Bent over toes (donkey) is an effective exercise for the calf muscles, which does not overload the back. Its difficulty lies in the strict implementation of the technique, neglecting which not only the athlete, but also his partner can suffer. The calf muscles are the most resilient muscles in the human body, because they are almost always at work. Due to the fact that the calf muscles are regularly involved in the movements, it is difficult to "punch" them. Therefore, you can often see the beautiful inflated torso of an athlete, large quadriceps and, in comparison with them, frail shins.
To affect the muscles of the lower legs, to stimulate their hard pumping, and growth, a so-called muscle shock is needed, that is, you need to give them the load that they did not expect at all.
The donkey exercise is one of the best exercises for developing and stimulating the growth of the biceps calf muscle. To do this, you need a bent over calf trainer or a partner. Beginners can use dumbbells as weights. But at the same time, the equipment located on the back must be held by a partner so that it does not slide down.
Schwarzenegger was very fond of performing this exercise, using girls instead of a load. It was thanks to Donkey that he managed to grow huge massive calves with a volume that resemble balls.
Technique for the exercise "Donkey"
The specific technique of performing bent-over socks does not make this exercise available to all athletes. After all, before such a muscle training, the whole body must be well prepared. "Donkey" with a partner is practiced no less often than in a special simulator:
- Stand with your toes on a special stand, a wooden platform or pancakes at least 10 cm in height, while lowering your heels down.
- Straighten your knee, but do not "lock" the joint, its position should be slightly bent.
- Bend at the lower back so that the hip joints are exactly under the toes. Fix the natural spinal deflection.
- Grasp the support used (any horizontal surface) with your hands and press your elbows against the support.
- Direct your gaze in front of you, this will help keep your back straight and not round it.
- Ask your partner to play the role of a weight and climb onto your back.
- As you exhale, rise on your toes as high as possible until the muscle is fully contracted.
- Hold at the top point for a few seconds to create maximum tension in the calf muscles.
- While inhaling, gently and slowly lower yourself to the starting position, at this moment you can perfectly feel the stretching of the leg muscles. The heels should not be placed on the floor, they should be constantly suspended.
- Perform the exercise slowly without jerking for the required number of repetitions.
- After completing the set, slowly bend your knees and let your partner calmly get off the back.
The lower the inclination of the torso, the more the muscles of the lower leg stretch
To distribute the same load on the biceps calf muscle, the location of the feet should be parallel to each other. If desired, you can vary the turn of the socks and, thus, load different areas (bundles) of the calf muscles. If the socks are turned to the sides, then the main load will fall on the outer part of the lower leg muscles, if the socks are inward - the inner part.
The weight of the burden should only load the legs and not be reflected in any way on the lower back. In the case when the load is on the back, you need to bend forward more, and it will immediately go to your feet. The main thing is to really assess your capabilities when performing the exercise. Sometimes, not only beginners, but also experienced athletes, strive to take a partner on their backs to prove that they are strong and they do not care about such weight. As a result, frequent cases of injury are recorded. The weight of the partner or weights should be such that the athlete can perform 3 × 4 sets of 15–25 reps. It is better to increase the weight of the weighting agent little by little, and then it will turn out to prepare the body for great achievements.
Usually, for weight training, 3–4 sets of 6–12 reps are recommended. But with the biceps calf muscle, the story is different: it is designed for walking, which means that it has a lot of muscle fibers. In order to pump all of them in lifting on toes in a slope, it is recommended to do a large number of repetitions (20 or even 30 can be done), because the range of motion in the exercise is small and it is harder to achieve the desired muscle failure.
Exercise "Donkey" will greatly diversify the training program and give an impetus to shift from the "dead center" in the development of the lower legs.
Video how to do it right with a partner: