Donkey Climbing

Donkey sock lifting is an excellent basic exercise for developing calf muscles, it was one of Arnold's favorite exercises in the arsenal, and helped him build calves that looked more like balls - they were so massive. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that, having bent in the lower back, you can achieve greater stretching of the calves, and, accordingly, increase the load on them more.


  • 1 What muscles work
  • 2 options
  • 3 Technique
  • 4 Priority

What muscles work

Calf, flat sole, posterior greater and peroneal.


Lifting on socks can be done both in the hall and at home. To do this, you need a rectangular footrest, some support for the elbows, it can be, for example, a desk, or a high bench. In the hall, for these purposes, you can use the Swedish wall, holding hands on one of its low-lying crossbeams. Mandatory use of shoes. Socks can be installed both parallel and at an angle to each other. If the heels are set wider than the socks, then the outside works, on the contrary, the inside.

Execution technique

  • Place your toes on the stand while lowering the heels. Bend at the lower back, keeping the natural deflection of the spine, elbows rest against a bench, the height of which reaches you to the waist. Look in front of you without bowing your head. Most likely, the body weight will be small for the successful development of calves, so ask a friend to put an additional pancake on the pelvis from the bar, and hold it so that it does not fly off.
  • After that, begin to climb on toes, making movements in the ankle joint. There should be no movement in the hips and knees. Rise as high as possible, using the strength of the calf muscles alone.
  • At the upper point, it is necessary to maintain a pause, accompanying it with an additional strong-willed reduction of calves. Then go down as deep as you can. You need to feel the maximum stretch that the calf muscles are only capable of, and again push yourself up with one powerful willpower. Inhalation should be performed when lifting on toes, exhaling when moving down. The exercise must be repeated at least 20 times.
  • Do not bend your head down and do not round your back, no matter how you like it. This situation is very traumatic and uncomfortable.


If other basic exercises are not planned, then this can be done first, supplementing it, for example, with a leg press on the platform and an extension of the feet while sitting.