Cable Kickbacks: How To, Target Muscles and Benefits

Cable Kickbacks

Cable kickbacks are one of the best glute exercises you can do with cable. 

They primarily target the glutes including your butt and hips but also shape up your legs and the rest of your lower body. 

Your buttocks are one of the largest muscles made up of 3 gluteal muscles.

  • Gluteal Maximus
  • Gluteal Medius
  • Gluteal Minimus 

The gluteus Maximus is the largest and dictates the shape of your posterior. It is also responsible for moving your thighs and rotating the legs. Both the gluteal medius and minimus are smaller in size and work to support the Maximus in moving your legs to the side. 

While this standing one-legged kickback covers all glutes, we’ll take a deeper look at what it trains and how to get the most out of this cable workout. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

What Is Glute Kickbacks Cable Exercise? 

Cable kickback is a great lower body move performed with a cable machine. When performing this at home, you can use a tubing band with cuffs in place of a cable machine. 

Though there are countless of butt workouts that work your legs and glutes, this exercise differs from many in so many ways.

Most glutes exercise like squat and lunge boast their effect on all lower body exercises. 

But this cable machine exercise works the glutes in isolation. Instead of engaging all adjacent muscles, it actually isolates your gluteus maximum, medius, and minimum and your hamstrings. 

It’s an area focused move with a narrower target. 

So on your lower body workout day, you can perform this movement in addition to other lower body exercises like squats without over-working your gluteus muscles. 

Are Cable Kickbacks Effective?

The cable kickbacks are extremely effective in shaping your glutes (butt) and legs, especially the back of your legs called hamstrings.

Because the move targets mostly where your hamstrings meet the buttocks, it helps create a fuller, rounder butt.

Glutes kickback also builds strength in the posterior, which translates to better functions and performance overall. In athletic performance, stronger glute muscles mean they run and jump better and higher.

What Do Kickbacks Target?

Kickback exercise targets primarily your gluteus maximum and hamstrings. But it also engages gluteal medius and minimum.

Your core also gets engagement to stabilize and maintain the balance of your body throughout the movement.

What Are the Benefits?

This gluteal focused move literally gives the best exercise glutes can get. It’s focused and controlled.

It works the glute muscles in isolation, so you can build shapely, lean legs while giving the posterior a fuller look.

The movements also help make improvements in your mobility, flexibility, and strength.

Because its target areas are kept smaller and more defined, you can do this cable kickbacks glutes move without adding demands to the rest of your body. 

In other words, it’s a great move to add to your leg day towards the end.

How Do You Do a Cable Kickback?

This exercise can be performed using a cable machine at the gym or tubing band at home.

Perform this workout by attaching a cuff around your ankle and standing in front of the cable pulley machine or where tubing is attached.

If you are doing this at home, you also need a band with a cuff big enough for your ankle. To attach the band, you also need a sturdy pole or a secured piece of furniture.

Like any other exercise, the key to getting the most out of this workout is to do it with the correct form.

Too arched back or even your feet positioning can risk hurting your lower back. Be sure to check out the steps below to see if you are doing it correctly.

How To Do The Standing Cable kickback Exercise

Note: Attach an ankle cuff to a low cable pulley and attach the cuff to your right ankle.

  1. Stand facing the weight stack and grasp the cable tower for support. 
  2. With your knees slightly bent and your abs drawn in, slowly kick your right leg back until your hip is fully extended back with your glutes contracted.
  3.  Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly bring your right leg back to the starting position and repeat.
  4. That’s one rep. Do 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets. Repeat on the other side. 

How to Add the Weight

The way to add weight to this glute workout is to add weight to the machine. The right amount should be where you can perform the move in good form for 10 times. If you can easily repeat more, it’s too light. If you are struggling to perform fewer times using the right form, then it’s too heavy.

Adjust according to your fitness level and current strength.

How to Build a Lower- Body Workout Program

Generally, multi-joint, multi-muscle workouts should be higher on the list and exercises like cable kickbacks that isolate glutes and hamstrings muscles from the rest should at the end of the program.

This is because multi-joint workouts are more demanding. The more your body feels fatigued, the harder it is to perform multi-muscle exercises.

Single muscle workouts tend to be less demanding, not involving other larger muscle groups, so it should be performed after all your multi-muscle workouts are completed. 

To sum up, always do exercises such as squatting and lunging first in your workout because they require good technique and energy to perform such moves and avoid muscle fatigue and injuries. 

Here is an example lower-body workout:

  • Barbell Squats 
  • Dumbbell Lunges 
  • Reverse Hip Raise 
  • One-Legged Kickbacks

Last Word

There you have it! The cable kickbacks are an effective butt exercise that not only shapes the butt but also tones the legs muscles. 

It’s a great lower body exercise to include in your legs and butt workout routine.

Have you performed the cable kickbacks? Leave a comment below to let me how the exercise worked for you. 

If you’re interested, comment below. I’ll share the actual workout that I normally do.

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