What Are Kickbacks and How Do You Do Them?
Glute kickbacks, often known simply as “kickbacks”, are an excellent exercise for strengthening your glutes, or butt.
Kickbacks are an easy exercise to perform, and they don’t require you to have any equipment unless you want to use an exercise mat to cushion your knees.
If you’re looking for ways to improve the look of your butt, kickbacks are a great option to add to your fitness routine.
Below you’ll learn about glute kickbacks, how to perform them properly, and some ways to modify them as you get stronger.
Kickbacks primarily work your glutes, but they work other muscles as well, especially if you’re using resistance. Your hamstrings will be engaged with some variations of the glute kickback.
Your core and lower back will also be strengthened because you will have to use them to stabilize your body as you perform kickbacks.
Because more than one muscle is activated during this exercise, it is considered a compound exercise, but what muscles get worked depend greatly on the version of the kickback you choose.
The most basic glute kickback is performed without resistance and is an easy exercise to learn.
You will start out on all fours with your hands spread about shoulder-width apart.
Your knees will be on the floor, and you will bring your toes up where they’re pointed downward instead of pointing behind your body.
You’ll look like you’re a baby crawling around on the floor except for how your toes are placed.
Once you’re in this position, you will move one leg at the time by keeping your knees bent and using your glutes to push your foot back and up.
You’ll keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle all the way up, and then as you lower it back down to the starting position.
As you perform the movement, concentrate on squeezing your glutes and make sure you hold your stomach in and core firm.
You can choose to alternate legs, or you can do one leg until it’s fatigued and then switch to the other.
Most people alternate legs for this exercise.
There are several ways to modify this exercise so that you can continue to challenge your muscles as they get stronger.
The first variation is to perform the kickback with your leg outstretched. This variation targets the glutes but also helps strengthen your hamstrings.
Some people choose to do both the basic glute kickback and the kickback where your leg is outstretched during the same session, and others choose to alternate and perform them during different workouts.
Another way to modify the glute kickback is to add resistance.
You can add resistance using resistance bands, ankle weights, or cable exercise machines.
Adding resistance will enable you to continue to challenge your muscles as they get stronger.
Some gyms also have machines designed to help you do a weighted version of the glute kickback.
These are excellent options if you have them available.
An alternate exercise to a kneeling glute kickback is a standing cable kickback.
Some people like this exercise better, but either are great options for helping you get the toned butt you desire.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, just be careful with your form to reduce your chance of injury.
Glute kickbacks can help you strengthen and shape your butt, strengthen your core, and improve your balance.