Donkey Calf Raises: A Complete Guide

Many people don’t train their legs consistently enough. Training calves They ‘forget’ them more often. That’s a shame because strong calves ensure that your body is in balance. In addition, strong calf muscles help in other sports. This allows you to turn on more explosively or jump higher. The Donkey Calf Raise is an exercise that focuses on the gastrocnemius. Although this is mainly an old-school fitness exercise, it remains a good way to train your calves. In old body build videos, we see athletes sitting on the back together to perform Donkey Calf Raises. Nowadays there are machines for it.

Donkey Calf Raises Performance

Do you want to learn the Donkey Calf Raise version? Follow the explanation below to master this calf muscle exercise.

  1. For this exercise you need a Donkey Calf Raise machine. Not every gym has this device. An alternative is to support your hands on a fitness bench and let someone sit on your back.
  2. Place your pelvis and lower back against the cushions of the machine. Approximately at the height of your tail bone you have to make contact with the plateau.
  3. Then grab the handles with both hands and place the front of you on the footrests. The heels are therefore free and movable.
  4. Make sure your toes point forward (slightly turned inwards or outwards is fine) and straighten your legs, without overswinging/locking your knees.
  5. Push up your heels, tightening the calf muscles (flexion in the sole of the foot). Make sure that your knees remain in the same position during this upward movement. Hold this position for a second and lower your heels slowly again
  6. Lower your heels back to the starting position so that there will be a rack on your calf. Repeat this Donkey Calf Raise motion for the desired number of reps.

Technique tips Donkey Calf Raise Machine

A good technique is very important in fitness exercises. By learning the Donkey Calf Raise version well you can avoid injuries and achieve maximum results. Perfect your training with the technique tips below.

  • Watch your breathing. During the upward movement (tightening calves) you blow out and during the downward movement you breathe in again.
  • The calf muscles consist mainly of fast twitch muscle fibers. That’s why it’s important to take a hard look at this. In addition, your calves are strong by carrying your weight daily. So don’t make it too easy for yourself at the Donkey Calf Raises.
  • Don’t you have the option to use a Donkey Calf Raise machine? Then opt for the variant where someone sits on your back. Just make sure that the person sits on your lower back and not on your upper back. You can also use the Smith Machine to perform Donkey Calf Raises, as you can see in the image above.

Donkey Calf Raise machine video

The video below shows different variants of the Donkey Calf Raise version.

Other calf muscle exercises

The Donkey Calf Raise is not often seen in the gym. Many people prefer the Seated or Standing Calf Raises. Are you looking for an alternative to the Donkey Raises? Then you can go for the Standing Calf Raise, which also focuses on the gastrocnemius (superficial calf muscle). Seated Calf Raises stimulate the soleus (deep-lying calf muscle). On you can read more about the best calf muscle exercises.

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