Megamove of the month of September 2018: Mega Donkey Kick
‘How to Mega Donkey Kick’!
In September, we will be focusing on perfecting your Mega Donkey Kick, an exercise performed to strengthen your glutes and legs! Until the end of September, all classes will include a Mega Donkey Kick, or one of its variations. Our instructors will focus on providing detailed explanations on how to perform the exercise in perfect form.
The perfect Mega Donkey Kick
The Mega Donkey Kick, is one of the signature Lagree Fitness Method lower body exercises that not only gets your glutes working, but also works your hamstrings, quads, abdominals, triceps and shoulders.
The Mega Donkey Kick is performed on the Megaformer by kneeling on the carriage, on all four, facing the back of the room, with the working or focus leg elevated and pushing against the middle handlebar or footpad.
A variation of this move would be the Flying Mega Donkey Kick, elevating the knee that’s on the carriage to add a deeper core engagement, and to bring even more tension into your focus leg. The Mega Donkey Kick is performed on at least one red and one yellow spring, by keeping an outer rotation of the working leg, and slowly, with control, pushing into the footpad or black middle handlebar to push out the carriage using the back of the thigh, and then slowly resisting the carriage on its way in. Your hands and secondary knee stays on the carriage to stabilize the upper body.
Alex’s Mega Donkey Kick
Notice how in her video, Alex starts the Mega Donkey Kick with the knee of her supporting leg directly under her hip, and her shoulders directly above her wrists. Her core is also engaged to help her stay stablalized. It is important to start the exercise with tension in both the arms and abs. Her working leg and foot are rotated outwards from inside her hip. As she starts to press out the carriage, the slower she moves, the more controlled the exercise becomes. Halfway through the move, Alex adds in a challenge by lifting up her secondary knee for a Flying Mega Donkey Kick!
If the tension starts to feel too light or too heavy, you can always modify the exercise by adding or removing the yellow springs (always keeping the one red). When changing springs, remember the carriage must be closed!
Leaning into your secondary leg
Due to the heavy tension in our working leg, clients often compensate by shifting weight and sinking into their supporting/secondary hip. If your focus leg is your right leg, try to imagine a wall on your left side in order not to allow yourself to begin leaning over into your left side. You want to think about lifting weight out of your secondary hip and instead, pushing more weight into your working leg. Keeping tension in your core and arms will also help you to avoid any leaning off to the side!
Due to lack of tension in the focus leg, we also often see clients who’s hips shift backwards as the carriage opens forwards. You always want to make sure that your hips are stabilized above the knee that is on the carriage. Shifting the hips back as the carriage pushes open takes a lot of tension off the focus leg, which will result in a less effective exercise, where you won’t be able to feel all the offered benefits.
To make sure the focus of this exercise stays in the focus leg, you need to keep your core stabilized. To do so, arms and core must remain active. Pushing into the carriage with the arms and separating the space between your shoulder blades help you to keep your shoulders aligned which is extremely important. Performing this exercise with uneven shoulders will result in an uneven spine. Not only will you not feel the exercise as much in your leg, but you will also feel discomfort in your back. Remember, with every exercise performed at booster, you want to keep your spine long and straight!