Cable glute kickbacks are a powerful way to isolate your glute and hamstring muscles. Luckily you can also do this exercise at home without a machine.
You may have checked out the glute kickback alternatives and concluded that these do not align with your training goals and preferences.
Instead of buying a pricey deluxe double-pulley cable machine, you can also use a few other equipment alternatives to do the glute kickbacks.
1. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are pieces of fitness equipment that can be described as elastic cords. You can use these to do a variety of effective exercises at home, including the glute kickback.
Some of the benefits of resistance bands include that they are relatively budget-friendly, easy to store, portable, and can be used for a variety of other movements.
For glute kickbacks, you preferably have a kit of resistance bands with handles. These typically come with ankle straps and an anchor which will be helpful to do this movement.
You could also wrap a loop resistance band around your ankles and there are other ways to anchor your resistance bands but the setup above is generally the safest and most convenient.
After that, the movement of a resistance band glute kickback is basically the same as the cable version.
You will notice that the feel is somewhat different. This is because resistance bands offer more resistance the more you stretch them out.
In terms of what muscles you work, the resistance band version will be the same as the cable one. You may engage certain muscle fibers more than others but this is not really relevant to most people.
2. Ankle weights
Next, you can do a relatively effective version of glute kickbacks at home with ankle weights. These are ankle straps with extra weight sewn in them or attached as small weight bags.
Ankle weights can be very helpful for a variety of leg isolation and core muscle exercises. They are relatively budget-friendly, compact, and portable.
Another positive aspect of this equipment choice is that something to hold for balance is the only other thing you need to start getting the benefits of glute kickbacks.
Ankle weight glute kickbacks are basically the same movement as the cable and resistance band versions.
However, you will notice that similar to the band version, the movement feels more challenging as your leg comes closer to the horizontal line. This is due to gravity.
To do glute kickbacks with this type of equipment you want a relatively heavy pair of ankle weights that is adjustable. This allows you to adjust the challenge to your strength level.
Resistance training exercises like glute kickbacks are often done with extra weight but there are plenty of examples where you can do movements effectively with just your body weight at home or in the gym.
That being said, to grow the muscles worked with glute kickbacks you do have to use enough resistance.
Whether bodyweight glute kickbacks are enough to grow and strengthen your muscles depends on your strength level.
If you are able to do more than 12 bodyweight glute kickbacks in a row without your glutes feeling close to fatiguing, you likely need to invest in some fitness equipment to see muscle growth and strength progress.
Doing bodyweight glute kickbacks at home is definitely more for resistance training beginners but if they are challenging enough you could postpone investing in fitness equipment.
Do keep in mind that as you get stronger, the same resistance will stop being enough to see progress. At this point, you do want to consider doing weighted glute kickbacks if you want to see results.
4. Simple cable machine
When you hear the words cable machine images of a big double pulley machine at a commercial gym may appear in your head.
However, there are also simpler wall-mounted cable machines and single-pulley cable machines that are reasonable in terms of price and room required.
These will allow you to do glute kickbacks at home with a smooth feeling. On top of that, these machines can be used for a variety of other exercises.
That being said, even these simpler cable machines will definitely be pricier and require more room than the other alternatives above.
Whether they are worth it to you depends on things like how much you like cable glute kickbacks, how much you don’t like the other options, your budget, your training goals, the amount of room you have, etc.