Cable Glute Kickbacks: How To Do It Properly? (Like A Pro)

Cable Glute Kickbacks: How to Do it Properly? (Like a Pro)

Last Updated on July, 2024

Are you tired of typical squats and lunges yet still dreaming of toned glutes? Well, you’re in luck because the largest muscle in your body, the Gluteus Maximus, can be targeted with an effective exercise known as Cable Glute Kickbacks.

This blog is going to guide you through this powerful booty workout that isolates your glutes for a more intense burn. You will sculpt, strengthen and bring some serious shape to those glutes – so keep reading!

Quick Summary

Cable kickbacks target the glute muscles by extending and contracting the leg backward against resistance.

Benefits of Cable Kickbacks include strengthening the glutes, toning and shaping the muscles, improving balance, and reducing back ache.

Alternatives to cable kickbacks include Glute (Hip) Bridges, Donkey Kicks, and Fire Hydrants, which can be done with little to no equipment.

Understanding Glute Cable Kickbacks

glute cable kickbacks targeted muscles

Glute cable kickbacks are an excellent way to target your glutes in isolation. This means that you primarily work the muscles located in your buttock area: Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus.

Unlike compound movements such as squats or deadlifts which engage several muscle groups simultaneously, this exercise focuses on one specific region. The setup is easy; all you need is a cable pulley machine with an ankle cuff attachment.

With the cuff fastened securely around your ankle and holding onto the machine for support, you perform the movement by extending one leg backwards against the resistance provided by weight.

A key point distinguishing this exercise from others is balance; performing glute cable kickbacks require core engagement because you’re balancing on one leg during each rep.

Alongside strengthening those coveted backside muscles, they also give ancillary benefits to other lower body muscles such as hamstrings and calves involved in maintaining stability during execution of this workout routine.

As long as proper form is maintained — avoiding common mistakes like back arching — these exercises can strengthen the glutes without risk of lower back injury.

Benefits of Cable Kickbacks for Glutes

Cable kickbacks strengthen the glutes, tone and shape the muscles, improve balance, and reduce back ache.

Strengthening the Glutes

Cable kickbacks are a phenomenal way to beef up the gluteus maximus, which happens to be not just one of the core muscles in the glutes, but also the largest muscle in our bodies.

The potent combination of an ankle cuff and a cable pulley machine makes this exercise an isolation movement; targeting specific muscles helps in boosting their strength significantly.

This is why it comes highly recommended by fitness instructors worldwide for people who have sedentary lifestyles.

Weak glutes often gravitate towards causing lower back ache due to the strain they put on that area.

strong glutes of a man

A well-structured booty workout including cable kickbacks can conveniently help eliminate such problems.

Implementing regular glute cable kickback workouts in your schedule will allow you extensive engagement with these key muscles leading to substantial strengthening over time. (1)

Toning and Shaping the Glutes

Glute cable kickbacks offer an effective route to tone and shape your glutes. By isolating the muscles in this area, specifically the gluteus maximus, you’re directly stimulating muscle growth.

Using a cable pulley machine or ankle cuff allows for constant tension throughout the movement, leading to better sculpting results. This consistent engagement aids not only in strengthening but also in defining your booty’s attractive contours.

Whether you’re new to workouts focusing on lower body exercises or seeking variety outside of squats and deadlifts, this exercise promises noticeable changes with regular practice as part of your lower body workout routine!

Improved Balance

Balancing on one leg during glute cable kickbacks can actually improve your overall balance.

By engaging the glutes and stabilizing muscles in the core, this exercise challenges your body to maintain stability while performing the movement.

This can translate into better balance and coordination in everyday activities, reducing the risk of falls or injuries caused by imbalance. (2)

Strengthening these muscles through cable kickbacks not only improves your aesthetics but also enhances your physical performance and functional movements in daily life.

Reduced Back Ache

Strengthening your glutes through cable kickbacks can actually help reduce lower back ache.

Weak glutes and hamstrings are often contributors to back pain, as these muscles provide support and stability for the spine.

By targeting and strengthening the gluteus maximus with cable kickbacks, you can improve muscle imbalances and alleviate strain on the lower back.

This exercise specifically targets the glutes, helping to build strength in this area and reducing the chances of experiencing discomfort or pain in your lower back.

So, incorporating cable kickbacks into your workout routine can not only sculpt and tone your glutes but also contribute to improved overall fitness by reducing any existing or potential lower back ache.

a man having back ache

You can also try these dumbbell lower back exercises to reduce back pain.

Correct Execution of Glute Cable Kickbacks

To properly execute glute cable kickbacks, follow these steps:

  • Begin by attaching an ankle cuff to the cable pulley machine and selecting a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level.
  • Stand facing the machine with your feet hip – width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Place the ankle cuff around your working leg, just above the ankle.
  • Engage your core and maintain proper alignment throughout the exercise.
  • Keeping your upper body stable, exhale as you slowly kick your working leg straight back, extending it behind you. Focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Pause for a moment at full extension, then inhale as you slowly return to the starting position with control.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other leg.

Variations of Glute Cable Kickbacks

glute cable kickback essentials

Use of Bands: Adding resistance bands to the cable kickback exercise can enhance the intensity and challenge for the glutes.

Standing Glute Kickback: Performing cable kickbacks while standing upright instead of on all fours can engage different muscle fibers in the glutes for a varied workout.

Glute Kickback Machine: Using a dedicated machine specifically designed for glute kickbacks can provide more stability and control during the exercise, allowing for targeted muscle isolation.

Use of Bands

Resistance bands can be a great alternative to using a cable pulley machine for glute kickbacks. Bands provide the same resistance and activation of the glutes, making them an effective tool for targeting and strengthening these muscles.

They also offer the flexibility to adjust the level of resistance based on individual fitness levels and goals.

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, incorporating bands into your glute kickback workout can help you achieve greater muscle activation and growth in your glutes.

Standing Glute Kickback

Standing glute kickbacks are a variation of the traditional cable kickback exercise that specifically targets and activates the glute muscles. This exercise is performed by attaching an ankle cuff to a cable pulley machine and standing facing away from it.

With a slight bend in your knee, you then lift your leg straight back behind you, focusing on squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Standing glute kickbacks are an effective way to strengthen and tone your glutes, as well as engage your hamstrings and calves.

They can be included in your lower body workout routine alongside other exercises like squats or deadlifts for maximum results.

Glute Kickback Machine

A glute kickback machine is a popular variation of cable kickbacks that can be found in some gyms. This machine provides added stability and support, making it an easier option for beginners or those with limited balance.

With the glute kickback machine, you can still target and strengthen your glutes effectively. Simply adjust the settings to fit your height and secure the ankle cuff attachment to your leg.

Then, using controlled movements, extend your leg backward while keeping your core engaged and maintaining proper form. The glute kickback machine allows you to isolate and work on specifically targeting your glutes for maximum muscle growth and toning effects.

Alternatives to Cable Kickbacks

  • Glute (Hip) Bridges, Donkey Kicks, and Fire Hydrants are great alternatives to cable kickbacks.
  • These exercises target the glutes and can be done with little to no equipment.
  • Read on to learn more about these effective exercises that will help you sculpt and strengthen your glutes!

Continue reading to discover more about these amazing exercises!

Glute (Hip) Bridges

Glute (Hip) Bridges are a highly effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the glutes.

To perform this exercise, start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet planted firmly on the ground.

Engage your core muscles and lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.

Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement before slowly lowering back down to starting position.

Glute bridges activate not only the gluteus maximus but also the gluteus medius, which helps improve stability in the hips.

Regularly incorporating glute bridges into your workout routine can help build strength in these crucial muscle groups, reduce lower back ache, and enhance overall fitness performance.

a man doing glute hip bridges

Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are a great exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings. This bodyweight exercise is performed on all fours, with one leg lifted straight back behind you.

By engaging your glute muscles, you can extend your leg upward while keeping it in line with your body.

Donkey kicks help to strengthen and tone the glutes, as well as improve overall balance.

You can further engage these muscles by slowly lowering your leg back down to the floor after each kick.

Donkey kicks can be paired with other lower body exercises like squats or deadlifts for an effective lower body workout routine.

a man doing donkey kicks
credits: (

Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants are mentioned in the article as an alternative exercise for targeting the glutes.

They are a great way to engage your glute muscles while improving hip range of motion and flexibility.

Fire hydrants involve getting on all fours and lifting one leg out to the side, mimicking the movement a dog makes when it pees on a fire hydrant (hence the name).

This exercise primarily targets the gluteus medius, which is important for stabilizing the pelvis and preventing injury.

Incorporating fire hydrants into your workout routine can help add variety and challenge to your booty workouts.

a man doing fire hydrants
credits: (

Related article: Under butt exercises


Incorporating cable kickbacks into your glute workouts can provide numerous benefits. From strengthening and toning your glutes to improving balance and reducing lower back ache, this exercise is a great addition to any lower body routine.

By following proper form and incorporating variations, you can maximize the effectiveness of cable kickbacks for optimal glute activation and muscle growth. So grab that ankle cuff and get ready to sculpt those glutes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cable kickbacks target the glutes by having the user extend and contract the leg in a backward motion against resistance from a cable machine.

Yes, cable kickbacks are an effective exercise for building glute strength as they target the glute muscles directly.

No, cable kickbacks require a cable machine to perform, but alternative exercises like bodyweight lunges or donkey kicks can target the glutes without equipment.

Yes, other exercises such as squats, hip thrusts, and deadlifts should be incorporated alongside cable kickbacks for well-rounded glute development and strength training.

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Linda Walter
I’m a fitness trainer and a health coach. My GOAL is to empower everyone to live a healthier life even after passing their prime. You can find more about me here.

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