Donkey kicks may sound strange but as you can imagine, they are named this because the exercise mimics a donkey movement! The scientific name for donkey kicks is quadruped bent-knee hip extension.
This butt toning workout targets your gluteus maximus – the biggest muscle in your butt, providing the bulk of its volume. So long as you keep your form good, you can use donkey kicks to improve your own bum (alongside diet and other exercise of course!)
Step 1 – Get into the quadruped position. This is where you get onto all fours with your hips placed above your knees and your shoulders placed over your hands. Your legs should be at 90 degree angles.
Step 2 – keep a straight back, make sure it is flat enough that you can imagine balancing some books on it! Tuck in your chin slightly so your neck is facing the sky. Engage your core – focussing on your lower abdominal muscles.
Step 3 – Lift your working leg backwards and up towards the sky. Maintain that 90 degree spacing throughout. Keep lifting until it causes your back to start arching or your hips to rotate slightly. Stop before this happens and lower your leg back to the quadruped position.
Optional – You may squeeze your buttocks as you lift your working leg/once it is in the air to further work your glutes.
It is really important you do not let your back arch or your hips rotate because it causes you to rely on your back instead of your glutes. Doing so compresses the spine and prevents any kind of workout in your butt.
We recommend 15 – 20 repetitions on each leg two times. Do all reps on one leg before moving on to the other one in the set.
To incorporate donkey kicks into your workout routine, you should be doing them around five times a week. They work well as a warm up, easy to do on an active rest day and don’t overwork your glute’s muscle capacity since it is a low weight exercise.
If you are using donkey kicks in your glute workouts, make sure you do other butt exercises as well as this one in order to achieve the best results. This is because, as mentioned earlier, they only work your gluteus maximus. You need to work your gluteus minimus and medius as well!
You can also create slight variation with this movement by adding resistance. Resistance can be made in the form of ankle weights, a dumbbell placed in your knee crease, or a resistance band around your working legs’ foot.
This exercise is perfect for toning your body and also improving your stability.
It works your core muscles, shoulder muscles (from keeping you steady), and of course, your gluteus maximus.
It is ideal for those who sit down at work all day because by kicking back, you are stretching your hips out in the opposite direction. It helps to prevent hip and spine injury and also improves your posture.
It is a simple exercise to do! You don’t need to go to the gym for this, you can do it anywhere. Making it a go-to butt exercise for its simplicity and ease.
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So there you have it! Donkey kicks are a simple, fun addition to any workout which aims to grow your booty. You can add your own special touches to this exercise to work on yourself at a level you find most comfortable. Please let us know how this exercise helps you and any new variations you create!