5 donkey kick exercises to lift and tone your butt

Do you want to tone your butt? Try incorporating these best donkey kick exercises that will sculpt your glutes.
View All Images Donkey kick exercise
Do donkey kick exercises can help you tone your butt. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Shruti Bhattacharya Published: 3 Mar 2024, 08:59 am IST
  • 190
Inputs from

Are you interested in toning your butt? If so, you should try incorporating some donkey kick exercises in your fitness routine. While its scientific term is quadruped bent-knee hip extension, this movement resembles the kick of a donkey, giving it its name. This exercise is also low-impact and doesn’t require jumping. Donkey kick exercises are an excellent way to tone and build your legs and glutes. Additionally, strong glutes can support your upper body weight, help prevent injuries, and maintain proper trunk and spine alignment. Let’s explore the different variations of the donkey kick exercise and their benefits.

What is the donkey kick exercise?

The donkey kick exercise is a strength-education move that generally targets the glutes (buttocks) and also engages the centre muscle groups. It includes getting on all fours (hands and knees) and lifting one leg upwards whilst keeping the knee bent at ninety-degree, pushing the foot towards the ceiling.

Also Read: 5 gym alternatives to tone your butt

donkey kick exercise
Doing donkey kick exercises helps tone your butt. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Best donkey kick exercises to tone your butt!

Here is a complete guide on the best donkey kick exercise variations that will help you tone your buttocks naturally, as explained by the fitness expert Yash Agarwal.

1. Straight-leg donkey kick

How to do:

1. Get on your hands and knees with your back straight, your shoulders down, your elbows under your hips, and your abdomen drawn in. Keep your hands just below your shoulders and look forward.
2. Engage your core, keeping your elbows below your shoulders. Now, bring your shoulders down and stretch your spine.
3. Straighten your right leg behind you so that the toes are in contact with the ground. This is the initial position.
4. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes to raise your right leg off the ground.
Maintain its extension and raise the leg. Keep your lower back from arching in any way. Maintain a downward-sloping shoulder.
5. Repeat 10 to 15 times, pulsing as high as you can without causing your lower back to arch.
6. Switch to the other leg and repeat.

2. Standing donkey kick

How to do:

1. Place a loop resistance band around your thighs.
2. Stand sideways, close to a wall. Put your left hand on your waist and your right hand on the wall for support.
3. Make sure the weight is equally distributed on both feet, keeping your spine long, shoulders down, and core engaged. This is the initial position.
4. Now, extend your right leg behind you and point your toes slightly out or down. 5. Keep your core tight and brace through your core to kick it back without arching your lower back. Put some pressure on your glutes.
6. Bring back your leg to the beginning position and repeat.
7. Before switching legs, do at least ten repetitions with your right leg.

3. Band leg extension donkey kick

How to do:

1. Get on all fours and hold the ends of a resistance band.
2. Make sure your back is straight, shoulders down, and your elbows under your hips, and your abdomen drawn in.
3. Embrace the resistance band around your right foot’s sole.
4. Do not arch your lower back. Instead, lift your right leg off the floor in alignment with your hip. Keep your head up front. This is the starting position.
5. Raise your leg, bend the knee to ninety degrees, and kick your foot upwards towards the ceiling.
6. Return your leg to its initial position by straightening it. To prevent strain on your lower back and to activate your hamstrings and glutes, do not allow your lower back to arch.
7. Do this 10 times before changing the legs.


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

Check BMI

Also Read: Get a perky butt in no time with these 5 simple and amazing yoga poses

4. Reverse lunge kickback

How to do:

1. Taking a tall stance, align your head with your spine, shoulders back, abs, and legs shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, step back with your right leg, and drop your body into a reverse lunge position (front knee over ankle, rear knee under hip). Make sure your knees follow the centres of your feet.
3. Make sure your legs are straight and do not arch your lower back when you extend your right leg behind you.
4. Don’t forget to squeeze your glute when you do this.
5. With control, bend your knees back down into the reverse lunge position.
6. Before switching legs, repeat this 10 times.

5. Donkey kick leg extension

How to do:

1. Get on your hands and knees, placing your hands under your shoulders, your knees under your hips, your back straight, your abdominals drawing in, and your shoulders pulling down.
2. Without hunching your lower back, raise your right leg straight behind you in line with your hip. This is where everything begins.
3. Raise your heel towards the sky while bending your right knee to a 90-degree angle.
4. Press the pulse twice without hunching your back.
5. As soon as the third pulse occurs, align your leg with your hip. Brace your core instead of moving your body or arching your lower back.
6. Return your leg to the beginning position by lowering it.
7. Before switching legs, repeat this 10 times.

Benefits of donkey kick exercise

Here are some of the notable benefits of donkey kick exercise apart from toning your butt.

1. Strengthening of the glute muscle mass

Donkey kicks the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, leading to a stronger and firmer butt.

2. Enhances hip balance

Engaging the middle and hip muscular tissues for the duration of donkey kicks can enhance hip balance and decrease the risk of injuries.

3. Better athletic performance

Robust glutes from donkey kicks can enhance performance in various sports and bodily sports.

4. Improves posture

Strengthening the glutes helps maintain the right posture.

5. Prevents injuries

Strengthening the glutes and surrounding muscle tissues can help prevent injuries that may affect your lower back, hips, and knees.

6. Better metabolism

Compound sporting events like donkey kicks can enhance metabolism, assisting in weight control.

Doing donkey kick exercises boosts metabolism! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Convenient and flexible

You do not require any equipment to perform donkey kicks, making them a handy addition to any exercise habit.

Are there any side effects of donkey kick exercises?

Here are some of the side effects of donkey kick exercises if you overexert the workout.

  • Overstraining the muscles or the usage of improper methods can result in strains or accidents.
  • Arching the lower back too much during the exercise puts unnecessary pressure on the back.
  • Wrong alignment or excessive pressure on the knees can cause pain or damage.
  • Not maintaining a good posture during the exercise may additionally cause pain in the neck and shoulders.

  • 190
About the Author

Shruti Bhattacharya is a content writer and editor for over 2 years. She specialises in writing on a variety of topics such as wellness, lifestyle, beauty, technology and fashion. Her current focus is on creating factually correct and informative stories for readers. ...Read More

Next Story