How to Do Cable Machine Glute Kickbacks with Proper Form, According to Emily Skye
She listed the mistakes that people tend to make when performing the exercise.
If you're iffy about your form while doing glute kickbacks on the cable machine, you should definitely tune in to Emily Skye's recent Instagram post. The trainer posted a comprehensive breakdown of how to do the move to clear up all your questions. (Related: Why Your Butt Looks the Same No Matter How Many Squats You Do)
In her video, Skye said she often sees gym-goers doing cable machine glute kickbacks with less-than-stellar form. For starters, people tend to go too heavy on the weight, she explained. "You want to start with a weight that is fairly light," she said. "A common mistake people make is they put too much on the pin machine and it's way too heavy and then they're using their body to get their leg up. Then the glute's not doing all the work so it defeats the purpose of the whole exercise." Many people also allow their back to curve, which can lead to a lower back injury, she added. (Related: The 30-Day Butt Challenge That Seriously Sculpts Your Booty)
In the video, Skye clipped an ankle-strap attachment to a cable machine and wrapped it around one ankle. (You can get one on Amazon if your gym doesn't have one.) She began the exercise leaning forward slightly, feet together, with her back straight and core engaged. Then, with her glutes engaged and leg slightly turned out, she kicked her leg up and back with control, paused at the top, then lowered it back down.
Note that while Skye demonstrated glute kickbacks on a cable machine, some gyms also have a dedicated glute kickback machine. You can also perform glute kickbacks with a long or mini resistance band, or with just your bodyweight (either standing or on hands and knees), and get a similar glute workout. Skye's form tips still stand, regardless of which type of kickback you're doing: It's important to make sure you're engaging your glute and not arching your back.
In her caption, Skye stressed that if your main goal is glute muscle growth, you shouldn't just be relying on glute kickbacks. "I think it's definitely a bonus exercise you can add into your glute day (providing you have good technique) but don't expect much glute growth if it's the only exercise you're relying on 'to grow your butt,'" she wrote. "In my opinion, nothing beats hip thrusts, lunges, deadlifts, squats, step-ups, bridges, split squats, etc. for glute building and strengthening!!" (And remember, focusing too much of your efforts on butt workouts can lead to muscle imbalances.)
Recap: Stay light enough to keep your back straight and core engaged, and don't expect insane growth from kickbacks alone. With those pointers in mind, you won't have to just *hope* you're doing them right.