Learn How to Build Your Glutes with Cable Kickbacks

Before I tell you how to build powerful glutes with cable kickbacks, I will discuss the importance of training them in the first place. Generally, people will think that training glutes is a feminine thing. But men should train too. Women will often train their glutes to look good.  On the other hand, men should consider this exercise since a man’s “butt” is one of the physical features that women notice first.

Glutes offer a perfect base of power for most athletic movements. They are also accountable for hip extension. Powerful hips mean that you can jump higher, run faster, and tackle harder.

The Advantages of Cable Kickbacks

Before you decide to begin doing cable kickbacks, you might want to know their advantages first.

Here they are:

  • Glute isolation: you might have heard the term “mind-muscle connection” being used by bodybuilders. This is the notion that focusing on feeling a target muscle working its range of motion will enable you to activate it more. More muscle activation leads to increased growth. This mind-muscle connection can be used to activate your biceps. But the same cannot be said for glutes. This is where cable kickbacks come in. When performing a cable kickback, you isolate your glutes through hip extension. You can focus on one side at a time and you will feel the glutes stretching and contracting.
  • Similar to real-life movement: people will often train around exercises that work a specific muscle but which has little transfer to their daily life. Cable kickbacks do this by mimicking the movements you use when running and walking. This exercise will work out your glutes the same way they will be used each day when walking or running.
  • Offers constant tension on your glutes: cable kickbacks, unlike bars and dumbbells, provide constant tension to your glutes during the movement. There is no resting point since the cable is always pulling against you. The constant tension makes exercise tougher hence the target muscles work harder for longer. The duration spent under tension is the key driver for muscle hypertrophy.




How to Carry Out Glute Cable Kickbacks

Cable kickbacks can be done when standing or when kneeling. Kneeling provides a wider range of motion, which is helpful. However, it is easy to feel the peak contraction while standing. Additionally, it is easy to keep a neutral lumbar spine with standing kickbacks.

The Standing Cable Kickback Technique

Source: bodybuilding.com

  1. Attach an ankle strap to a cable machine.
  2. Move the pulley to the bottom of the machine.
  3. Face the stack of weights and take a step back to make the weights to lift a bit. This creates tension from the very beginning of the movement.
  4. Use the machine for support but make sure that your abs are braced and your spine is in neutral alignment.
  5. From the starting position, push the heel of the attached ankle behind you to extend your hip. Keep your knee straight and push your leg behind you until you feel your glute muscles contract.
  6. Remain in that position for two seconds then return to the start position slowly.

The kneeling cable kickback technique



Source: Vegan Bikini Doc

  1. Place a flat bench in front of a cable machine
  2. Attach an ankle cuff to the machine and lower the pulley to the bottom.
  3. Facing the cable stack, kneel on the bench with one leg and attach the other to the ankle cuff.
  4. Swing the attached leg towards machine.
  5. Push back your leg behind you until your hip is completely extended.
  6. Hold this position for one to two seconds.
  7. Move back to your original position and repeat.



Tips on Cable Kickbacks

There are several key points that will help you get the most out of cable kickbacks.

  • Keep your back straight and neutral: it is very important to keep back neutral straight. This ensures that tension is applied on your glutes and not your lower back. As a result, you will get better glute activation and you will not injure your back.
  • Keep in spine in alignment: to do this, keep your abs tensed during the exercise. Before each rep, make sure that your abs are braced.
  • Do not overextend your lower back: as you push your leg back to extend your hips, ensure that you do not overextend your lower back as this could hurt it.
  • Contract your glutes and pause at the end of the rep: this ensures that you activate your glutes even more.


Try out the two cable kickback techniques and put more energy into the one that feels great for you. Including cable kickbacks in your routine is a great step towards activating your glutes. You can also perform big compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

Let me know if this guide helps you. Enjoy your cable kickbacks!

About Me

My name is Daniel and I am fitness trainer based in Toronto. I work with people of all ages to help them reach their fitness goals from their homes. You can contact me The Fitness Crab in order for me to help you set up your home gym, recommend what equipment you should buy such as exercise bikes, treadmills and rowers as well as prepare work out and nutrition plans that best suit you.