“Mountain Climber+ Rock Back Sit + Kick Back Stand”
This integrated movement sequence combines several movements… So let’s break them down…
1) “Mountain Climber” to Stand: This movement specifically targets the “stepping up” leg. It works to strengthen the quads and the hamstrings concentrically (shortening/contracting phase) and gluteals, specifically the lateral aspect of the hamstring and hip, as the dog is working hard to stabilize the pelvis during this single leg step up (unlike a double leg step up/tuck sit). Using a target to indicate to the dog which leg to step with helps the dog to alternate legs. Without this piece, it’s likely the dog will simply choose to only step up with the dominant leg.
2) Rock Back Sit: This movement targets the quads and hamstrings in the eccentric phase (elongating/lowering), as well as the hip and stifle stabilizers. Lowering slowly, while maintaining parallel alignment through the rear limbs is key.
3) Kick Back Stand: This movement,. especially from this hight, and at this level of instability is a total body exercise! The shoulders have to load, the “core” (abdominals, hypaxial and epaxial muscles) have to support the spine and pelvis in an open kinetic chain, and the rear legs have to absorb the impact of landing
There’s a few reasons this exercise sequence is considered expert level…
1) It’s complicated! There are several component pieces that make up this exercise sequence, and each one is quite challenging on it’s own! Combining them not only increases the physical challenge to the muscles, but there’s also a proprioceptive and impulse control challenge. This would be considered an end range test of strength and coordination, as well as a way to integrate plyometrics into an exercise routine.
2) Peanuts are HARD! The peanut is considered by most professionals to be one of the most, if not the most challenging pieces of equipment we use for conditioning. Not only are they very unstable, but they have a curved surface and they are HIGH off the ground. This combined challenge of height and instability means the dog must generate a lot of power to propel them selves up onto the prop, and then use an equal amount of power to stop. The reverse is true on the way down.
Prerequisites for this exercise sequence are
1) Clean/square Tuck Sit-Kick Back Stand on a stable prop of a similar height. Always stable before unstable
2) Mountain Climber/single rear foot target on cue first to a stable surface, and then to an unstable surface
3) Fold Back Down-Stand
4) Square Stand front feet elevated
5) Rock Back Sit- Push Forward Stand first on a stable then on an unstable surface