The Only 8 Cable Exercises For Glutes You Need

If your glutes aren’t growing, it’s time to add cable exercises for glutes – the solution to your small butt or growth plateau.

We’re showing you how to build a better butt with cable machines using 8 of the best cable glute exercises, including how to perform, progress, and why we love them.

Essentials: Building Glutes With Cable Machines 

The glutes are a hard muscle to train because they’re big, powerful and need a lot of targeted exercise to really challenge them.

One way people answer this is with huge weights – hip thrusts, deadlifts, and heavy lunges. But you can train your glutes with cable exercises to get more effect from less weight. Cable exercises for glutes is a marriage made in heaven.

The glutes are hard to train at full ranges because of how they stretch – exercises like deadlifts will never take them to the fully stretched position. They also tend to be poorly loaded in the end ranges, which is important for maximizing muscle growth.

Cable machines are much better for this since they produce constant tension. Instead of working only the middle range of the glutes, you can load the whole movement, building incredible glute strength and size, sculpting a great physique, and keeping your hips, knees, and spine healthy.

8 Best Cable Glute Exercises

1. Cable Pull-through

Cable Pull-throughs are a great choice to build the glutes, using constant tension on a hip hinge exercise. This is a huge choice for building end-range glute strength, perfect for the whole glute, including the Piriformis and Glute Medius.

This exercise is effective, has constant tension, and is easily adjustable for your needs. Cable Pull-throughs are easy to get right and hard to get wrong, letting you push intensity and volume easily.

This is a perfect all-rounder for glutes and should be part of your toolkit.

How To

  1. Stand with your back to a cable machine, in a hip-width stance with neutral feet, holding a rope attachment between your legs.
  2. Set your back straight and slowly hinge the hips, flexing them as you push them back toward the cable machine.
  3. Feel the stretch in the glutes and hamstrings through this movement.
  4. At the bottom position – when you cannot comfortably move further – reverse the movement.
  5. Push the hips forward as you bring your chest up, standing up tall.
  6. Clench the glutes, focusing on maximal contraction, completing the rep. 


The pull-through is a mid-sized exercise that should be pushed to the limit. This kind of exercise works best as a medium-high rep, high-intensity exercise. You should add it to the end of your lower body workouts to ‘burn out’ your glutes and stimulate growth.

Work in the 10-20 rep range with heavy weights, driving easy and consistent growth.

2. Cable Kickback 

Cable kickback is a classic glute isolation exercise with a constant loading of the glute, even in the ‘resting’ position. This makes it one of the most popular, effective choices.

If you’ve been in a gym in recent years, you’ve seen cable kickbacks.

These can be an incredible way to build the lower glutes, especially where you can turn the foot in and emphasize a position you never get into.

How To

  1. Attach an ankle cuff to a cable machine, standing a few feet from the machine and holding it for stability with a bend in your hips.
  2. Keeping your other foot firmly planted on the floor, bring your loaded foot slightly behind your standing foot.
  3. With a slightly internally rotated leg, keep your core tight and extend your hips to bring your leg as far behind yourself as possible.
  4. Hold the end position, focusing on creating space between the foot and hip, clenching your glute.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position to complete the rep.


The cable kickback puts the cherry on top of a good lower-body workout – a small exercise you use in high-rep sets to pump your glutes. This means you want to put it right at the end because you’re going to have jelly hips if you do it right.

Work with challenging weights for 2-4 sets to failure or near-failure. Add weight patiently, but always ensure each set is a real challenge. 

3. Cable Hip Abduction

This exercise is like the kickback, but you’re extending your leg out to the side instead of straight back. 

This straight-leg exercise emphasizes the glute medius and tensor fasciae latae – or TFL. These build the side of the glutes more effectively to round out your strength and sculpt a stronger, better-looking upper buttock.

How To

  1. Attach an ankle cuff to a cable machine, standing a few feet from the machine in a side-on position, with the cuff on your far-side leg.
  2. Keep your core tight and your weight centered on your standing foot.
  3. With a slightly internally rotated leg, extend your hips to bring the leg to the side.
  4. Continue as far as possible, keeping tension against the cuff and trying to create as much space between your foot and midline as possible.
  5. Hold the end position, squeezing the glutes and core, before lowering back to the start position (1) to complete the rep.

Pro tip: keep your leg in the same position (straight or nearly straight) the entire time.


Treat this exercise like the kickback: lots of reps with challenging weight, focusing on pushing yourself to – or near – failure

In the same way, you should practice this exercise right at the end of a full-body or lower-body session. It’s effective, but using it first will sap your strength and limit other glute and lower body exercises.

4. Cable Kneeling Hip Extension

If you’ve got a dip belt or similar, you can make an amazing hip extension machine with a cable machine. By resisting the hips, a kneeling hip extension can easily be loaded more effectively than the free weight variation.

Putting resistance in the direction of the glutes’ action means more efficient training.

Just like cable kickbacks, this is also loaded in the end position. Your glutes never rest, making a great all-rounder, just like pull-throughs

How To

  1. Attach a band or belt to the cable machine on a low pulley and place it firmly in your hip crease.
  2. Take a kneeling position on the floor in front of the cables, facing out, so that there’s tension on the cable from the start.
  3. Kneel up by extending the hips, pushing them forwards, and bringing your chest up as you move away from the cable machine.
  4. Clench the glutes in the end position, holding for 1-2 seconds, fighting the pull of the weight.
  5. Return to the start position (2) by pushing the hips back and letting the torso incline (this stretches the glutes)

Pro tip: With an exercise like this, try to find the stretch in the glutes. The way it feels is an important indicator of moving properly, so try and feel out the end range.

5. Cable Romanian Deadlift

The cable RDL is a perfect way to load up the hamstrings and glutes in a hip hinge.  

It lets you maintain the position of deep hip flexion, as well as piling up the constant tension of the cables. However, this is going to involve a lot of hamstring work, so it’s not as pure of a glute exercise as the pull-through. It’s more well-rounded, but you may feel the hamstrings taking over.

This makes it a great choice for building glute and hamstring strength & mass. The “good morning” variation with a goblet position strengthens posture and core muscles, while this “RDL” version (with the hands outstretched holding the handle) can be loaded more heavily for the glutes.

How To

  1. Attach a rope handle to a cable machine low pulley and take it in your hands.
  2. Stand a few feet away from the cable machine, facing the stack, so that you can comfortably bend over without contacting it.
  3. Begin the exercise by leaning forwards and pushing your hips back, allowing your hamstrings and glutes to lengthen as you move your chest toward the floor.
  4. Continue bending at the hips – keeping the knees static – until you feel a deep stretch or can go no further.
  5. Reverse the movement by extending the hips, pushing them forward by thrusting the glutes, and bringing your chest upright once again.
  6. Continue to clench and hold the top position for 1-2 seconds, focusing on the glutes and core, completing the rep.


The Cable Romanian Deadlift is a great finisher, especially in drop sets. Perform this exercise for sets of 8-15 challenging reps, “to failure”, before lowering the weight 10% and repeat. Perform 3-4 sets like this, and your glutes will have no choice but to grow.

6. Cable Squat

The cable squat is an unconventional exercise to target the glutes in a squat, using a different angle to change your position. This can help you bias towards the hips, leaning back into the stretch more than you could with a barbell squat.

Keep in mind that this isn’t like a normal squat. It’s about high reps, not super heavy weights, and you want to move slowly through it.

It’s a perfect exercise to try and feel the glutes in high-tension positions to stimulate extra glute growth.

How To

  1. Take one a cable attachment in your hands, standing in the middle of the cable machine, with a firm and reliable grip (a goblet position with the dual handle is usually easiest)
  2. Lean back slightly, biasing into the glutes, with your weight in your heels and bracing your body against the cable tension.
  3. Squat down to full depth by bending the knees and hips together, keeping your back straight throughout.
  4. From the bottom position, reverse the movement, pushing the floor down and driving your hips forward to lift the weight.
  5. Optional: You can ‘pulse’ the middle section, performing one and a half reps, for a more targeted glute burn. 

Pro tip: for this exercise, emphasize the hips moving back and down in the eccentric, then up and in during the concentric (standing) portion.


This is an exercise – like the pull-through – which fits somewhere in between big and small exercises. It’s a rep-intensive exercise where you aim to perform as many reps as possible with a challenging weight.

Aim for sets of 8-15 reps, emphasizing the middle of the lift and leading the hips backward to put tension in the glutes.

7. Cable Lateral Lunge

Any sideways movement is a great way to strengthen the glutes. The cable lateral lunge is a challenging way to do this. Still, it offers great glute isolation. You just need to make sure you can maintain a neutral core position during this exercise.

The constant tension makes sure that your glutes are always fighting the weight while moving sideways – a massive bonus. This exercise is a more effective alternative to normal lateral lunges for pure glute growth. It is one of the best options for glute growth, especially in the medius.

How To 

  1. Take a double handle in the goblet position or a single handle in one hand (as comfortable)
  2. Keep your core tight and stable throughout – do not twist while performing this exercise.
  3. Stand a step or two away from the cable machine, side onto the pulley.
  4. From this position, step sideways a single pace and squat down into that leg, pushing the floor away with your other leg.
  5. Squat all the way down – as far as is comfortable – on the opposite leg without losing tension on the floor from the leg nearest the cables.
  6. Reverse the movement by pushing the floor down and slowly releasing tension on your ‘blocking’ leg.


Cable lateral lunge is a great end-of-session choice – especially in supersets with other exercises on this list. Combining its strong isometric challenge with the pull-through or cable RDL is an excellent choice for glute growth in the maximus and other muscles of the buttock.

Spend some time getting familiar with the movement, then perform sets of 8-12 in supersets.

8. Cable Deadlift

On a dual cable machine, the cable deadlift can be a decent exercise for the glutes. However, it’s lower on this list because it usually involves more quadriceps than pure hinge exercises like the pull-through.

This makes it a less isolated exercise with more full-body synergy. That can be a good thing – full movements like this are very powerful – but it does make it less purely efficient if all you want is a bigger butt.

How To

  1. Stand with your feet at hip width, facing the cable machine, with a handle in each hand.
  2. Optional: Elevate yourself on a box if necessary, as long as the cable is pulling down and forwards
  3. Start with the hips as far back as possible and legs slightly bent – they need to stay in this position throughout the lift.
  4. Begin the movement by extending the hips – opening up the angle between the thigh and torso by squeezing the glutes, pushing them forward, and lifting the chest.
  5. Push all the way in, standing upright and exaggerating the clench of the glutes as you reach the end position.
  6. Slowly lower the cable back to the starting position by pushing the hips back, completing the rep.


Use the cable deadlift as a finisher with moderate-heavy weight or in supersets. Use higher reps than you would with a normal deadlift – try to stay in the 10-20 rep range. If you can get past 20 reps, you need more weight.

Example Glute Workout For Lower Body Sessions

Okay, let’s put it together and get a great booty workout with cable exercises for the glutes. Try something like this:

  1. Cable Abduction – 2 sets of 10 slow reps
  2. Heavy Barbell Stiff-leg Deadlift – 4 sets of 6-10 reps
  3. Cable Kneeling Hip Extensions – 4 sets to failure (heavy)
  4. Cable Kickback – 4 sets of 15 reps
  5. Cable Squat + Kettlebell Swing – 4 supersets of 12 reps each

This workout is a simple way to build the glutes with both cable exercises and free weights. You can tack this on to almost any workout for a hip-dominant lower body day or perform it by itself for glute growth and strength!

FURTHER READING: Top 10 Dumbbell Glute Exercises

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Chris Thompson
Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a personal trainer, writer & co-founder of OxygenFitnessCT. I've been writing hundreds of articles on strength training & muscle building for several fitness websites & apps since 2017. Our goal with OxygenFitnessCT is to help you pick the most effective, suitable exercises to improve your workout & achieve your fitness goals.

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