, since most straight bars are made of inanimate steel. Not so with doggy bench. There isn’t a great way to grab your dog for this. You have to turn your palms out and up while trying to avoid being kicked and scratched. It really blasts your chest, while also improving your general evasive maneuvers and overall face agility.

Doggy Military

Grab your puppy by his or her chest and his or her ass. Raise it to shoulder level. With feet firm on the ground, drive your dog high into the sky. While holding him or her with arms fully extended, shout “Space Dog” or “Super Dog”*

*Not optional.

Works the shoulders, giving you those firm, toned arms you want for this season’s beach season.

Doggy Squat

You can’t spell legendary without ‘leg day’ and more importantly ‘dog,’ if you add a letter ‘o’ somewhere. LegenOdary. Wrap your dog around your neck as though you were Cruella de Vil and your dog was a dead Dalmatian she’d skinned and converted into a fur neck wrap.

(Do not kill and skin your dog for this. There’s no weight in the fur).

Squat away. You know the move. Be sure to go all the way down.

You didn’t go all the way down.

Doggy Front Squat.

Works the upper transverse quadricep or some shit. Hold your dog high and tight to your chest.

Squat. According Men’s Fitness, front squats are what separates the children from us Dwayne-Johnson types (I made that quote up).

Doggy Cleans


Gently lower dog to floor.

There you go. Be aware that Mandy is a very taciturn and docile dog. This may not work with a fiesty puppy or one you stole from the dog park yesterday afternoon. Use judgment. Afterwards, be sure to treat your equipment to a nice bone (this is the gym equivalent of wiping down the machines).

Lastly, to any of you who are about to comment on how horribly I mistreated my dog here, know that Mandy has no time for your bullshit.

She’s busy.


[All images via Al Whitman, owner of the best vintage guitar shop in New York City, TR Crandall]