Tone Your Glutes With The Donkey Kick Exercise And Its Variations

Written by Charushila Biswas , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

Donkey kicks are great for strengthening your glutes and enhancing their aesthetic appeal. You can do multiple variations of donkey kicks for firm and round glutes that support your upper body weight and look equally good in high-waist jeans and an evening gown. This article has a step-by-step guide to doing the donkey kicks properly at home or the gym. You will also learn about the variations with pictures and instructions to guide you. Scroll down!

How To Do Donkey Kicks Properly?

Donkey kicks or kickbacks are great exercises to isolate your glutes one at a time and the hamstrings. However, maintaining proper form is crucial to preventing injuries. Here’s a demonstration of how to do donkey kicks properly.

Step 1: Get on all fours, engage your core and hips in a neutral position. Keep the elbows right below the shoulders and look forward.

Step 2: Lift your right knee off the floor. This is the starting position.

Step 3: Flex your knee and kick your right leg up towards the ceiling.

Step 4: Pause for a second and lower your right knee back to the starting position.

Step 5: Repeat this 10 times before switching legs.

Apart from doing the traditional donkey kickback exercise, you can also add variations or modify them. Scroll down to learn the donkey kick variations with pictures and instructions.

7 Donkey Kick Variations

1. Resistance Band Donkey Kick

How To Do

  •  Place a loop resistance band right above your knees.
  •  Get on all fours. Keep your core engaged, hips in a neutral position, elbows right below your shoulders, and look at the mat.
  •  Lift your right knee off the floor. This is the starting position.
  •  Flex your knee and kick your leg up towards the ceiling.
  •  Come back to the starting position.
  •  Do this 10-15 times before switching legs.

2. Straight Leg Donkey Kicks

How To Do

  •  Get on all fours.
  •  Bend your elbows and place them on the floor.
  •  Engage your core, keep the elbows right below the shoulders, hips in a neutral position, and look at the mat.
  •  Extend your right leg, with the toes touching the floor. This is the starting position.
  •  Lift your right leg off the floor. Keep it extended and kick the leg up.•
  • Do 10-15 pulses.
  •  Switch legs and repeat.

3. Band Leg Extension Donkey Kick

How To Do

  •  Hold the handles of a resistance band.
  •  Get on all fours.
  •  Wrap the resistance band around the sole of your right foot.
  •  Lift your right leg off the floor, engage your core, keep your hips in a neutral position, and look at the mat. This is the starting position.
  •  Flex your knee and kick your leg up towards the ceiling.
  •  Bring it back to the starting position.
  •  Do this 10 times before switching legs.

4. Standing Donkey Kickbacks

How To Do

  •  Place a loop resistance band around your thighs.
  •  Stand near a wall. Place your right hand on the wall for support and the left one on your waist.
  •  Keep your knees soft, right foot on toes, and core engaged. This is the starting position.
  •  Extend the right leg and kick it back as high as possible.
  •  Bring it back to the starting position.
  •  Do this 10 times before switching legs.

5. Reverse Lunge Kickback

How To Do

  •  Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees soft, shoulders rolled back, and look forward.
  •  Take a step back with your right leg, flex your knees, and lower your body to get into a reverse lunge position.
  •  Pause and get up. Extend the right leg and kick as high as possible.
  •  Get back to the reverse lunge position.
  •  Do this 10 times before switching legs.

6. Donkey Kick With Leg Extension

How To Do

  •  Get on all fours, keep your hips in a neutral position, core engaged, elbows right below your shoulders, and look at the mat.
  •  Lift your right leg off the floor. This is the starting position.
  •  Flex your right knee and kick your leg up towards the ceiling.
  •  Pulse twice.
  •  On the third pulse, extend your leg.
  •  Lower it and get back to the starting position.
  •  Do this 10 times before switching legs.

7. Fire Hydrant With Resistance Band

How To Do

  •  Wrap a loop resistance band just above your knees.
  •  Get on all fours, hips in a neutral position, elbows right below the shoulders, core engaged, and look at the mat.
  •  Lift your right knee off the floor. This is the starting position.
  •  Flex your knee and move your leg laterally up.
  •  Pause for a moment and bring your right leg back to the starting position.
  •  Do this 10 times before switching legs.

These are the 7 variations of the original donkey kick workout. What are the benefits of doing so many variations of the same exercise? Let’s find out in the section below.

Benefits Of The Donkey Kick Exercise

  •  Helps stabilize the core
  •  Improves the hip’s range of motion
  •  Strengthens the glutes and thigh muscles
  •  Tones and shapes up the butt
  •  Improves balance

Since donkey kicks mainly work out your glutes, you might be wondering if they can help you get a bigger and beautiful butt. Scroll down to find out.

Can Donkey Kicks Make The Butt Bigger?

Yes. Donkey kicks and their variations are great for toning and strengthening the glute muscles. Doing these exercises regularly can help improve your butt’s shape and make it rounder and firmer. In other words, your butt will get a natural lift. Whether the size of your glutes will increase or not depends on the thickness of the resistance bands you use (more the thickness, more the resistance, better the chances of building bigger muscles) and your genes.

However, squats are considered the official exercise for shaping the butt. Is it possible that squats are better than donkey kicks for a bigger butt? Find the answer below.

Are Squats Better Than Donkey Kicks?

Squats are great for toning and strengthening your lower body, including the butt. However, donkey kicks are equally important as they help stabilize the core, increase the range of motion, and improve balance. To get a bigger butt, do a mix of squats and donkey kicks along with their variations.

The Takeaway

Building strong, flexible, and toned glutes is important for better body stability and balance. Moreover, strong glutes make the butt appear toned and sculpted. Donkey kicks are great for achieving both. Follow the instructions in this article and do the variations three days a week.

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