Part of our “Spotlight On” series – a look at individual exercises available on the CYC platform; their benefits, and how they can help your patients in their rehab programme.

“Sit-extension” forms part of the Sit-extension-hover exercise pyramid. If the dog performing the exercise can sit in good form on a half-step (which is the initial exercise in this pyramid, 6.1) this progression to sit-extension can also be done on a half-step. This can help the dog proprioceptively with their limb positioning and also encourages them to stay in a good form position throughout the exercise. However, it can also be done without equipment.
This exercise encourages recruitment of the core musculature, including the deep spinal stabilisers which are often impacted in movement dysfunction and musculoskeletal injury or disease.

We see many dogs who struggle with core engagement through basic transitions, such as sit-stand, and this exercise can help re-establish correct neural pathways to recruit the core musculature, so that they can be activated in these transitions. It encourages the initiation of the transition in the core and pelvic complex musculature, rather than “pulling” with the thoracic sling and forelimbs. In activating the spinal extensor musculature, it can be very helpful for dogs who have adopted a kyphotic spinal posture, to encourage engagement into a more neutral spinal profile, which is much more functional for more active movement patterns (such as sit-stand).

This exercise is beneficial for a wide range of rehab aims. With more compromised dogs, particularly those diagnosed with spinal or pelvic complex / coxo-femoral joint disorders, even a slight extension of the spine and recruitment of the caudal core will be sufficient in the early stages to have a positive impact on active movement patterns. With more advanced dogs, this exercise progresses through the exercise pyramid to a hover position, which involves much greater recruitment of the gluteal and pelvic complex musculature.

If this exercise sounds like something you would like your patients to be able to achieve, the CYC platform will assist your clients in training this, and over 80 other exercises, safely and effectively.