How Cable Glute Kickbacks Strengthen & Tone Your Lower Half

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Add a mean glute exercise into your leg day routine.

You need to do leg day. We all get that. But the same old exercises time and time again make you look like another gym goer passing time and taking tips from wannabe influencers. It’s easy to put together a workout routine of squats, the leg press, and other staple leg exercises to beef up those trunks below the waist.

But when you look at a bodybuilder, posing under the bright lights, that lower half is toned, let alone absolutely massive. While you may or not be looking, their glutes are something out of stone. Cable glute kickbacks are exactly the exercise you need to get that Michelangelo looking butt performance ready.

I know what you’re probably thinking. There’s no way I’m doing a cable glute exercise at the gym while the guy next to me benches 250-plus pounds. Am I wrong? You said you wanted to be performance ready, willing to take down giants that walk among you. They probably aren’t as concerned about how they look in the gym, let alone advancing their physique to new heights. Put aside that ego and look to add glute kickbacks into your routine. A top podium spot will silence any naysayers.

Let’s take a look at cable glute kickbacks and see what they can do for you. From what they are, to muscles worked, the great benefits, and how to perform them, this is your one stop shop for rock hard glutes that those around you will envy. Don’t believe me? The results won’t lie.

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What Are Cable Glute Kickbacks?

This is a great glute exercise, arguably one of the best, as it targets your gluteal muscles in a way that no other exercise really does. Using the cable allows for other lower body muscles to get some work done, but primarily you’ll feel this right in those glutes. As an optimal and effective glute exercise to enhance that lower body physique, it’s worth at least one try before you call it quits (1).

Muscles Worked

What you’ll find with the cable glute kickback exercise is all three gluteal muscles being worked, including your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. As said before, you will also get some work done in your core, hamstrings, low back, and quads as a result of the cable machine and necessary movements that require support and stabilization.

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Benefits Of Cable Glute Kickbacks

Let’s take a look at some of the great benefits the cable glute kickbacks can provide for this exercise is truly something to work wonders.

Boost Strength Through Glute Isolation

With this being an unbelievable taxing exercise on your glutes, you will build strength, and quickly. As a great isolation exercise, and one that seems to really target your glutes most effectively, you will get a real feel for just how weak those glutes of yours are. No need to be offended, that’s why we’re offering this exercise to you. We know how badly you want those gains to show and the cable glute kickbacks can provide for that and much more.

Improve Balance & Stability

When it comes to those big lifts you love to show off, all that balance and stabilization you desperately need to have an effective workout stems from your lower body. With strong and stable quads, hamstrings, and glutes, you are a statue for all to admire as you lift huge weight and never flinch. That is what we all want after all. The ability to effortlessly lift big weight and silence any haters.

Enhance That Sculpted Physique

Look at any pro bodybuilder from the back and you could draw them with a stencil. Everything is defined and perfectly sculpted to give them that massive and perfect physique. With the glute kickbacks, you can have that to. Your biceps and chest look fine, now it’s time to focus on something a little more underdeveloped, but something the judges will notice. Don’t neglect it and hurt your chances at a podium spot.

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How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing the cable glute kickbacks:

Set the pulley to your desired setting and loop your ankle through the provided attachment. As you bend at your waist, engage your core so you have the stability you need. With one leg planted, contract your glutes as you lift your other leg. Keep the movement controlled so you really get that time under tension. Once at the top, offer those glutes one more squeeze to really get that last bit of work done and gently lower to the ground. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Alternative Exercises For Additional Growth

When it comes to variations, it is always good to try a few and see what these can do for you. By trying new exercises, you not only add diversity to your workouts, but you will find that your muscles get targeted in a different way. This will only work to enhance growth and lead to more toning and development.

Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are a great compound exercise that can be done with no equipment and can really give your lower body a bit of a boost. This can be modified for all experience levels.


Bridges are a low impact exercise used to enhance glute strength while also offering stability to your low back to reduce pain. You can add weight with a dumbbell or barbell when performing bridges.

Romanian Deadlifts

The Romanian deadlift requires some hip movement as you hinge forward (2) and is a nice alternative to the traditional deadlift. This can target your glutes and hamstrings and can be done with or without weight.

Wrap Up

You want that shredded aesthetic to look as if someone carved you out of marble. That requires trying to new exercises and doing a few you may not be totally fond of at first. Cable glute kickbacks will tone your glutes like nothing you’ve done before. Give them a try and work to look like the pros. Nothing else will matter once you stand tall on that podium.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Neto, Walter Krause; Soares, Enrico Gori; Vieira, This Lima; Aguiar, Rodolfo; et al. (2020). “Gluteus Maximum Activation during Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review”. (source)
  2. Selkowitz, David M.; Beneck, George J.; Powers, Christopher M. (2013). “Which Exercises Target the Gluteal Muscles While Minimizing Activation of the Tensor Fascia Lata? Electromyographic Assessment Using Fine-Wire Electrodes”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.