What are Donkey Leg Raises (Donkey Kicks)
Donkey leg raises or commonly called donkey kicks are different glute-strengthening exercises, which when performed with the correct form will ensure that you have a sculpted thigh, firm butt, and toned calves. Both men and women can integrate these exercises into their regular workout regimen. As the name suggests, the movements performed throughout the exercise are similar to the animal’s kick.
Donkey Leg Raises Benefits
- Donkey kicks have several variations, which allow you to engage your gluteal muscles in different ways.
- Some of the variations do not require any gym equipment and can be performed
- You can modify donkey leg raises as per your fitness level.
Donkey Kicks Exercise Information
|Equipment Needed||None/pulley cable machine with strap attachment/ Smith machine|
|Muscles Worked||Primary: Glutes, hips; Secondary: Abs|
|Variations||Glute Kickbacks with Cable, Circling Donkey Kicks, Smith Machine Donkey Kicks|
How to do a Donkey Kick (Donkey Leg Raise)
- Assume the initial position by kneeling on an exercise mat or the floor, bending at the waist, and extending your arms in front. Be sure to keep your hands spaced at shoulder width and your knees positioned at hip width creating an angle of 90 degrees between your hamstrings and calves.
- Brace your core and lift your left leg, keeping the knee bent with the foot staying
- Keeping your glutes contracted throughout the movement, press the leg directly up. Pause for a second at the top of the contraction.
- Return to the original position and then repeat with the right leg.
- Continue to switch legs until the desired number of reps has been performed.
Circling Donkey Kicks
- Assume the initial position by kneeling on the floor with your head looking forward, hands placed at shoulder width, and knees hip-width apart.
- Lift your left foot off the ground and reach it as high as you can. Point it and drive it straight back. Make sure that your hips and pelvis are parallel to the floor.
- When your foot is in the top position, move the leg outward on your way down so that it draws a semi-circle.
- Bring the knee back toward your chest from the wide Pause for a second and then repeat the steps with your right leg.
- Perform the recommended amount of repetitions on each leg.
Smith Machine Donkey Kick
- Assume the initial position by kneeling on a Smith machine while the arch of your right foot is under the bar and the thigh of your working leg is parallel to the floor.
- Slowly extend your knee by pushing through the arch of the right foot.
- Lower your leg back to your starting position in a controlled motion.
- Repeat the steps with your left foot and perform the desired number of repetitions on each leg.
Single-legged Cable Glute Kickbacks
- Stand in front of a cable pulley machine with an ankle strap hooked at its lower end. Attach it to your ankle and grasp the frame for support.
- Bracing your abs, contract your glutes and slowly kick your right leg back as high as it can be comfortably moved. Squeeze your glutes at the point of full extension to achieve the highest
- Bring your right leg forward in a controlled manner, resisting the weight until it reaches the initial position.
- Do the desired number of reps.
- Perform the above steps for the left leg.
Donkey Kicks Tips
- Always keep your core muscles tight, head forward, and back straight when doing the exercise.
- Raising your leg higher than the hips should be avoided.
- Breathe out when you kick your leg back and breathe in while you lower the leg.