When it's lower body day at the gym, the last thing you want to do is waste time trying to figure out which glute exercise machine you're going to use. To train your backside at the gym, choose one or two different pieces of equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells and specific gym machines for glutes to add resistance to your glute exercises.
Gym Machines for Glutes
Including both gym equipment and free weights in a glute workout is an effective way to train your lower body. However, if you're new to exercise, you may want to start with gym machines for glutes and leave the equipment such as barbells and dumbbells for later, when you have more experience.
According to the American Council on Exercise weight machines can help you become stronger while safely applying the overload necessary to stimulate growth. This means that using a glute exercise machine can help you target the area you want to build while providing the stability and structure you need to perform the movement properly.
Some of the more common gym machines for glutes include the leg press, standing glute extension machine, outer thigh (abductor) machine, Smith machine for squats and deadlifts and the infamous mule kick machine.
The cable pulley is a multi-use piece of equipment that you can add to your list of glute exercise machines. To target your glutes and hamstrings, fasten an ankle strap to your lower leg and perform a single-legged hip extension, but make sure to give equal attention to both sides since this is a single-leg move.
Gym Equipment for Glutes
Having access to specific gym machines for glutes is nice, but you can also use a barbell or dumbbells to perform lower body exercises that target your glutes. Barbells and dumbbells are both great pieces of equipment when you're doing lower-body exercises such as deadlifts, squats, lunges and stiff-legged deadlifts.
When deciding on equipment, consider the exercise you're performing and how that piece of equipment will recruit and target the glutes. For example, the National Strength and Conditioning Association says the barbell is superior in activating parts of the hamstring muscles, but the hip thrust exercise provides the highest gluteus maximus activation.
Kettlebells are another excellent piece of gym equipment for glutes that can turn your lower-body exercises into an intense muscle-building workout. Kettlebell exercises are great for all parts of your body, but they really give your lower body a serious challenge, which is key to building strength in your glutes. Consider adding kettlebell swings, deadlifts, goblet squats, step-ups and single-leg deadlifts to your glute workout.
Cardio Equipment for Glutes
In addition to the weight room, you can also target your glutes and other lower body muscles by hopping on a cardio machine at the gym. For maximum results, the American College of Sports Medicine says to pair longer intervals with moderate to high intensities and shorter intervals with very high intensities.
Cranking up the incline on the treadmill can turn this classic cardio machine into an effective glute exercise machine. You can also increase the incline and resistance on the elliptical machine to target your glutes or do intervals standing up on an upright stationary bike.
And if you really want to challenge your backside, get on the stair climber machine and focus on contracting your glutes each time your foot hits the step. Just make sure you're not leaning on the machine. Remember, the handrails are for safety and emergency purposes only, not for supporting your entire body weight.
- American Council on Exercise: "5 Moves for a Better Butt"
- American Council on Exercise: "8 Butt-Toning Moves"
- American Council on Exercise: "6 Benefits of Using Weightlifting Machines"
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: "Muscle Activation in Hip-Extensor Exercises"
- American College of Sports Medicine: "Interval-Based Exercise: So Many Names, so Many Possibilities"