Purpose: Power-Up is the apex variation of a Rock Back Sit-Push Forward Stand, and focuses on the eccentric phase of the movement (controlled lengthening of the muscles involved/resisting gravity to affect a slow, controlled return to the sit position). The main difference between this variation and the Power-Up Prep: Advanced is the speed control the dog gains on the return to sit.
Equipment: Plyo Box or Peanut, Sitting Platform
Targets: The muscles contracting eccentrically during the return to sit phase of this movement are the quadriceps, proximal hamstring, gluteals and digital flexors. This controlled lengthening requires proprioceptive control of the large movers (mentioned above), along with the small stabilizing muscles that direct the rotational forces through the hip, stifle, tibiotarsal joint and foot.
Of course, there is also a great strength requirement during the concentric phase of this exercise (pushing up against gravity), but that has been built up to using more closed kinetic chain exercises, and is not the main focus of this variation.
- In the first few repetitions, you’ll notice how slowly Hot Rod is lowering from the stand to the sit position. Her top line is maintaining good neutral alignment, and both stifles/tarsus are flexing simultaneously and symmetrically . You’ll also notice how quickly she fatigues. This is a very demanding exercise.
- During the concentric phase, you’ll notice that even when Hot Rod’s feet move out of position, she is able to self-correct, returning the feet to a symmetrical position with hocks vertical. You’ll also notice the front feet land symmetrically on the peanut, and are located vertically below her shoulder.
- This exercise has taken us quite a lot of time to develop the required strength and stability to execute this slowly. You can see an earlier variation of this exercise that there’s a marked difference in speed/control, and a difference in timing between the bend in the stifle, and the front feet hitting the sitting platform.
- Keep in mind this is a very challenging variation. Alignment of the spine, pelvis, hip, stifle and hock should be easily maintained in a closed kinetic chain (front feet fixed on an object), before it’s reasonable to expect a dog to stabilize in an open kinetic chain. A dog struggling with the open nature of the kinetic chain in this variation might be better off substituting the Tuck Sit-Kick Back Stand + Elevation: Advanced exercise.