Donkey calf exercise in bodybuilding - technique, muscle work

Donkey calf exercise in bodybuilding - technique, muscle work

FitNavigator. ru / edition

The material was prepared by the site team with the support of our experts: athletes, trainers and nutrition specialists. Our team. .

In bodybuilding, the main exercises for the development of the calf muscles are considered to be lifting the toes in the simulators.

We offer to disassemble another, undeservedly forgotten element for the study of the lower part of the legs - "donkey".

Donkey calf exercise in bodybuilding - technique, muscle work

Target muscles


  1. The burro exercise primarily affects calves. The biceps muscles are located on the back surface of the lower leg, forming its volume and mass. Functions: extension of the foot, stabilization of the body during movement.
  2. The soleus muscles also get the load.

    These are flat fibers located under the calf. Functions: help in extension of the foot, ensuring the balance of the body in a standing position.

  3. In addition, the "donkey" works out the front tibial muscles. These muscles are located on the external surfaces of the legs. Functions: assistance in maintaining body balance, extension of the ankle joint.

Technique, recommendations, contraindications

“Donkey”, as a rule, is performed with weight on the back. Most often in this role is a partner.

Some fitness centers have simulators that simulate lifting on toes in a donkey pose. The technique of working in such machines is similar to the classical one, only instead of a partner, an athlete pushes a soft emphasis connected with a cable to the load with a basin.

Technique with a partner:

  1. Prepare a stand for feet with a height of 15-20 cm.

    A step bench or low wooden plinth for the bar is suitable.

  2. Stand with your socks on the edge of the platform. The pelvis should be strictly above the feet.
  3. Lean forward and put your hands on the bars or horizontal frame of any treadmill.
  4. Let the partner sit on the very bottom of your back so that the weight falls on the legs, and not on the lower back.

  5. Exhale and with a powerful movement rise to the toes, while inhaling - lower yourself to the starting position.

Recommendations :

  • Slightly bend the knee joints and hold them in this position throughout the approach.
  • At the upper point, freeze for 1-2 seconds to improve the workout of the calf muscles.
  • Avoid tossing the hull. Drive evenly without sudden jolts from below.

  • Do not round the spine, as this will lead to a partial shift of the payload to the back.
  • To increase the stretching of the legs, select a support for the hands, when working with which the chest will be located below the pelvis.
  • Recommended training: 4 sets of 15-25 lifts.

Contraindications to the donkey can be injuries of the ankle, knee or hip joints, rupture of the Achilles tendon, stretching of the muscles of the hips or lower legs, pain sensations in the lumbar spine.

Options for the position of the legs

Exercise, depending on the position of the feet, allows you to "point" to affect different parts of the calf muscles:

  1. If you separate the socks apart , then the load will lie on the internal bunches of calves.

  2. If brought inside, the accented effect will be exerted on the external bundles of the calf.

We recommend beginners to learn the exercise with the parallel position of the feet. This technique evenly distributes tension across the calf muscles and helps to strengthen tendons.

After the athlete learns to perform the “burro” with parallel feet, you can try other options for setting the legs.

Comparison of a burro with simple lifts on socks

At first glance, both exercises have similar mechanics of execution.

But there are differences that we propose to consider in more detail:

  • The advantage of a donkey over standing upright socks is the absence of a compressive load on the spine. This makes exercise safer for athletes who have back problems.
  • Rises on socks allow to take more weight, than "donkey". But the latter, due to the tilt of the body forward, contributes to better stretching of the back surface of the lower leg.
  • The range of motion of the feet in the exercise "donkey" is slightly wider than in the "lifts on toes.

    " This allows you to fully work out the soleus muscle and strengthen the Achilles tendon.

Specialized simulators for performing a burro are not found in every fitness room, and only experienced athletes can work with a partner on their back.

It is better for beginners to start training calves with the help of lifts on socks (standing or sitting) with light weight loads. We strongly recommend that trained athletes perform a burro for powerful shin pumping.

Place of exercise in the training

The calf muscles are involved in all elements for the development of the legs.

Therefore, in order to work out this muscle group, the "donkey" should be performed at the beginning of the session, after the warm-up.

If you want to achieve exactly the increase in calf volume, take a little more weight than usual and do not lower your heels below the platform line. This slightly reduces the amplitude of movement, but it allows you to fully load the calf muscles.

The recommended number of toe lifts is 15-25 in each approach. A large number of repetitions in the set is due to the need for a long stay of the leg muscles under load for their hypertrophy.

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Donkey calf exercise in bodybuilding - technique, muscle work

FitNavigator. ru / edition

The material was prepared by the site team with the support of our experts: athletes, trainers and nutrition specialists. Our team. .



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