Muscles Used • Exercise Type • Form Instruction • Tips and Techniques • Recommended Reps • Common Variations • Substitutions • Equipment Needed
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Weight Training Exercises Database
– Donkey Calf Raises –
Isolated Exercise, Push Movement
Bending at waist and with forearms on supports, position machine padding over your lower back (on the tail-bone) and balls of feet on calf block. Raise ankles as high as possible and lower them to a comfortable stretch.
Tips and Techniques:
Keep your knees slightly bent throughout the exercise to keep the stress on the calves. Set the height of the padding so that the pad is making contact with your tail-bone at the bottom of the exercise (with that slight bend in the knees).
The back is straight with a slight arch. It is important to keep it still and not allow it to curl up and become part of the exercise.
Legs are shoulder-width apart or narrower. Like other calf exercises, pointing the toes slightly outward can place more emphasis on the inner calves and pointing them slightly inward can place more emphasis on the outer calves.
There are many ways to do Donkey Calf Raises. People do them with a dip belt and other creative ways. Perhaps the most common way is to have a partner sitting on your back (presumably, this is where the name comes from – it looks like someone riding a donkey? Or, another way to put it, it makes the trainer look like a jackass?).
Donkey Calf Raises of some variety are often heralded as the best calf builder by some bodybuilders. At least some of this reputation can be attributed to Arnold Schwarzenegger who trumpeted them (pictures of him doing them with a couple of big guys on his back intrigue people).
Other bodybuilders don’t see them as anything special. This argument suggests they really aren’t significantly different than Standing Calf Raises, you are just replacing your upper body weight with whatever resistance you are using.
I’d tend to agree with the latter appraisal. They are kind of a pain-in-the-ass to do. When I did them I didn’t feel or see anything that would suggest they were superior to Standing Calf Raises. However, they are hitting the calves in a different way and, because the calves are hard to hit, that has value.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Free-Weight Donkey Calf Raises – See above
As mentioned above, there may not be a whole lot of value of doing Donkey Calf Raises over simple Standing Calf Raises. Other exercises that can build the calves effectively include Seated Calf Raises and Leg Press Calf Presses.
Donkey Calf Machine
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