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
Get on your hands and knees on the floor
As you breathe out and keeping your knee at a 90 degree angle, raise your right leg, keeping your weight on your left knee
Keep your back straight and do not lean backward or forward
Do not raise your right thigh and knee above the line of your back or neck
Your right foot should be pointing toward the ceiling
As you breathe in, lower your right leg back to the starting position
Repeat this exercise with your left leg
Do 8 to 12 repetitions of this exercise on each side
Do this exercise 3 times a week, every other day
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