Struggling to find the time to fit in exercise for both you *and* your dog? We hear you. Thankfully, there’s a solution to both those problems: a fun dog workout.
“For her, it’s just like playtime, while I get 24kg of furry, wiggling resistance to shake up my routine,” says Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, NASM-CPT certified trainer and creator of this workout..
Check out these fun exercises for a training session with your own best friend—some moves might be more successful than others, but we guarantee you’ll have a good time.
1. Dog Toy Bent-Over Rows
3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
This move can be tricky. If your pup is more focused on ripping the toy away from you instead of playing tug-of-war, you’ll have a tough time. If that’s the case try using more traditional resistance, like dumbbells or even a broomstick.
2. Dog Toy Standard Curl
3 sets of 8 reps
Like the bent-over row, this fun exercise will likely be limited by your partner and their interest in hanging onto the toy—so you might be better off checking out the standard doggo curl lower down the list. But if you do want to keep the toy in the equation, use a rope and shift to the hammer curl position for maximum effectiveness.
3. Dog Standard Curl
3 sets of 10 reps
Just think of this version of the classic biceps exercise as if you were using a furry, smelly barbell. To get more out of the move, shift your attentional focus to your biceps to establish a strong mind-muscle connection.
4. Dog Zercher to Front Squats
4 sets of 10 to 12 reps each
We’d normally never recommend transitioning between the Zercher squat, where you hold a barbell in the crook of your arms to challenge your core, to a front squat position—but when your load is a squirmy pup, you’ll be better suited to raise them up to your shoulders. Just push through as many reps as possible—with perfect depth and posture—before they wriggle away.
5. Dog Forward and Rear Lunges
3 sets of 10 reps per leg
Whether you lunge forward or backward (or both), you’ll appreciate the unilateral challenge. I prefer to hold my dog in a low position, like the Zercher squat. Just maintain good form, keeping your chest up and preventing your knees from slamming on the ground.
6. Dog Bulgarian Split Squat
3 sets of 8 reps per side
Ramp up the difficulty of the lunge and get your glutes even more involved with this elevated unilateral exercise. If the problem is your pup, you’ll have to see what bribing them with a treat might do to help.
7. Dog-Resisted Pushups
3 sets of 12 to 15 reps
Hopefully, you can just get your pup to sit on your back to serve as a little extra resistance. In my case, Lielo wasn’t having it. Get ready for lick attacks. To get your core involved, try a plank.
*By Brett Williams
*This article originally appeared on menshealth.com