Glute kickbacks are a great way to build strength, size and shape in your glutes so be sure to add them to your lower body workouts.

What Are Glute Kickbacks?

A glute kickback exercise is a type of isolation exercise that focuses on the big muscles of your glutes, as well as the nearby muscles of your hips and hamstrings. Glute kickbacks are a great way to isolate the glutes to build strength, stability and of course some nice shape to this important area.

There are various ways to do glute kickbacks, and they pair nicely with other lower body exercises, making glute kickbacks a good choice of gym exercise whether you’re a beginner or advanced.

Which Muscles Do Glute Kickbacks Work?

As the name suggests, the glute kickback works all the muscles of your glutes (bum) from the large gluteus maximus, into the gluteus medius and even the small gluteus minimus. Glute kickbacks will also strengthen and stimulate your hips, core, and hamstrings to build lower body strength.

7 Benefits Of Glute Kickbacks

Isolating Glutes

It’s important to have a variety of exercise choices in your workouts, including compound and isolation movements. Glute kickbacks are a good isolation exercise for leg day or lower body day.

Prime Your Lower Body

There are lots of ways to use glute kickbacks in a workout. They don’t have to be an exercise in their own right, you can also incorporate them as a warm-up exercise before compound exercises like squats or leg press.

Improved Strength

Glute kickbacks target the big muscles of the butt, which will help you get stronger throughout your lower body will support your upper body too.

Improved Balance

The glutes and hips play an important role in keeping your body balanced and stable, so stronger glutes means better balance. This is great news for future-you!

Tone and Grow The Glutes

Who doesn’t want a shapely set of glutes in time for summer? Glute kickbacks will tone your bum, especially when you combine them with other lower body exercises like squats, lunges, and leg press options.

Boost Lower Body Power

Your glutes are the power central of your entire body, so if you do any kind of sport you will benefit from having stronger glutes. Glute strength translates to sprinting, jumping, cycling, Olympic weightlifting and more.

Leg Day Finisher

Glute kickbacks can be a safe way to finish off a lower body session if you are fatigued from heavy lifts or bigger compound exercises. Try doing high-rep glute kickbacks after lower-rep work with a barbell or weights machines.

How to Do Glute Kickbacks With Cables

Doing glute kickbacks on the cable machine in the gym is the easiest way to ensure good form. Here’s a step-by-step technique for great glute kickbacks every time.

Choose Your Equipment

To do cable glute kickbacks you will need a cable machine and an ankle strap. You will be doing one leg at a time so you don’t need more than one ankle strap, although it saves time if you have a pair of straps and keep them on both legs throughout the exercise.

Get The Right Set Up

Lower the cable so the attachment point is close to the ground. Choose your load (it’s a good idea to start light and then increase the weight if you need to). Then fix the cable to the loop on one ankle strap and stand facing the cable stack.

Exercise Technique For Cable Glute Kickbacks

Lean slightly forward and hold on to the cable stack lightly to support yourself (remember, you want to really isolate the glutes during this exercise). Lift the leg attached to the cable machine out behind you, with a slight bend in the knee to protect the ligaments.

What To Expect Doing Glute Kickbacks With Cables

You don’t need to lift the leg really high during a cable glute kickback. You just want to feel the glute working, and keep the tension on as you lift the leg up and down. Hold each rep at the top for a second to keep the muscle switched on. Do 10-12 reps and then switch sides.

Glute Kickbacks Alternative Exercise Options

Glute Kickbacks With A Band

If you don’t have a cable machine, or you want to do glute kickbacks at home, try doing them with a resistance band. Loop the band around a sturdy upright point like the rig, squat rack, or even your sofa leg. Put your foot into the other end of the band so it’s around your ankle, then perform the glute kickback just as if you were using a cable machine.

Glute Bridges Instead of Glute Kickbacks

Glute bridges will give you a similar result to glute kickbacks, although it’s not exactly the same. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Press into your feet and lift your hips high, so you end up resting on your upper back and shoulders. Lower back down with control.

Barbell Hip Thrusts vs Glute Kickbacks

Barbell hip thrusts are a good choice of weighted exercise to put more load through the glute muscles. Lean your back against a bench or other sturdy surface and roll the loaded barbell over your legs so it rests across your hips. Bend your knees so your feet are flat to the floor and perform a glute bridge, lifting the barbell up as you raise your hips.

How To Do Glute Kickbacks In Your Workouts

Glute kickbacks are a brilliant exercise for activating the glute muscles before your main workout, for supersetting with another lower body movement, or for adding higher reps to your leg day session. Try adding cable glute kickbacks to your next glute workout to feel the benefits of targeting your glutes like this.