In our Peanut Canine Conditioning Course, we talk about how one of the most versatile pieces of canine conditioning equipment is the peanut. Its length creates the ideal platform for a dog to stand. Its lateral movement targets the area of a dog where it is physically weakest. Its roll creates an ideal platform for dynamic stabilization challenges. Its height is enough for jump drills, hindlimb or forelimb isolation exercises.
Dogs keep 60%-70% of their weight on their forelimbs. Just by getting them to shift their weight backward while on peanut or other piece of canine conditioning equipment will immediately create a situation that is challenging for them because they will have to work harder to stabilize their body with their hindlimbs.
Your dog’s hindend strength, awareness, and stability is extremely important when performing their sport or just being physically active. A weak hind can lead to a number of injuries or poor performance because your dog won’t be able to stabilize their body or the equipment their on during their performance. If they try to move to fast without being able to stabilize they will fall a risk injury if they try to stabilize but are weak, they will have to take more time to focus and engage the muscles they need to stabilize their body or the equipment.
A great exercise to strengthen the hindlimb stabilizes is teaching your dog to perform a bow while on the peanut and then remove the pressure so that your dog will have to work to stabilize the peanut on their own. Most people doing this think of the bow as a hindlimb strengthening exercise; in most cases it is not.
However, when the bow is done correctly on the peanut, your dog shifts their weight to their hind and that creates a great opportunity to strengthen the hamstrings, hindlimb adductors and muscles that stabilize the hips by adjusting the pressure you’re using to stabilize the peanut.
In this video from our One Piece Conditioning Course: Feature The Peanut Rue demonstrates two repetitions of the Bow Peanut Stabilization Exercise.