Donkey Calf Raise

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Calves
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Equipment Bodyweight
Emphasis Isolation
Type Push

Donkey Calf Raise Instructions

  • Position a plate on the ground. Setup by a machine or fixture where you can support yourself.
  • Put both feet on the plate with your toes pointed straight ahead.
  • With your knees slightly bent, make sure your back heels are off the plate.
  • With a neutral spine and your core braced, hinge at the hip and bring your torso to just above parallel with the floor and rest your hands on a fixture, barbell, or against the wall
  • In a controlled manner, flex/extend at the ankle through a full range-of-motion.
    • Maintain a slight knee flex throughout the exercise.
    • Full plantar flexion and dorsiflexion.
  • Conscientiously lengthen and shorten the calf musculature to control the movement. 
    • At the top of the range-of-motion (full plantar flexion), think about driving your heel into the back of your knee.
    • Don't just press the balls of your feet into the floor.
  • Don't bounce yourself up. Really emphasize controlling the exercise with your calves.
  • Your upper body remains passive during the exercise.


  • Establish a strong mind-muscle connection and be deliberate with each repetition. 
  • Experiment with different rep schemes and various time-under-tension protocols. 
  • Don't actively point your feet internally or externally. This will have no real effect on the execution of the exercise.
  • You can effectively add weight by strapping a dip belt around your waist and attached a respective load.
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