Tip: Glute Exercises Gone Wrong

These two booty exercises are common... and commonly done wrong. Here's how fix them.

Glute Exercises Gone Wrong

Glutes are the new six-pack. To build that coveted booty, many people rely on cable machines. The problem? They’re just not getting results.

Why? Execution. Most people are doing these exercises wrong – without enough time under tension or without a good mind-muscle connection. In some cases, they’re even targeting the wrong muscles. Let’s fix that.

The Standing Hip Abduction

This is where you use an ankle strap and pull your leg out to the side. Here’s the wrong way to do it:


What’s wrong with that? Well, people hold and lean onto the machine for stability, completely defeating half the purpose of the exercise. They also have the hip in flexion by positioning their moving leg in front. This causes the quadriceps and hip flexors to do the work, not the glutes.

Also, they lose time under tension and mindful connection to the movement when they extend the leg out to the side as far they can.

Here’s how to do it right:


  1. Stand upright on a box or plate to allow clearance of the moving foot.
  2. Position the cable BEHIND the standing leg.
  3. Align the big toe of your moving leg to your standing leg.
  4. Leading with the heel, move the leg away from your body.
  5. Keep the range of motion relatively short.

The Standing Hip Extension (Cable Kickback)

Here’s the wrong, but common, way to do it:


The problems? Improper biomechanics for the goal, plus a lot of unnecessary stress on the back.

Instead of going straight back, sweep the leg back and out by 30 degrees. This will nail the glutes and leave the low back out of the picture.

Here’s how to do it right


  1. Stand on a plate or short box so the moving leg can clear the ground.
  2. Start with the big toe of the moving leg aligned with the heel of the standing leg.
  3. Pull the leg back and out by 30 degrees.
  4. Keep the range of motion relatively short to maintain time under tension and establish a strong mind-muscle connection.