A lot of us want to work on our glutes and build our butts and upper legs to gain muscle and look sexier! If you’re looking for a good exercise that works on that part of the body, then you’ll want to get cable kickbacks.
But wait! What are cable kickbacks and how do they benefit you? Most importantly, how can you use it to gain more muscle and strength around the glutes? Read on to find out!
What Are Cable Kickbacks?
You’ve probably seen a lot of gymgoers use cable kickbacks, and it may have made you want to try it yourself! But before you do, what is this gym equipment anyway?
As the name suggests, cable kickbacks allow you to perform cable exercises that will work on your glutes. This is an optimal leg exercise known to develop and strengthen the glute muscles.
For those who aren’t familiar with what the glute muscles are, these are the largest and strongest muscles of the body. There are three major parts of the glutes, which are:
These three muscles keep our pelvis and hip movements stable.
Besides this, this gym equipment also engages your hamstrings while activating the calves and quads to balance and stabilize your body as you exercise. To add, your abdominal muscles are engaged for extra support!
When you see people perform exercises with cable kickbacks, it looks pretty easy! However, it takes a lot of strength, skill, and coordination. This will then be able to work on your strength and looks, along with your athletic performance for sports and other activities.
You can use the cable machine in your gym, purchase one to use at home, or even create your own, using a tubing band with cuffs.
Why Use Glute Kickbacks Cable
You’re probably wondering: what makes cable kickbacks such an advantageous tool for your workouts? These are the benefits one can reap when using them:
1. Gain Strength
Having strong glutes won’t only have you look great, but they also keep those muscles strong, which helps in a variety of ways. It will help you maintain balance to prevent falling over easily, as well as help with hip and thigh movement better.
With strong glutes, you can stand, jump, climb stairs, and do other daily movements properly without putting too much strain on your hips and thighs. And of course, it can also help improve your physical performance as you work out, such as helping you achieve a successful deadlift or squat. They also help boost exercises in athletic movements that require explosive lower body performance, like jumping or running.
If your glutes do weaken, it may cause:
- Poor posture
- Unexplained hip and/or knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Heel pain and/or inflammation
- The inability or difficulty to stand on one leg
As you can see, weak glutes don’t just impact your athletic performance as you work out, but your daily activities, too! That’s why it’s crucial to target this major group of muscles as well, so you can build that serious lower body strength.
2. Isolate the Glutes
The cable glute kickback exercise will isolate and target your glutes. Unlike the deadlift or squat, this exercise will specifically focus on the gluteal muscles. This is advantageous for those whose glutes are weaker compared to other parts of your legs.
When performing this exercise, it can balance muscle distribution around your entire lower body. That way, everything is strong, and you won’t have trouble doing other movements, whether in the gym or when running errands.
3. Improve Your Balance
Performing the cable glute kickback exercise requires you to place your working leg behind you. When that working leg will move behind you, not only will it focus on your glutes, but other muscles will work as well, such as you:
Working on these muscles will help improve the way you control your body, along with your balance. This is especially when you perform the exercise in a slow and controlled fashion, as you’ll feel more muscle activation and connection between the mind and body. These are both needed to learn and a skill to hone, as they are involved with the way your body balances.
How to Do Cable Kickbacks?
While cable kickbacks are very useful, they only work when you use them properly! Here are tips and steps to follow when learning how to do cable kickbacks:
The Basic Steps to Follow
- Hinge at the waist then bend over with your back upright, in front of your low cable pulley. Or, another option is to kneel across the flat bench located in front of your pulley.
- Attach the cable to the ankle of your working leg, using the ankle strap. When performing the flat bench variation, the working leg needs to be extended beside the bench, and your “non-working” leg bent when balancing on it.
- When you’re ready, pull your working leg back, away from the low cable pulley. Do this slowly, you’ll begin feeling resistance around your glute. Continue extending your leg back all the way, and once you’ve reached as far as you can go, pause the position for a few seconds.
- Bring back your leg slowly back to your starting position and repeat this move 8-10 times per set. Do 2-3 sets, depending on how many reps you can go for.
Your Form and Technique
As you perform this exercise, do NOT swing your legs to the optimum height, as this would result in your muscles not doing as much work as it should. It may also cause injuries due to letting the leg go too quickly.
Furthermore, I recommend that you keep your back in a good position throughout the entire move, which will improve your overall posture. Don’t stand up straight, as standing vertically will hinder your range of motion, so you can’t target the glutes as much as you wanted to. Instead of doing that, hinge at your waist, bending over so you have more range of motion to perform the exercise completely.
There are also other variations of the cable kickback exercises you can perform, including the following:
- Side Leg Raises
- Standing Leg Raises
- Glute Ham Raises
- Glute Bridges
When performing these exercises, I recommend that you do 3 sets at 12-15 reps per set if you’re looking to gain strength. But if you want to focus on gaining muscle, opt for more sets with shorter reps, around 4-5 sets with 6-8 reps per set. Take a minute or two between sets for your muscles to recover.
Perform the Move Completely and with the Correct Weight
To add, as you perform these exercises, make sure that you do so completely. When you perform partial reps (such as lifting your leg all the way), it won’t build the muscle you want.
Some lifters may extend their working leg back just a few feet, then stop there, thinking it’s okay. However, just like many other exercises, this move’s efficacy will depend on performing it in a full range of motion. The farther you move the working leg, the more tension it brings to the glutes, which builds its muscle and strength.
Can’t reach your leg back to perform the move completely? Then it may be because of the weights. You can reduce the weight as needed, focusing more on your form, and completing the motion rather than lifting heavy. You can always gradually increase the weight as you improve your form!
It will take time as you find the weight most ideal for you. To help, try to stick to a weight you feel you can do and experiment.
If you can only perform 6 reps at most, then the weight is too heavy. For those who can do over 15 reps, then the weight is too light to bring you positive results. Ideally, you shouldn’t do any more than 15 reps, and if you can do more than that, it’s time to build resistance.
Wrapping It Up
When it comes to targeting your glutes, you can never go wrong with using cable glute kickbacks, which is one of the top exercises that can strengthen that major group of muscles! They come with many other benefits as well, making them worth the long-term investment for the gym or home workouts. Just make sure that you use them properly, focusing on your form and keeping those muscles strong!
I hope that my article on cable kickbacks helped you learn all about this beneficial gym equipment! If you don’t own one yet, use this guide to make sure you invest in the right one made for you.
Do you have questions or want to share your advice and insights on using cable kickbacks? Share them in the comments section below, I appreciate all your thoughts!