How to Do Banded Donkey Kicks Properly

The banded donkey kicks exercise is a more intense variation of the donkey kick, a resistance training exercise that strengthens, tones, and stabilizes a number of muscles in your body.

This exercise was popularized as an aerobic exercise in the 1980s.

With time, fitness experts discovered that the donkey kick can be made even more effective by using a resistance band to take the challenge a notch higher.

The banded donkey kick has since gained immense popularity for its effectiveness as a glute-building exercise.

HOW TO DO BANDED DONKEY KICKS PROPERLY

What you need: Resistance band

Steps:

  • Hook your left foot into the resistance band on one end. On the other end, grab the handles of the band and position your hands directly under your face, with your elbows bent.
  • Push your left leg out and upwards. Make sure your back is straight as you push your leg out.
  • Draw the leg back into your chest. That’s a complete rep.
  • Switch to the right leg and repeat the steps
  • Complete 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each leg

WHAT MUSCLES DO BANDED DONKEY KICKS WORK?

GLUTES

Unlike the traditional donkey kick which targets many muscles at the same time, the banded donkey kick primarily targets the glutes.

The outward leg lift is meant to build and tone your gluteus maximus which improves your overall body balance and hip mobility.

HIP ABDUCTORS

The banded donkey kick fires up the muscles in your outer thighs as you push your leg outwards and back into your chest.

SHOULDERS

Your shoulders must remain taut as you do this exercise to provide stability to your upper body and avoid putting pressure on your spine. This helps stabilize and strengthen your shoulder muscles.

CORE

Like your shoulders, your core should remain tight during this exercise to provide your body with stability as you push your leg out and back in.

This will activate your core stabilizers and help strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles.

BANDED DONKEY KICKS BENEFITS

INCREASES MUSCLE STRENGTH

Banded donkey kicks are a type of resistance training exercise that can help you improve muscle strength and endurance.

HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS

The extra muscle mass created while doing this exercise can help burn calories in your body. Banded donkey kicks also burn calories with the help of the extra resistance that comes with the band.

IMPROVES BALANCE AND COORDINATION

When you are doing banded donkey kicks, your whole body should stay in one position so that only your leg moves.

This helps you develop better general body balance as you have to try as hard as you can to maintain stability and not topple over.

IMPROVES POSTURE

As you keep your back straight throughout this exercise, you strengthen the lower back muscles which help with spinal stability. When your spine is stable, you will likely develop better posture.

LOW-IMPACT EXERCISE

Banded donkey kicks are generally low-impact. They do not require a lot of moving around and the shocks your body will experience are relatively soft compared to most resistance training exercises.

HELPS YOU AVOID MUSCLE ASYMMETRIES

Muscle assymetries occur when one limb, say your leg, has more muscle gain than the other. This happens when you use one limb more than the other while exercising.

Banded donkey kicks make each side work separately, hence reducing the risk of muscle asymmetries.

STRENGTHENS YOUR CORE

This exercise forces you to engage your abdominal muscles which help stabilize your hips and keep you steady as you push one leg outwards.

IMPROVES HIP MOBILITY

The banded donkey kick targets the gluteus maximus, which helps with hip extension.

Hip extension is one of the main movements of the hip muscles, that enables you to regain an upright position after stooping.

By strengthening the gluteus maximus, this exercise improves your hip extension which in turn enhances your general hip mobility.

ALTERNATIVES TO BANDED DONKEY KICKS

SQUATS

Squats are probably the most popular glute-building exercise. They focus on sculpting and toning your gluteal muscles just like banded donkey kicks.

You can increase their effectiveness by perfecting your form and incorporating additional equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands.

GLUTE BRIDGES

The Glute Bridge is an equally effective way of working your thigh muscles and glutes. You can do it with a dumbbell or a resistance band for extra resistance.

You can also do it without any equipment and it would still be effective, as long as you maintain the correct form.

LEG KICKBACKS

This low-load exercise will improve your range of motion, stabilize your core and work your glutes just like the banded donkey kick.

LATERAL BAND WALK

This exercise will fire up your gluteus medius and help you get than toned butt you long to have.

It can be performed with or without a resistance band.

DUMBBELL DEADLIFTS

When done properly, deadlifts can be a fantastic exercise for targetting your glutes and hamstrings. It is advisable to use a lighter weight if you are a beginner and you are yet to perfect your form.

This will help you prevent lower back injury and target your glutes instead of your lower back muscles. Once you have perfected the form, you can use heavier weights.

KETTLEBELL SWINGS

To do this exercise properly, you must use your gluteal muscles to generate the power that you will use throughout the exercise. This, in addition to the extra challenge of swinging the Kettlebell, strengthens and tones your glutes.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS

This is a single-leg exercise that improves your balance and helps you build a strong butt. You can do it without any equipment or you can hold a dumbbell in each hand for an added challenge.

BANDED DONKEY KICKS MISTAKES TO AVOID

ARCHING YOUR BACK

Don’t let your back bend as you lift your leg. This will cause you to rely on your back muscles for support instead of your glutes, which compresses your spine.

MOVING YOUR UPPER BODY

Make sure you don’t move your upper body as you push your leg out and back into your chest. Such movement will prevent you from fully engaging your core and shoulder muscles.

Instead, focus on keeping both of your arms straight to provide you with the stability you need.

Driving your palms into the ground will also help you activate these muscles.

ROUNDING YOUR SHOULDERS

As you fatigue, you might notice your shoulders gradually slumping. Try as much as you can to keep them up.

Rounding the shoulders can inhibit the stability of your upper body and contribute to poor posture, which puts you at risk of spinal injury.

HOLDING YOUR BREATH

Most people hold their breath to keep the abs tight as they engage the core. This is not advisable as it can create lower back issues and overwork the pelvic floor muscles.

NOT KEEPING YOUR HIPS LEVEL

This is one of the most common mistakes in banded donkey kicks. When your hips are not square, your core will not be properly engaged and you will not be able to fully activate the working gluteal muscles.

NOT FLEXING YOUR FEET

You should flex your feet and drive through your heel as you push your leg up to help increase glute activation and achieve full muscle engagement in your lower back.

CONCLUSION

The donkey kick is a very effective isolation exercise for building your glutes. Incorporating variations such banded donkey kicks increases the overall resistance of the original exercise, making it even more effective.

If you are looking for an exercise that will tighten and sculpt your glutes, look no further than the banded donkey kick.