The donkey kick is a hip-hinge movement, driven primarily by the glutes (buttocks), which can help improve stability, sculpting and toning. Now it may look one sided, but the exercise actually targets both left and right butt cheeks. Your supporting leg is there to keep you stable and hold most of your weight and therefore putting your gluteus medius (the muscle on the outer surface of the pelvis) to work.

Meanwhile, your kicking leg hits up your gluteus maximus (the main hip muscle) and your hamstring. And if you’re maintaining proper form in that all-fours tabletop position, you may even start to feel your core kick in. Plus, as this exercise is all about stability and posture, it can also work your shoulder muscles. Remember, slow and steady is key to keeping the movement under control. Mini-band: optional. Let’s go!

Donkey Kicks

(with or without band)

1. Start on all fours with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart, and your back and neck in a neutral position.

2. Avoid sinking through your stomach and chest. You can achieve this by pushing strong through your arms into the floor and engaging your core by tucking your pelvis under.

3. Keeping your knee bent, kick your right leg up and behind without compromising your hip and lower back stability – a bigger range of motion doesn’t equal better results.

4. Squeeze right glute at the top of the kick, return your knee lightly back to the ground and continue to repeat on the same side.

5. If you’re using a mini-band (for more resistance), wrap it around both of your thighs, or under your supporting leg’s knee to hold it in place. Do 10 reps with each leg.


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