Donkey Kicks (or also called Glute Kickbacks) are a great warm-up exercise to activate your glutes. In the basic version, this is not a booty building exercise but with resistance bands you can make this harder to actually make the Donkey Kick Backs an exercise to build your glutes.
In the first part of this article I will show you how to do the basic Donkey Kick with common mistakes that you should avoid. The second part is all about different variations (with different types of resistance bands) and also how to add more resistance to really work your booty.
Donkey Kick Backs With Resistance Band
Doing the Donkey Kicks with a resistance band will give you several advantages:
- Train Your Glutes! Without weight (unless you’re just starting out), the Donkey Kickback is nothing more than a warm-up exercise. Resistance Bands can turn that into a full exercise to build your glutes
- Get The Right Resistance! Instead of adding weight to your ankles, resistance bands will add resistance in different direction so you not only work your glutes more, you also get more core muscles into working here.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing a Donkey Kick Backs, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and bodybuilding, check it out here.
How To Do Donkey Kick Backs The Right Way
Grab the band with both hands and put one leg inside the loop. Place the band at the back of your foot and get into a table position where your hands will be directly below your shoulders and your knees right below your hips.
The important thing here is to have a straight back and no arch. Do this by contracting your core and flexing your hips forward. Many people start sticking their butt out and creating a lot of stress on the hips and the lower back because they think it will make this exercise more challenging, but it will only raise the risk of injuries.
Now kick your leg back without moving your upper body, using your leg and glute until you reach a straight line with your back. There is no need to exaggerate the height you lift your leg to. It won’t work your glutes more and you will increase the risk of injury.
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
⓵ Straight Back – as I mentioned, your back needs to be straight and not curved. Make sure you don’t drop your belly or kick up too high. It helps to focus on turning your hips forward to the ground and feel your abs contracting.
⓶ No Upper Body Movement – during the kickback, make sure that you don’t move your upper body. It’s common to start doing this because you might feel like this is helping with the kickbacks, but it’s not.
Focus on keeping your arms straight and not raising your head down during the movement.
Alternative Ways To Do Donkey Kick Backs With Resistance Bands
Let’s now start looking on different variations that you can do with a resistance band and find the variation that feels good for you.
Mini Band Kickbacks – this variation helps for avoiding an arched lower back. You will wrap the resistance band around your feet instead your thighs and instead of kicking up, you will kick back until your leg is in one line with your back. Especially if you have problems with a resistance band always rolling and slipping you might find this variation useful.
Mini Band Alternative – Wrap a short resistance band around the middle of your legs right beneath your knees and get into a table position where your hands will be directly below your shoulders and your knees right below your hips.
Now raise your leg without moving your upper body, using your glute until you reach a straight line with your back, there’s no need to push any further than that as this will only promote a curved spine and put stress on your lower back and not contract your glutes any further.
Standing Kickbacks – this variation is done while standing and also works great, especially when you have problems holding the tabletop position during the Donkey Kick Backs properly. Nothing is worse than bad form and with the standing version you are a lot less likely to arch your lower back.
Attach the resistance band around floor level and lean forward against a door or wall and then do your kickbacks.
Adding More Resistance
The problem with the short resistance bands is that it’s almost impossible to add more resistance. Once you feel that the current resistance band is not giving you enough resistance to work your glutes anymore, you need to take the next stronger one. The problem is that the stronger one might be too much and promote bad form or won’t let you do enough reps to really work your booty.
Regular resistance bands let you adjust the resistance basically on the fly by shortening the length of the band by simply grabbing the band further down towards your feet.
Keep in mind to leave your hands beneath your shoulders. As soon as your hands are not below your shoulders, you will start promoting an arched back again which leads to more stress in your lower back.