What is the Donkey Kick exercise? Advantages of the technique and common errors

The donkey kick exercise is so called because it mimics the movement of the animal, but it also helps you create a great lower body physique. When done correctly, this exercise isolates the gluteus maximus, the largest and bulkiest gluteal muscle in the body.

This classic exercise, which rose to prominence in the era of leggings, is still a popular fitness technique because it’s both effective and convenient. It is also a low impact bodyweight workout that does not require jumping.

The gluteus maximus, or “rear glute,” is the target of the donkey kick exercise. It’s also great for improving stability and control in your shoulders and core, as the action forces you to activate your upper body muscles.


Correct technique: How to do the Donkey Kick exercise?

A donkey kick exercise is a Pilates exercise in which you bend your knees and extend your hips on all fours. Be sure to do this exercise correctly to make it as effective (and safe) as possible.

For the basic donkey kick exercise, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Put your hands and knees on the floor. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and your knees should be directly under your hips.
  • To help produce a strong pelvis and strong back, engage your core muscles. Maintain a flat neck by keeping your chin slightly tucked in and your gaze turned outward and downward.
  • Lift your right leg up and behind you skyward, maintaining the 90-degree bend in your right leg and flexing your right foot using your glutes (press them down to engage them).
  • Raise until your lower back arches (lowers) or your hips rotate or tilt.
  • Your hips should be level with the floor and your back should be neutral and firm. Avoid rushing the movement so you can complete it in its full range and in correct form.
  • Lower the right leg to the starting position and do the same with the other leg. Switch to the left side once you’ve completed all the reps on the right side.

Donkey Kick Exercise Benefits: What Does This Exercise Do To Your Body?

Now that you know the proper technique, you might want to think about why you should do the donkey kick exercise. Here are some reasons why you should:


1) Strengthens your glutes

The gluteus maximus and gluteus medius are targeted with donkey kicks. You can use this workout without any equipment to tighten and tone your glutes and core, preparing you for more advanced variations (such as push-ups) and improving your overall fitness.


2) Stimulates balance and mobility

Maintaining proper body balance and mobility becomes increasingly difficult as one ages. However, the deterioration of the body in both areas is mainly caused by a lack of sufficient activity at the beginning.

Donkey kicks help you activate your shoulders, core, and hip muscles. It is possible to improve your body’s stability and range of motion by focusing on these specific areas.


3) Lose extra pounds

Anyone looking to lose weight can do so by doing a donkey kick exercise. It is a movement that can be performed by people of any fitness level. This complex workout can help you lose weight faster because it targets many muscle groups at once while putting less strain on your joints.

Ass kicks not only give you the peach butt of your dreams, they also strengthen your glutes. They can improve your physical strength as well as your ability to burn fat.


Common Mistakes to Avoid When Doing the Donkey Kick Exercise

The donkey kick exercise may seem easy. Unfortunately, poor form can diminish the effectiveness of the donkey kick as a glute burner, overwork the wrong muscles, or create pain (or, in the worst case scenario, even injury).

Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:

1) Round the lower back

When you curl your lower back, you won’t be able to fully stretch into your glutes, which makes the technique ineffective for your buttocks. This position also puts the core “de-energized”, increasing the risk of spinal damage, especially if you are doing the kicks with heavier weight or resistance.

Here’s how to fix it:

Keep your spine in a neutral position during the action. If this is difficult for you, pose a yoga block in the middle of your back to provide key bio-feedback that will help you maintain a long, neutral spine.


2) Kicks too high or too low

Your glutes won’t shoot as effectively if you hit too high or too low. Kicking too high causes overextension, which shifts focus from the glutes to the lower back muscles, according to Cates. This not only reduces the scorching effects of donkey kick booty, but it can also cause lower back pain.

Here’s how to fix it:

It is advisable to keep your range of motion as small as possible is always best. When the leg is overstretched, the lower back arches; returning to a neutral spine can help you maintain your body’s desired range of motion.


3) Not engaging your heart

While doing the donkey kick exercise, failing to engage your core and abdominal muscles reduces the triggering of the glutes and can lead to hip and spine imbalance (possibly leading to injury) and weakness of the trunk.

Here’s how to fix it:

Wrap your transverse abdominis muscle around your torso like a corset or band before lifting your leg for a kick. Keep this core commitment throughout, allowing each exhale to reconnect you to this core commitment.


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Richard V. Johnson