Donkey Calf Raise – An Entire Guide With Form Tips


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Although this walkthrough will focus on performing donkey calf raises with a machine, the general form and tips can be applied to all setup variations. Approach the donkey calf raise machine and select the appropriate working weight. If this is your first time performing the exercise then pick a conservative weight that you can safely lift for 8 to 12 repetitions.

This working weight will likely be less than the. Donkey Calf Raise Exercise Guide MOVEMENT (ACTION): Flex your calves, raising your heels up as high as possible before returning to the starting position where your calves are stretched, heels hanging off the edge. Hold the bottom and top positions for a second or two to feel the muscles working.

Important Tips for Donkey Calf Raises. Single-leg Donkey Calf Raise We’re sorry, an error has occurred when playing video (video format is not supported). Step 1 Stand on a small bench or platform, allowing enough room for your heels to.

Stand on a small bench or platform, allowing enough room for your heels to hang off the edge. Bend over, and hold on to something stable for support so that your torso is parallel with the ground. Strap on a loaded dipping belt and stand on a block or whatever you have handy, toes on the edge.

Bend at the waist and do calf raises. You can perform them bilaterally (both legs) or unilaterally (one leg at a time). Hold the bottom stretched position for two seconds and hold the top position for at least one second, contracting hard.

To further increase the effectiveness of your calf training, below are a few helpful hints: Do from 15 to 20 reps per set. All leg muscles tend to benefit from higher reps than do muscles of the upper body. Try to achieve the fullest range of motion possible — stretch all the way down at the bottom, come right up on your toes on top. Sure, calf raises are effective for building your calves.

But donkey calf raises—a tweaked version of the classic move—work even better, says Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ. How To Do Calf Raises How to: Stand on a flat surface with your toes pointed straight ahead. Lift your heels off the floor to flex your calf muscle. Pause for moment, then slowly return to.

Raising your own beef can be an extremely rewarding and educational process, but there’s a lot to learn before adding a fragile calf to your farm. To accommodate such a large animal, you need to know all about space requirements, fodder and what it takes to raise a calf to become a steer ready for butchering, before you take the big step. Raising Calves: A Guide To Getting The Best Possible Start But sometimes there’s trouble at calving time; the first few hours or days can be rough, and without help, a newborn calf can die. “In dairy cattle, 75 percent of perinatal mortality occurs within one hour of birth,” says.

List of related literature:

The thighs should be applied to the waddle nnd to the sides of the horse by their inner surface*, so as to bring in the knees and toes; and although the line may he properly broken by some little irregularities, yet the foot, the knee, the hip, and shoulder, should deviate but little from one perpendicular line.

“An encyclopædia of agriculture” by John Claudius Loudon
from An encyclopædia of agriculture
by John Claudius Loudon
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1825

(2) First use the currycomb on one side of the animals beginning at the neck, then chest, shoulders, foreleg down to the knees, then back, flank, belly, loins and rump, the hind leg down to hock.

“Small Wars Manual” by United States. Marine Corps
from Small Wars Manual
by United States. Marine Corps
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1940

For the second routine, I substitute donkey calf raises for leg press calf raises.

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from Natural Bodybuilding
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In Advanced Training, I have included both Donkey Calf Raises and Seated Calf Raises along with the mass-building Standing Calf Raises.

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from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
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Racking in form should include the horse remaining with a good set head and should be performed by the horse in an effortless manner from the slow gait, at which point all strides become equally rapid and regular.

“Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse E-Book” by Michael W. Ross, Sue J. Dyson
from Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse E-Book
by Michael W. Ross, Sue J. Dyson
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

At first the hind-feet are not easily distinguished from the fore, but if a hind presentation is made in the natural position of the body, that is, with the back uppermost, the hind-feet will be in an inverted position to the fore, that is, the soles will be found uppermost instead of the hoofs.

“The Book of the Farm” by Henry Stephens
from The Book of the Farm
by Henry Stephens
William Blackwood and Sons, 1844

The proper starting position is with your hands on the bara little wider than shoulder width; your feet are hip-width apart or a bit less.The bar should be directly over the metatarsal joint of your big toes.Your feet may be turned out slightly.

“Complete Book of Throws” by L. Jay Silvester, Jay Silvester
from Complete Book of Throws
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Another useful strategy is to have the handler straddle the goat and back it into a corner and then firmly press the knees against the goat’s shoulders or neck.

“Sheep & Goat Medicine E-Book” by David G. Pugh, N. (Nickie) Baird
from Sheep & Goat Medicine E-Book
by David G. Pugh, N. (Nickie) Baird
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

This would involve basic dressage moves, simple grid work, and good postural working, so as to encourage the horse to drive from his hindquarters, not from the forehand.

“Physical Therapy and Massage for the Dog” by Julia Robertson, Andy Mead
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To make this exercise more effective, do the movements in a 4-count sequence1) step to side, keeping hips and shoulders square, 2) lower body into a squat, 3) stand, 4) drag non-lead leg in, placing feet together.

“Fitness Instructor Training Guide” by Cheryl L. Hyde, American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness
from Fitness Instructor Training Guide
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Kendall/Hunt, 2002

Alexia Lewis RD

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  • I have naturly big calves 44 cm i train them once a year. I walk a lot thow.:) they should be small… might be nuclei overload or i have more endurance fibers or what ever but when i use weights they go up to 46 cm with minimal work. Since corona can’t really train them so yeah. This video will get me to 50 cm calves. Naturel xd.

  • Hit calves 2x a week. Bodybuilders hit them 5-6 times per weak due to them being the most stubborn muscle group to grow. Short asd

  • There is a padded hip abductor at LA Fitness that has a platform that works well too. You rotate the pad to below hip level, lift the pad with your arm and drop it above your hips. You can hold the hand rail bar to support yourself

  • At 5:11 Am I the only one who does the variation where I get my boyfriend to insert himself and then I calf raise him in the air? Trains my glutes too. Wow, how embarrassing if it’s just me.

  • Hey bro, i love your content, i done health and physical ed, in high school, and your video’s are like a quick summary of a reminder of what i learned in highschool! (:

  • Dear Jeff
    thank you very much for your video. I learned many new things. great job.
    I have a passion and profession in science too and You know we have to present articles from time to time in journal club!
    I like the way you present the sci articles. it is a great effort.
    Could you please let me know how you learned to prepare your sci presentation in such an artistic way, i.e. the way you present papers; animations background, colors, etc.

  • Great variations,but post a video about training the calves,i like your video
    About the tendon aquiles,great information
    Sorry for the errors i am from brazil

  • this is the most aesthetic / design-forward fitness video I’ve ever seen… props to you and your editing team && thanks for the tips-I’ll be back in 24 yrs.

  • Honestly I dont get people with skinny calves, like can u guys even move your toes? We spend all day walking and running and squatting and tiptoeing just like our wrist bend and extend our ankle bend and extend when we press down with our toes and heel mines are huge effortlessly without any isolation just lots of athletics and stretching. Stretching it in plantar and dorsi makes it really grow and my squats and leg press already activate a lot of calves, just like my presses and pulls activate a lot of forearms

  • My gym has a donkey calf raise machine. It seems to be quite old but I love it. It’s a plate load and is very comfortable to use. Just a side note. Right next to this machine is a vertical leg press just like in Pumping Iron.

  • If you have a gym with tires and Olympic Rings then put the tire underneath and load with a weight belt. You can change foot stance by changing treads on the tire and you can stabilize with the rings. You can add more variation by doing donkey calf raises this way as well.

  • Is it possible to target the inner gastrocs somehow? There are almost non existent compared to the outer ones, which is confusing. Have an awesome day!

  • I would love to see this kind of video treatment for the bench press. No matter which variation I go with, I always end up with shoulder pain. Backing off for months at a time, only to come back to more shoulder pain. Thanks Dr. Mike!

  • For me, jumping rope was a real game changers. From no calves at all, to some real nice proportioned calves. Plus it’s great for cardio

  • I feel like bent calf raises, like bending my back to rowing position hits upper part of calves more than actual vertical stand
    a bit awkward but you can try it

  • Athlenx has the best advise for growing stubborn calfs!!!! Trust me he is lagit and he is more informed and experienced then all these other kats combined!!!!!

  • Another fantastic video John!Are you able to demonstrate donkey calf raises on the smith machine as mentioned in this video? I’ve been trying and failing lolThx again as alwaysbest channel on YouTube!

  • Topic suggestion: Overhead Tricep extensions and skull crushers.
    I feel most people screw this up majorly with ROM and I personally struggle to find a consistent elbow position.


    0:39 Range of Motion is not there. Not going all the way up / down
    1:46 Not controlling the eccentric phase. Ideally go slow and pause half a second a second at the bottom
    2:28 Bending your knees.
    2:57 Extreme Strictness. Don’t do it just on your tippy toes!
    4:07 Limited by your grip of your feet. Find the surface / shoe that doesn’t make you slip
    5:28 Feet width and angle. No right answer. Use the variation that you like the most / change it up every once in awhile.
    6:07 Holding the weight wrong and also not holding onto anything -> no stabilization
    7:16 Going too heavy. Ideally, 20-30 rep range

  • No matter what new type of thing people be training now forearms, neck, jaw muscles (mewing) I never see anyone talk about the front of the calves. Jeff wheres that new front calves video at?

  • My gym hasn’t got a donkey calf machine so I strap some weights to a weight belt and use the footplate at the back of the incline bench works really well.

  • Seated and standing,vary reps.
    Lots of volume.
    Also,pushing a car on your heels will get those damn calves.
    But thats a full lower body right there.

  • You don’t build calves in the gym you bloody pillocks. Put on a 50kg(or in retarded units 110lbs) backpack and start marching on uneven terrain such as gravel roads, forest or on sand(beach) etc for 1-2 hours everyday and you’ll have claves the size of a foo…hand egg.

    There is your actual science.

    You’re Welcome!

  • That last part of your video was very useful, how you told us not to wait 40 minutes between sets.

    Maybe do a video on neck training, and some of that unique wisdom into it.

  • So, to me what differentiates a donkey calf raise from a standing calf raise is the position of the legs relative to the body (close to a right angle which puts the hamstrings in a stretch)
    There’s a machine that replicates that relative position exactly, and that’s the linear leg press. Set the seat as far upright as it goes, put your toes at the bottom of the foot plate and raise. Exact same motion and way easier set up if you don’t have the machine.

  • If u have stairs at work use them 200 or so and u can throw in 200 calve raises every other day 100 single leg and 100 with both legs and Bam in like three years it will pay off lol

  • Video production is getting better. Loving the intro music, timing and sequence of images.

    Keep being the authority on science based fitness and strength. Love the info.

  • …………. Shout out to everyone at +TheTigerFitness for uploading all this content…. back to back to back to back to back ������������

  • “for those of us with stubborn calves whod rather not wait that long” makes it sound as if you werent already there, youre huge boss, and for what I have seen, I think you got bigger, way bigger since this video, damn it man how much more do you wanna bulk up? I truly admire your discipline, amazing job sir.

  • Guys, you don’t need 24 years to get that result. He did calf raises once a week. So if you do 6 times a week, that means 24/6=4 years and Game Over.

  • 24 years later he learns the most forgiving camera angle for his calves and realises shaving them helps too lol. They do look better though.

  • Thoughts on starting with a set of 50 (due to weight limitations at home) and taking short rest periods to keep the next sets under 30?

  • Genetics did me right..6’3 with hulk calves. But I was cursed with stubborn lower chest muscles that refuse to get that cut L shape

  • For anyone using a backpack for weight, wear it in front!

    Think about it, have you ever seen a fat person with undeveloped calves? One function of the calves is to keep you from tipping forward, so loading in front of you (apart from giving you more stability on the stairs) is optimal

  • Doesn’t matter for how long you do a certain thing you always learn something new I done leg presses
    With the smith machine never thought of doing calve!

  • Hey jeff, the video was posted 2 years ago but i have a question about what mike israetel said in this video: He said not to train the soleus and instead do all the exercices standing and now im really confused. Can you help me?

  • Just go play football, soccer or do some SAQ exercises plus sprinting, normal running forward nd backward on Sand, uphill, skip rope
    You should only use Weight training to strengthning your calves to prevent injuries and not to gain

  • No research needed for the stubbornness of calves. Everyone knows: if they’re big, there’s nothing you can do to slim them down. If they’re small, there’s nothing you can do to grow them.

  • Bruh 6-8 reps? That is TOO heavy in my opinion. just watch John meadows Video about calves it’s way better advice frequency 4 times per week and just 3 sets per session so like 12 sets per week

  • I’ve been doing single leg calf raises on the stairs of my building and it works fine. My current shoes have poor grip and the stairs are always slippery but nothing a bit of good old spit can’t fix:)

  • Hey Jeff, my calves are quite big but they aren’t as bulky on the top as yours (I do train they hard 1-2 a week and have been for a long time) its more like they look like the muscle is longer and not big at the top. Is this normal?

  • If I’m strong enough for 15 or more reps, is there any reason not to do one-legged calf raises? I make sure to balance with both hands, and I rest between sets. While in quarantine, I lack heavy dumbbells.

  • Id like to put in that a higher calf insertion is actually an evolutianary advantage for speed because when sprinting there is less weight being hulked around plus more aerodynamic (just take a look at kenyans who adapted for speed due to open fields where they have to run more and eastern asians having a lower insertian due to not needing to sprint due to the thick foiliage of the forests and jungles)

    Edit:kenyans tend to have a high calf insertian and correct me if im wrong!

  • Got some hope for you guys!!! I’m 6f tall, really bad calves Gene, I tried to train them 3 time a week for 6 months now, I’m doing superset seated calf raise with standing calf raise with standing free weights calves raise, I promise you guys the results are there, I think mine are 3 times bigger than before.

  • My brother has huge calves. But mine look like chopsticks. I have kind of high insertion. He has low insertion and he’s actually my brother, we totally look alike, except for the calves. And I used to crush my calves on the gym on every single machine for like a year or more. I could pull up like twice my body weight by the end and didn’t gain any volume at all down there, just some definition. Every other muscle in body got bigger and all except for my calves. It was all pointless. Seriously man, all the people that says that genetics is an excuse of lazy people and all that bullshit, it’s because they already have huge calves and didn’t have to train to get them, because they have good genetics. They have no idea what we #TeamNoCalves feel about our bodies.

  • Hi Mike,
    Could you do a video showing how to engage you glutes better when performing exercises like dead lifts, squats etc. I always feel like my glutes are not optimally engaged
    I will look through your other videos to see if you already have a video on this topic

    thank you in advance

  • I’m 60. I’ve been training 42 years and trained calves with weights result and always struggled. I started training them like a dancer everyday desperate to get some growth. I put on some impressive size doing blood gorging reps, and cardio reps walking on my toes. High reps on a block with a 2 second pause at top. 100-200 reps at least 5 times per week. Little rest.

  • I guess I am in the minority here because I actually have good calf insertions, but I just enjoy watching Jeff Nippards and I wanted to be able to give my friends a more well informed answer when my friends ask me how to grow their calves.

  • Good demonstration on the importance of form. Too many people go all the way down with the stretch and put a lot of pressure on the Achilles tendon.

  • I think people who have long limbs/short torsos have to train their limbs more to fill them.
    However, arms are well incorporated in pulling and pushing movements.
    Calves are not well engaged from leg pushing or hinging movements.

  • Back in college (in the mid 70’s so eyebrows weren’t raised like they would be today), I used to have a 300 pound guy we called “Heavy” to sit on my back in the stairwell for donkeys. Calves had to grow or my lower legs would have snapped! With all that shifting from side to side for the riders balance the lower legs seemed to work harder that machines where the movement is straight up and down.

  • Personally I train calf by leaning 20° degree towards a wall let my hand and chest rest against the wall then doing calf raises unilaterally for sets of 30.
    Sometime you feel tension in the quad when you’re doing calf raises I think it’s okay because the quad just trying to keep the knee extended while the gastrocnemius can flex the knee ( Gastrocnemius can do both knee flexion and ankle plantar extension).

  • Good video. How long did it take to grow your calves?

    The problem I face is at home training. I might need to buy a dip belt and use a weighted vest for my calves.