The 6 Best Gym Machines for Glutes (2023) - Lift Vault (2023)

Workout routines should be well-balanced. This will ensure that all muscle groups are targeted and you achieve a natural balance.

The glutes play an important role in the body’s muscle structure.

This article will focus on the six best gym machines to work your glute muscles. We will review the top glute machines, their benefits, and simple instructions on how to use them.

Table of Contents

  • 1 The Best Gym Machines for Glutes
    • 1.1 Cable Machine
    • 1.2 GHD Machine
    • 1.3 Leg Press Machine
    • 1.4 Smith Machine
    • 1.5 Hip Thrust Machine
    • 1.6 The Hack Squat Machine
  • 2 Anatomy of the Gluteal Muscles
    • 2.1 Gluteus Maximus
    • 2.2 Gluteus Medius
    • 2.3 Gluteus Minimus
    • 2.4 Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • 3 FAQs About Glutes

The Best Gym Machines for Glutes

  1. Cable Machine
  2. GHD Machine
  3. Leg Press Machine
  4. Smith Machine
  5. Hip Thrust Machine
  6. Hack Squat Machine

Here’s our definitive collection of the best gym machines for glute workouts. Keep reading to learn more about how to use them correctly and the benefits they provide!

Cable Machine

The cable machine is an extremely versatile glute machine. It can be used to target:

  • Glutes
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Upper back
  • Core

There are lots of great cable machine workouts to choose from. This can help to vary your workout routine and ensure other muscle groups benefit as well.

Benefits of The Cable Machine

  1. Consistent tension through the range of movement
  2. Versatile selection of exercises to build glutes
  3. Greater range of movement than bodyweight and free weight alternatives
  4. Improves form and minimizes the risk of injury
Consistent tension through the range of movement

Cable machines provide constant tension. This improves the efficiency of a workout as muscles will be fatigued with less volume. Free weights have varying descending and ascending resistance curves. Cable machines provide a more consistent workout.

Versatile selection of exercises to build glutes

This is also one of the best glute machines because of its versatility. It will help to work different muscles and keep your workouts interesting.

Greater range of movement than bodyweight and free weight alternatives

Cable positioning and your own body position will provide you with a greater range of motion. The result of this is being able to exercise your joints through a full range of motion. This improves results and flexibility.

Improves form and reduces risk of injury

The cable’s plane of motion ensures your form remains good. It also minimizes the risk of poor balance or form that can lead to injury.

Tips for using The Cable Machine

  1. Invest in comfortable ankle straps
  2. Ask for a demonstration
  3. Avoid loose clothing
  4. Tie back long hair and don’t wear jewelry
Invest in comfortable ankle straps

Many gyms might not provide ankle straps for cable machines. The ones that are provided can also be worn and uncomfortable.

Ask for a demonstration

If you see someone doing an exercise or you haven’t used a cable machine, asking for a demonstration can be useful. Gyms will often take new customers around to show them how machines work. This is useful for understanding the correct form.

Avoid loose clothing

Wearing clothes that are comfortable for the gym is important. However, loose and baggy clothing runs the risk of being caught on cables when you use them.

Tie back long hair and don’t wear jewelry

Long hair should also be secured for safety reasons. Additionally, try to avoid wearing jewelry when using any gym machine. This will remove the risk of it becoming caught.

The following video shows a great selection of leg and glute exercises that can be carried out on a cable machine.

TOP 10 Best Leg + Glute Cable Exercises

Cable Machine Exercises for Glutes

  1. Cable Pull-through
  2. Cable Squats
  3. Cable Glute Kickbacks
  4. Cable Romanian Deadlift
  5. Cable Reverse Lunge
  6. Cable Hip Abduction
Cable Pull-through

The cable pull-through is a great alternative to hip thrusts and is easy to set up. This exercise has a focus on hip extension and is also beneficial to the lower back and hamstrings.

You will face away from the cable and use a rope attachment. This should be pulled through your legs.

Pushing your hips forward while engaging your core and standing in an upright position will result in a great workout for your glutes.

Cable Squats

Cable Squats are a great way to target your gluteus maximus. Your stance is important for this glute exercise because it can be used to target your glutes or quads. A wider stance suits glute workouts.

You can use a bar or rope and extend your arms fully. You should position your feet so they are slightly wider than hip-width. Your toes should be pointed at 45 to 60-degree angles.

Your core should be braced before bending your hips and knees into a squatting position. Your chest should be kept up. Pause slightly when your knees get to a 90-degree bend. You can then extend through your heels and return to your original starting position.

Cable Glute Kickbacks

Cable glute kickbacks target the gluteus maximus and require an ankle cuff. Your starting position should be far enough back that the cable has some resistance.

You can use the tower for balance and stand on the leg that is not attached to the cuff. You can then kick the cuffed leg back to a full hip extension and squeeze your glute. This can be repeated for your desired set amount.

Cable Romanian Deadlift

Cable Romanian deadlifts target the entire posterior chain. This includes the hamstrings and glutes.

Romanian deadlifts can be performed in a similar way to the pull-through. The main difference being the cable is not pulled through the legs and you will face the tower.

Cable Reverse Lunge

The lunge can be a great way to use your own body weight to exercise. A cable reverse lunge adds tension and provides a better workout.

This exercise targets the core, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. This provides a well-balanced exercise.

The exercise is performed by facing the cable you are holding and stepping back into the lunge position.

Cable Hip Abduction

The cable hip abduction is another exercise that requires an ankle cuff. It targets the gluteus medius which improves lower body performance.

This exercise will see you standing side-on to the tower and extending your leg out sideways.

You can read all about these exercises by visiting our cable glute exercises page. You will learn how to properly carry out these exercises and the benefits of each.

GHD Machine

The Glute Ham Developer machine is an excellent exercise machine that targets the glutes and hamstrings. It works in a similar way to curl machines but instead of your legs moving, you will raise and lower your body.

A GHD hip extension exercise is one of the best glute exercises. While the exercise primarily targets the glutes, it is also great for the lower back, calves, and hamstrings.

GHD machines can also be used to perform a glute ham raise which works a range of muscles, including:

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus

Find out more about the difference between a glute ham raise and a Nordic curl by visiting our guide.

Benefits of The GHD Machine

  1. Strengthens the posterior chain and core
  2. Can be used with a resistance band
  3. Easy to use
Strengthens the posterior chain and core

The GHD machine is an excellent option for people that want a glute workout that will also work the muscles around them.

Targeting sole muscle groups is not without its benefits, but you must ensure the muscles that work with these also get an adequate workout.

Can be used with a resistance band

The machine can be used purely with body weight. Alternatively, free weights or resistance bands can be used for a tougher workout.

Easy to use

Unlike a lot of other machines, there is nothing too technical about this. It is simply a case of adjusting the machine to suit your size.

Tips for using The GHD Machine

  1. Ensure you have the core strength to safely use the machine
  2. Adjust the machine accordingly based on your size
  3. Maintain a neutral spine
Ensure you have the core strength to safely use the machine

While the machine is relatively simple, it does require a level of core strength to operate safely.

To check if you are ready to use the machine lie on it in a superwoman pose for around 10 seconds. If you are unable to do this, you should try to build up your core strength before trying again. You can strengthen your core by doing exercises like glute bridges and hip thrusts.

Adjust the machine accordingly based on your size

If you are ready to use the GHD machine, you should adjust the foot pad so that when you are locked in, your hips are free from the main pad.

Maintain a neutral spine

You should engage your core and keep a tall chest to ensure you maintain a neutral spine during your exercise.

The video below demonstrates how to use a GHD machine to develop your glute workout.

How to use the GHD (glute ham developer) machine.

Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine is most typically associated with leg development. Dreaded leg days often center around this machine.

However, your hamstrings and glutes work with the quads to perform exercises on this machine and it can be a great way to increase muscle and strength.

Benefits of The Leg Press Machine

  1. Builds muscle mass
  2. Develops strength
  3. A great all-round lower body workout

Leg press machines are great for bulking up your legs and glutes. You will be able to progress through different weights to gradually increase your strength and muscle mass.

This also ensures that all your lower body muscles get an intensive workout. Focusing solely on the glutes can create an unbalanced workout. This can lead to injury and poor performance.

Tips for using The Leg Press Machine

  1. Start with a light weight
  2. Make use of hand grips to maintain your form
  3. Position your feet higher on the sled
  4. Never lock your knees
Start with a light weight

Leg press machines are one of the more straightforward exercise machines. If you are unsure about the weight you should start with, always begin with a lighter weight.

This will allow you to find a comfortable position and maintain good form while mastering the machine.

Make use of hand grips to maintain your form

Holding onto hand grips by the side of the machine can help you to maintain an erect posture when pushing through your legs.

Position your feet higher on the sled

Try to position your feet higher up on the plate to engage your hamstrings and glutes more in the exercise.

Never lock your knees

When pushing out, it is essential that you never fully extend your legs and lock your knees, especially with heavy weights. This can lead to serious injuries.

The following video shows how a leg press machine can be used to target your glutes.

Leg Press (Glute Focused) | How to Target & Grow Bigger Glutes

Smith Machine

The Smith Machine is a controlled barbell system. This allows people to use it with weights to perform squats safely.

The bars on a Smith machine are secured between steel rails. This allows for safe vertical movements.

Benefits of The Smith Machine

  1. Safer than free weights
  2. Easier to hold form
  3. Can be used by beginners and advanced users
Safer than free weights

If you are using free weights for specific exercises, you may need a spotter. The Smith machine has several slots on the steel support rails for you to fit the bars into at any time.

Easier to hold form

Because it can only move up or down, you won’t have to concern yourself with balancing free weights. As well as being safer, this can help to maintain the correct posture and form for exercises like squats.

Can be used by beginners and advanced users

It is a great way for beginners to practice a range of exercises safely. This can help to build confidence in the gym.

Tips for using The Smith Machine

  1. Set the bar’s position below shoulder level
  2. Set the safety stops above knee height
  3. Experiment with toe angles

To start you must position the bar and safety stops correctly. You can then get underneath so the bar rests behind your head and across your shoulders.

Rotate your wrists to unrack the bar and line your elbows with your torso.

Before you descend you should take a deep breath. Bend your knees and push your hips back to move down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

At this point, you should push through your feet and drive yourself back up to the starting position. Exhale as you extend your knees and hips.

Your toe positions during this exercise should be whatever you are most comfortable with. Take the time to experiment to find the best option for you.

If you haven’t used a Smith Machine before and want to use it to build your glutes, the following video will help.


Hip Thrust Machine

Hip thrust machines are an excellent option to build glute muscles. The exercise itself is often carried out by resting a dumbbell across your thighs and thrusting your hips forward.

However, a dedicated hip thrust machine is much easier to use and will offer better results.

Benefits of The Hip Thrust Machine

  1. Builds glute size and strength
  2. Maintains good form
  3. Good range of motion
  4. Easy progression
Builds glute size and strength

Hip thrust machines are a great way for people to use weights and build glute strength and size.

Maintains good form

Using a hip thrust machine also helps you maintain your form. This is easier than with free weights as you have to balance them.

Good range of motion

Hip thrusts allow a good range of motion to target specific areas as well. This can be useful for those that like to challenge themselves and want better results.

Easy progression

It is easy to add or remove weights when setting up the hip thrust machine. This makes it easier for those that want to try more intensive workouts.

Tips for using The Hip Thrust Machine

  1. Use the hip belt provided
  2. Position the bench at around 90 degrees
  3. Press your back and shoulders into the pad for bracing
Use the hip belt provided

When using a hip thrust machine you can select the weight you want to use. They will typically provide either a hip belt or a padded bar. Ensure this is secure.

Position the bench at around 90 degrees

A 90-degree angle should bend your body enough so you can push back with your shoulders and back and thrust your hips forward. When you fully extend, clench your glutes before returning to the starting position.

Press your back and shoulders into the pad for bracing

Pressing your back and shoulders into the bad will allow you to properly brace your core throughout the movement. This helps ensure you’re properly activating the glutes through the movement.

The instructional video below shows how to safely prepare and carry out exercises on a hip thrust machine.

Gold's Gym Workout Tutorials ⎮ Hip Thrust Machine

The Hack Squat Machine

The hack squat machine is a great way to strengthen your lower body and uses a weighted sled that can be moved on angled rails.

This machine provides a safe and controlled way for gym users to squat using high weight levels.

The main muscles targeted by exercising on this equipment include the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Benefits of The Hack Squat Machine

  1. Controlled movements
  2. Targets multiple lower body muscles
  3. Opportunity to use heavier weights safely
Controlled movements

Because the weight is moved on rails, it allows you to work on your form. This minimizes the risk of injury that comes with using free weights.

Targets multiple lower body muscles

A hack squat machine also targets other muscles. You will benefit from a full lower body workout which will ensure better muscle balance.

Opportunity to use heavier weights safely

The stability of the machine allows greater weight to be added and can help people benefit from impressive gains.

As well as being great for experienced lifters to add more weight, it is also simple to use and is great for beginners.

Tips for using The Hack Squat Machine

  1. Push through the heels to engage the glutes
  2. Ensure your lower back is flat against the pad during your workout
  3. Experiment with the angles of your toes at lower weights to find the best position for you

To use a hack squat machine you should load your preferred weight and position yourself with your shoulders against the back pads. Your feet should be at shoulder width.

Start by extending your legs and releasing the safety handles. You should gently bend your knees to 90-degree angles before extending back up through the hips and knees. Push through your heels to engage your glutes as you straighten back up.

This exercise can then be repeated for your desired set count.

The following video demonstrates how to use a hack squat machine properly.

Machine Hack Squat

Anatomy of the Gluteal Muscles

The gluteal muscles are located around the posterior in the gluteal region. They are a superficial muscle group that overly the pelvic girdle. The gluteal muscles have four main functions. These include:

  • Stabilizing the pelvis
  • Stabilizing the upper body
  • Hip extension
  • To aid in locomotion

They also facilitate thigh movement, including:

  • Abduction
  • Adduction
  • Extension
  • External rotation
  • Internal rotation

Gluteal muscles also play an important role in posture and stabilizing the pelvis and upper body.

Four muscles make up the gluteal region. These are:

Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body. It provides most of the buttock shape and extends from the pelvis to the femur’s gluteal tuberosity.

The function of the gluteus maximus is to facilitate the thigh’s adduction, abduction, extension, and external rotation.

Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius serves to stabilize the pelvis and facilitate the internal rotation and abduction of the thigh. It is a fan shape muscle that tapers towards the lower end and it lies over the gluteus minimus between the posterior and anterior gluteal lines.

Gluteus Minimus

The gluteus minimus serves the same function as the gluteus medius and lies beneath it. Both the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius play an important role in lower extremity function and hip stability.

Tensor Fasciae Latae

The tensor fasciae latae’s function is to stabilize the hip and knee joints. It also plays a role in external leg rotation and internal thigh rotation.

Fascia refers to the fibrous tissue that surrounds and binds some muscle groups and lets others slide freely over one another. The tensor fasciae latae is located in the thigh’s lateral aspect.

FAQs About Glutes

What cardio machines are good for a glute workout?

Stationary bikes and stair climbers are excellent cardio machines that can help to tone and build your glutes. They’re also some of the best gym machines for weight loss.

Standing over the bike in a squat-like position and increasing the resistance will benefit your workout. Slow smooth pedaling will also be better than sitting and pedaling quickly.

This is a great workout for your core muscles as well as your quads and glute muscles. Good hand and arm positions will also work your upper body.

The stair climber is another great machine. It provides a cardio workout and strengthens your core, quads, hamstrings, and glute muscles.

What are the best glute bridge alternatives?

The glute bridge hold is similar to using a hip thrust machine. The main difference is you use your own body weight as resistance.

There are a number of great glute bridge alternatives including:

Hip thrusts
Sumo Squats
Cable Glute Kickbacks
45-Degree Hip Extensions
Romanian Deadlifts
Sumo Deadlifts

What is the hip abductor muscle group?

The main hip abductors are the tensor fasciae latae, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
Hip abduction exercises are closely linked to improving core and glute muscles.

The 6 Best Gym Machines for Glutes (2023) - Lift Vault (1)

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Kyle Risley founded Lift Vault in 2016 to make finding great powerlifting programs easier. Since then, the site has grown to include hundreds of programs for strength, bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting, and more. He currently lives in Massachusetts and continues to compete in powerlifting.

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