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Cable kickback

Cable kickback

The cable kickback is a highly effective exercise that primarily targets the glutes, particularly the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in the buttocks. This exercise is commonly performed at the gym using a cable machine, but it can also be modified for home workouts using resistance bands. During the cable kickback, the individual starts by attaching an ankle strap to the cable machine or securing a resistance band around their ankle. Standing a few feet away from the machine or anchoring point, they position themselves with one side facing the machine and place their hands on the support bar for balance. The movement begins by flexing the knee slightly and then driving the leg straight back in a controlled motion. The key is to focus on squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement for maximum muscle activation. Proper form and technique are crucial to prevent straining other muscles and to ensure the desired outcome. Cable kickbacks are a great exercise choice for those aiming to strengthen and tone their glutes while also engaging the hamstrings and calves to a lesser extent. Regular incorporation of cable kickbacks into your workout routine can contribute to improved lower body strength, stability, and overall athletic performance. However, keep in mind that it is essential to gradually increase the resistance as you become stronger to continually challenge your muscles and stimulate growth.


  • Start by attaching an ankle cuff to a cable machine and setting the weight to a suitable level.
  • Stand facing the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  • Attach the ankle cuff to your working leg and position yourself at a distance from the machine where there is tension on the cable.
  • Maintain a slight forward lean with your torso and place your hands on a stable surface for support.
  • While keeping your knee straight and your core engaged, exhale and slowly kick your working leg straight back.
  • Pause for a brief moment at the peak contraction, squeezing your glutes.
  • Inhale as you slowly bring your working leg back to the starting position, controlling the movement.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch legs.
  • Remember to maintain proper form throughout the exercise and avoid swinging your leg or using momentum.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on engaging your glutes throughout the movement to maximize the effectiveness of the cable kickback.
  • Keep your core engaged and your back straight to maintain proper form during the exercise.
  • Control the movement and avoid using momentum to ensure that your glutes are doing the work.
  • Experiment with different cable attachments or resistance bands to vary the resistance and target different areas of your glutes.
  • Consider incorporating single-leg cable kickbacks to increase the challenge and target each glute individually.
  • Incorporate a variety of hip extension exercises, such as cable kickbacks, into your routine to strengthen your glute muscles from different angles.
  • Don't forget to stretch your glutes and hip flexors after your workout to prevent tightness and promote overall flexibility.
  • Gradually increase the weight or resistance as you get stronger to continue challenging your glute muscles and making progress.
  • Ensure that you're breathing properly during the exercise – exhale as you kickback and inhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Listen to your body and adjust the range of motion based on your comfort level and any limitations you may have.

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