Weighted donkey calf raise

The weighted donkey calk raise is a strength and muscle-building exercise focused on the muscles of the lower leg, most prominently the gastrocnemius muscle. While traditional donkey calf raises involved either a specific machine or carrying another person on one's back, this method uses a weight belt. It can be done in traditional muscle-building rep ranges, or for higher reps as part of lower-body training.


  1. Allows heavy loading of calves with minimal equipment
  2. Emphasizes both stretch and contraction in the calf muscles
  3. Easy to add pauses or manipulate tempo to increase intensity

Weighted donkey calf raise Images


Weighted donkey calf raise Instructions

Weighted donkey calf raise muscle diagram
  1. For this exercise you will need access to a donkey calf raise machine. Start by positioning your lower back and hips under the padded lever provided. The tailbone area should be the one making contact with the pad.
  2. Place both of your arms on the side handles and place the balls of your feet on the calf block with the heels extending off. Align the toes forward, inward or outward, depending on the area you wish to target, and straighten the knees without locking them. This will be your starting position.
  3. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  4. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: If you don't have a machine available but have access to a calf block and a sturdy object to hold on to, you can perform this using as resistance a person sitting on your lower back (around the tailbone area).