Many people desire to have sculpted legs and a tight, firm butt. Glute kickbacks are an effective exercise to achieve these results. You can find many expensive butt shaping machines at your local gym or sports store but what if you don’t have money to invest in a monthly gym membership or to purchase one of these costly machines for your own home? This is where resistance exercise bands come in very handy. Bands are an excellent choice for a truly portable and inexpensive piece of exercise equipment which can be used anywhere to get a great workout!
Muscles Targeted: Glute kickbacks primarily target the gluteus maximus (butt muscles) and the hamstrings (back of legs). This exercise is excellent for placing maximum tension on the glutes in order to really shape and tone this area. Along with exercise bands, you can also do this movement with your own body weight.
Exercise Instructions: Step on the middle of a resistance band with your right foot and hold the other end of the band tightly with your hands and bring the handles up to your chin. Slowly move your right leg back (kickback) as far as you can go while placing maximum tension on your glutes. At the peak position, flex your butt muscles for a 1 count and then slowly lower your right leg back down to the starting position. Repeat this movement for a set number of repetitions and then switch to the other leg. Balance is very important with this exercise so you might want to perform the movement without the band when you’re first starting out. This will allow you to master the technique before adding extra resistance with the exercise band.
Another very effective exercise variation to try out when doing glute kickbacks with an exercise band, is implementing outer thigh raises into your lower body workout routine (as shown below)! This will really target the outer area of the hips and thighs which a lot of women refer to as their dreaded “saddlebags” (larger than normal hip and thigh fat).
Exercise Instructions (outer thigh raises): Using an elastic exercise band, grab a handle in each hand and step on the middle of the band with both feet about 6 inches apart. Keep your hands on your hips and smoothly kick your right foot out to the side about one foot, keeping your leg straight throughout the movement. Hold your leg at the top of this movement for a one-count and repeat with the opposite leg.
Things To Avoid: Keep your back straight and your shoulders back with your eyes looking straight forward throughout the entire exercise. Doing it in front of a mirror can be very helpful to monitor your form and overall technique. Avoid any type of hunching or curling with your upper back. Do not bend your active leg when doing this exercise. You want to keep a straight leg in order to engage your glutes and hamstrings correctly. Perform this exercise with a very slow and controlled tempo and never use any type of fast, jerky movements. If you feel any pain or discomfort in any part of your leg, stop immediately.
Reps and Sets: For beginners, use 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets for glute kickbacks. For more advanced individuals, shoot for 25-30 reps for 4-5 sets. This exercise should be used 1-2 times per week for the best results.
Other Exercises To Use: Exercise band squats are excellent to combine with glute kickbacks since they really work your lower body very well and targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, butt and calves. Lunges are also very effective for targeting your quads and glutes. If you have access to other equipment, then try mixing in dumbbells and even barbells as part of your workout routine.
Other variations of glute kickbacks include bodyweight versions. Kneel down and rest your palms on the floor. Extend and straighten your right leg out and kickback slowly to the top. Slowly bring your leg back down to the starting position. Repeat the same process with the other leg.