1. Add more resistance by pushing your hands across your body with each back kick.

2. Perform the exercise on the same side.

3. Use aqua dumbbells to add more resistance and support.

4. Perform the exercise with more force by adding a jump with every kick.

5. Perform donkey kicks on the same side without returning to the starting position (i.e stay in the forward position).




​As with any exercise, it is important to use common sense and follow safety guidelines. Always warm up your muscles before performing this exercise. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. In addition, it is important to wear proper swimwear when doing any exercise in the water.


​Not only that this exercise targets multiple muscle groups and engages the whole body, but performing this motion while standing one one leg will improve your balance and coordination. In addition, it will increase your hip's range of motion. 


How to Perform


Starting Position:


Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your hands down by your sides in a neutral position. Relax your shoulders and open your hands. Water depth should be at about your chest level.




Lean forward while keeping your hips at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Bend one leg as you lift your foot off the floor and perform a back leg kick as far as you can. In this position, your back leg should be fully extended and your torso in front until your chin almost touches the surface. Slowly return to the starting position then repeat with your other leg. Make sure your legs and torso move together as one. Keep your core tight and your arms and legs in sync.​




Inhale as you lean back and exhale as you lean forward and kick. ​

Play button to reveal a gif
Underwater view of a character performing donkey kicks
Underwater view of a character standing in shallow pool

Muscles Worked

​Your core muscles work hard to maintain your balance throughout the movement. Your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps muscles provide power to kick your leg back. 

Underwater view of a character extending left leg backward
Underwater view of a character extending right leg backward
27 December 2022

Standing Donkey Kicks in the Pool

​Unlike traditional donkey kick exercises, the standing version allows you to easily adapt it to the aquatic environment. This is a low-impact exercise that combines strength, balance, and flexibility. And you don't need any equipment to do it. 


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