How To Do Cable Donkey Kicks Properly

The cable donkey kicks are a popular exercise mostly known for the work they do on the gluteus muscle.

It involves the use of a cable pulley system. The cable pulley develops a system that enables you to drag the pulley using your legs and heavily relies on the glutes.

WHAT TO DO:

Before you do the cable donkey kicks, there are a number of things that you need to do. First, you need to attach the ankle cuff to your ankle and then bend over so your back is parallel to the floor.

From there:

  • Plant one of your legs straight and use your glutes to raise your leg as high up as you’re comfortable doing.
  • While doing this, its important to engage the core and contract your glutes
  • Slowly return your legs down. This counts as one rep.
  • Repeat this for two sets, doing 15 to 20 reps

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE CABLE DONKEY KICKS WORK?

GLUTEUS MUSCLES

The gluteus muscles refer to the fleshy muscles that make up the buttocks. More than that, the gluteus muscles play daily functional roles in our lives.

Some of the functional roles of the gluteus muscles include providing balance while standing, walking and making abduction movements.

The gluteus acts as a hypothetical powering source enabling these actions to occur. Therefore, whenever you raise your legs to do the cable donkey kicks, it is facilitated by the gluteus muscles.

As such, for every rep you do, the gluteus muscle is engaged.

CORE

Whilst the core isn’t the primary target, if your form is correct then its an area that is often heavily engaged.

When you raise one leg, you Your core provides you with the power enabling you to handle distributed weight whilst your leg is raised.

The core also helps provide support to the body mid movement while doing the cable donkey kicks.

This is because when you raise one leg, you destabilize your whole body. As such, you need extra help from the core to provide balance while doing the exercise.

SHOULDER

The shoulders are engaged when you use your upper body to hold your body weight. The shoulders therefore act as a pivot.

As you keep directing more strain and weight to the shoulders they get stronger. This is because the shoulder blades grow stronger in order to deal with the weight it has to handle.

HIPS

The hips are located on either side of your pelvis. Primarily, the role of the hips is to enable movements away from the central body line.

The hips are therefore front and centre when it comes to doing cable donkey kicks. Do enough reps and you can develop strength and flexibility within the hip region.

CABLE DONKEY KICKS BENEFITS

IMPROVES BALANCE AND MOBILITY

The movements that are involved in doing the cable donkey kicks are all about balance and flexibility.

When you plant one leg and raise the other you have to find a way to balance your body weight whilst gravity is acting on you.

Therefore, the more reps you do the better you acquire better natural balance. It also improves your body’s mobility

This comes down to the practice your body gets in stretching. The more you stretch your leg backwards the more mobility you build in your legs.

PROMOTES BETTER POSTURE

The glutes work with the lower back to facilitate the movements necessary to perform cable donkey kicks.

Performing these actions is what strengthens your lower back. Consequently it helps improve your posture.

This is considering a strong back leads to a straightened back and a weak shoulder makes your appearance seem slouched.

TONES YOUR GLUTEUS MUSCLES

The primary target area of the cable donkey kicks is the gluteus muscles. As such, they are often engaged while performing the exercise.

The more of the exercise you do, the more defined the glutes get. This leads to a toned gluteus muscle that forms a widely desired ‘lifted effect’.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE CABLE DONKEY KICKS

HIP BRIDGES

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, your knees bent, and your palms facing down.
  • Contract your glutes to raise your hips off the floor as high as they can go.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard at the top and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat

DONKEY KICKS

  • Assume a starting position on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Brace your abs and extend one leg backwards as far as you can.
  • Squeeze your glutes and slowly return to the starting position.
  • Switch legs and repeat

LEG BACK TOE DOWN PULSES

  • Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Extend one leg straight behind you with your toes facing downwards.
  • Squeeze your glutes to pulse your leg and up and down.
  • Repeat for your desired number of repetitions and switch legs

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID

ROUNDING YOUR LOWER BACK

A lot of times when you lack flexibility it is easy for your form to involve a rounded lower back.

However this holds you back on the account that it limits the effectiveness of the exercise when you do it.

This is because it does not allow you to extensively feel the strain in your glutes which is counter productive

KICKING TOO HIGH

When you kick too high, you leave a lot of room for back injuries. The gluteus muscles extend all the way to areas around the back.

Since they are what enable you to do the kicks, overextending it can lead to injuries such as back problems.

FAILURE TO ENGAGE THE CORE

When you fail to engage the core you disrupt a number of things while doing the exercise. First, it leads to great instability while doing the exercise.

This is because a raised leg with no foundation can disrupt whether or not you can complete reps.

Consequently this reduces the effect of the exercise on the glutes.

CONCLUSION

The cable donkey kicks is a variation of the standard donkey kicks exercise. It is however structured to introduce more balance to the exercise.

As such, it’s still an extremely effective exercise especially in terms of toning the glutes and improving mobility.

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