How To Do Donkey Kicks To Strengthen Your Buttocks And Hamstrings

What are the benefits Of Donkey Kicks?

This is one of the leg strengthening exercises that work the muscles in your buttocks and hamstrings. It is a good glute workout and thigh workout. It is also used as a back pain exercise.

What muscles do this exercise work and strengthen?

The primary muscles that benefit from this workout are:

  • gluteus maximus (extends thigh)
  • biceps femoris (extends thigh) (one of the hamstring muscles)
  • semitendinosus (extends thigh) (one of the hamstring muscles)
  • semimembranosus (extends thigh) (one of the hamstring muscles)
  • piriformis (extends thigh)
  • and the adductor magnus (extends thigh)

Strengthening these muscles will help you walk more efficiently, climb stairs more easily and get up from a sitting position quicker. It is an excellent exercise for any fitness routine.


You can do this exercise with or without ankle weights. The weights will allow you a more intense workout.

I have seen versions of this exercise that lift the knee past the level of the spine. There is no reason to do this to benefit the muscles listed above. Your knee and thigh should go no higher than the level of your spine and neck.

How To Do Donkey Kicks

  1. Get on your hands and knees on the floor

  2. Breathe in
  3. As you breathe out and keeping your knee at a 90 degree angle, raise your right leg, keeping your weight on your left knee

  4. Keep your back straight and do not lean backward or forward
  5. Do not raise your right thigh and knee above the line of your back or neck
  6. Your right foot should be pointing toward the ceiling
  7. As you breathe in, lower your right leg back to the starting position
  8. Repeat this exercise with your left leg
  9. Do 8 to 12 repetitions of this exercise on each side
  10. Do this exercise 3 times a week, every other day

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Return from Donkey Kicks to Leg Exercises


Hamstring Bench Curls | Hamstring Floor Curls | Hamstring Standing Curls | Hamstring Curls With Ball | Heel Stands | Hip Abductions | Hip Extensions | Hip Flexions | Lunges | Step Ups | Toe Stands | Wall Squats

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