Just got yourself some MonkeyFeet but don’t know what the best exercises are?
Maybe you know a few of the basics but are looking for something a little more advanced?
Or maybe you’d just like to learn about what each of these unique exercises does for your body.
I’ve compiled a complete list of the top exercises that you absolutely must be including in your workouts in order to get the most out of your MonkeyFeet.
Don’t have MonkeyFeet?
Check out my article where I cover several cheap and easy MonkeyFeet alternatives so you can start doing these workouts today!
1. Knee Raise
Knee raises are probably the best way to use MonkeyFeet, in my opinion.
This exercise trains the hip flexors as well as lower abdominals – it’s an extremely underrated movement.
When we sit at a desk all day long, our hip flexors get incredibly tight and weak since we rarely perform movements that use them.
This is the major cause of lower back tightness which is something I’ve suffered a lot from in recent years.
Cool side note… the biggest biomechanical difference between elite sprinters and regular human beings is their hip extensor muscles.
If you want super strong glutes, you can’t neglect the opposing muscle group (i.e. hip flexors), which is why we’ve seen the likes of Usain Bolt doing these exercises.
2. Hamstring Curl
One of the easiest ways to do hamstring curls at home is with MonkeyFeet. You can do these standing or lying on your stomach.
Usually anywhere from 10-25lbs will be a good starting weight for this exercise.
This is one of the most effective ways to isolate the hammies without needing to spend $400 on a bulky leg curl/leg extension machine!
3. Donkey Kick
Donkey kicks are another booty building favorite, particularly with the ladies.
You’ve probably seen people doing similar movements using cable machines at the gym which are far more of a hassle to set up and get going with than these.
Make sure you keep the tension on your glutes and hamstrings and off your lower back.
4. Side Raise
This is another one of the most simple MonkeyFeet movements that’s excellent for developing the glutes.
Be sure to control the weight throughout the entire movement so you’re not letting your leg swing back down.
You could also make this one slightly more difficult by using a light rubber band.
This would add increased tension at the top of the raise which would mean you could get away with doing lower weights.
5. Leg Extension
The MonkeyFeet leg extension takes a bit of finesse to get just right but once you’ve got it all sorted, it’s one of the best exercises you can do with this tool.
The leg extension isolation movement is virtually impossible to replicate without being at a gym with a proper leg extension machine.
…Unless you have some MonkeyFeet!
This is one of the best movements for developing your VMO, combating patella tendonitis, and just keeping your knees in good nick!
Ideally you want to sit on top of a box or bench that’s high enough up that your foot won’t be touching the ground.
Something similar to a tall plyo box is ideal because your foot can swing back down all the way without hitting the box.
If you are using a solid box, you’ll need to prop your leg up with something so that it’s not touching the front of the box when it’s in a fully relaxed position.
Something like a foam roller or a rolled up yoga mat should be fine.
Focus on squeezing with your VMO muscle (tear drop quad muscle on inner thigh) throughout the movement and controlling it on the way back down.
6. Leg Raise
This exercise might not look like it does a whole lot, but it’s actually really tough and is an incredible hip flexor workout!
Because of the location of the weight, your quads are forced to engage throughout the entire movement, and the entire front side of your upper leg is in overdrive when you’re lowering the weight.
Doing these supine leg raises combined with the knee raises is one absolutely brutal assault on your hip flexors!
7. Supine Leg Extension
This isn’t my favorite way of doing leg extensions with the MonkeyFeet, but it’s super convenient if you don’t have a box or anything to prop yourself up on.
Short of doing VMO squats, there’s not really many ways to isolate that VMO at home and so doing an exercise like this is probably the easiest way.
This makes it ideal particularly for patella tendonitis sufferers who need to get regular VMO work in to drive synovial fluid into the knee joint.
So not the greatest strength exercise, but awesome for rehab!
8. Hanging Leg Raise
MonkeyFeet can also be one of the most useful ways to train your core.
These can be done a number of ways. You can either alternate as shown below, or keep your legs together and move them that way.
Either way you like it, this is an amazing way to hit the lower abdominals as well as the hip flexors at the same time.
If you wanted to do really heavy hanging knee raises, there’s actually no better way than to strap weights to your feet!
You can also make these harder by turning them into more of an L-sit. Instead of bending at the knees, try to keep your legs out straight and raise your toes up towards the roof.
9. Modified Eagle
Now we’re starting to get into the slightly more esoteric domain of sports performance with some advanced movements you won’t often see.
Don’t be deceived, this is an extremely difficult movement when you’re adding weights so be sure to start off with something very light.
Make sure you control the weight and move it nice and slowly throughout the entire movement.
You should feel a strong burn in the glutes.
If you’re experiencing too much torque on your lower back, change the angle of your leg so it’s closer to 45 degrees as opposed to perpendicular to the ground.
10. Prone Internal & External Rotation
I’m a massive fan of doing movements that train muscles most people don’t even know exist!
This sort of pronation/supination of the leg is going to absolutely light your thighs up and you can bet your ass it’s going to hurt in the morning!
This movement will develop your ability to rotate your hips as well as increase overall stability massively.
Great for general sports performance and durability.
Perhaps the toughest exercise on this list is the Firekick.
The objective is to cycle your foot around as though you were riding a bicycle, except you’ll be fighting against the band in order to maintain control.
This movement will fire up the entire outside of your body.
It’s a great way to develop balance as well as all of the stabilizers in your upper legs and hips.
12. Bird Dog
This is a slight variation of the donkey kick which involves a far greater activation of the core, making it a much tougher overall movement.
The anti-rotational stimulus of the core is what makes this a favorite exercise of my old vertical jump/speed coach.
Be sure to keep this as slow and controlled as possible.
13. Single Leg RDL
This might be the single most effective RDL variation I’ve seen, mainly because you’re not having to hold a dumbbell in your hand.
This allows your upper body to better act as a counterbalance to the weight on your feet, which means you should be able to get a deeper range of motion and better stretch.
Traditionally this movement would work only the grounded leg, but with the MonkeyFeet you’re working both legs at the same time for a far more effective workout.
Avoid rounding your upper back and allowing your hips to rotate.
You shouldn’t strain in your lower back at all and you should remain facing straight the entire time.
14. Fire Hydrant
If you’ve never tried fire hydrants, they may not look like much, but trust me this is a tough exercise.
The range of motion is very minimal, especially if you’re doing it correctly, but it’s one of the best ways to fully activate the glute and it’s definitely a favorite of mine.
Remember, the freakiest athletes in the world have insanely strong hip extensors (glutes)!
So if you’re interested in becoming a freak athlete, you should be collecting as many glute exercises as possible!
15. Tib Raise
I often see people asking if you can do tib raises with MonkeyFeet and the answer is… kind of.
You technically can do them, but it’s simply not a very effective way to train the tibialis because the weight is on your heel and really needs to be closer to your toes.
The strap also inhibits the range of motion slightly and overall this is just a very clunky way of training tibs.
If you want a significantly better way of training your tibs, check out my article where I discuss each of the best tib bars on the market.
16. Weighted Pullup
Lastly, you can even use MonkeyFeet to train your upper body!
I’ve been doing a ton of fairly heavy weighted pull ups recently. Messing around with a belt and the chain and several weight plates is quite annoying in between each set.
With MonkeyFeet, you can quickly and easily get some additional load on those chin ups.
If you’re considering getting some MonkeyFeet of your own, make sure you check out my full MonkeyFeet review first!
I want to give a HUGE shoutout to Strength Resurgence who put together an excellent video explaining exactly how to do each of the more advanced MonkeyFeet exercises.
Also a big thanks to the Animalhouse Fitness channel for putting together some other excellent exercise demonstrations.