Standing donkey kicks challenge to tone up your glutes

This challenge targets the main glute muscle with two standing exercises, as well as pulsing variations on these two exercises. You might have done kneeling donkey kicks before – these are a great exercise for targeting the glutes, but standing donkey kicks have a few advantages:

  • No pressure on the knees – not everyone is comfortable with the kneeling position
  • The supporting leg works harder in a standing position
  • Balance and core muscles are challenged more in a standing position
  • You don’t need an exercise mat

Standing donkey kicks workout

Info box

The exercises

The two exercises in this challenge work the glutes differently, due to the position of your body. For the wall exercise, you’re taking your leg from being in line with your back to out behind your body. The chair exercise is done in a bent over position and you lift your leg to be in line with your back. With both exercises, you should take care not to arch your back.

Wall standing donkey kicks

Standing hip extension

  1. Have both hands on the wall for support.
  2. Lift one leg up behind, as high as you can without arching your back, then lower and repeat for the given number of reps.
  3. When you’ve completed all your reps, change legs.

Chair standing donkey kicks

Standing donkey kicks with chair

  1. Position a chair where it won’t move, against a wall for example.  Stand at arms’ length behind the chair.
  2. Bend over and hold with both arms onto the chair.
  3. Keeping your back flat, lift your right leg until it is parallel with the floor.
  4. Lower and repeat for the given number of reps.
  5. When you’ve completed all your reps, change legs.

General safety information

Please read these general exercise guidelines before you do this workout.

Before you do the challenge each day, warm your glutes up with some lunges:

Warm up lunges

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
  2. Take your right leg out behind your body and tap your toes to the floor.
  3. Bring your leg back to starting position and then repeat on the left.
  4. Keep going until you’ve done 10 lunges on each side

The challenge schedule

These are the reps of each exercise for the 30 days:

Standing donkey kicks challenge


When you’ve finished this workout, you could try one of the suggested workouts below. Alternatively, try the challenge again with ankle weights, which will increase the resistance and improve your glute tone even more.

Get a copy of the standing donkey kicks challenge schedule

Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get the free printable download link e-mailed to you:

After you sign up, you’ll get 2 e-mails, one will have a link to your printable download and the other will be a welcome e-mail.

If the e-mails haven’t turned up within a few minutes, please check your junk folder, as some service providers have very strict filters.

More glutes workouts

glute bridge challengeGlutes circuit workout routine