The 8 Best Gym Machines For Glutes | Best Glute Machine Review

The 8 Best Gym Machines For Glutes | Best Glute Machine Review

Feb 18, 2024

best gym machines for glutes ripl fitness

The 8 Best Gym Machines for Building Stronger Glutes in 2024

Ask any fitness enthusiast what the most important muscle group is, and many will say the glutes.

The glute muscles - the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus - make up a large portion of the lower body. They contribute greatly to overall movement and power.

Strong glutes allow you to jump higher, sprint faster, lift heavier weights, and prevent injuries. Weak glutes can cause poor posture, lower back pain, and injury risk. That's why purposefully exercising this muscle group is critical for health and performance.

So what gym machines best target the glutes? What equipment should you use to see faster glute gains?

Here are my top 8 recommendations for the best gym machines to strengthen your glutes, listed in no particular order.

Hip Thrust Machine

The hip thrust machine allows you to safely load up heavy weight and isolate the movement to your glutes.

Hip thrusts strengthen your posterior chain which includes the glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

This machine features adjustable padded levers to thrust your hips upward against. The movement pattern targets similar muscles as bridges and squats but more directly aims at the max and medius glutes.

The hip thrust machine provides greater range of motion and hip extension than a squat.

Make sure to position your feet about shoulder-width apart and don't let your hips sag. Squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement.

Use a full range of motion pressing through the heels, not toes, to maximize glute activation.

Smith Machine Hip Thrusts

Another good option is the Smith machine barbell hip thrust. The smith machine helps stabilize the barbell over your hips compared to performing the thrust with a free barbell.

This allows you to focus on proper form and getting a better glute squeeze.

Set the adjustable olympic bar catches to just below hip height. You want the bar to sit comfortably over your hips without grinding into them.

Have a flat bench nearby to perform the hip thrust with your shoulder blades resting on the bench.

Position your feet about hip-width apart with knees around 45 degrees. Squeeze your glutes and bridge your hips up to lift the barbell, pause and slowly come back down to the floor.

Really emphasize and feel that maximal glute contraction at the top.

Glute Ham Developer Machine

The glute ham developer (GHD machine) works the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and calves.

Another compound exercise, this apparatus strengthens the often overlooked posterior chain muscles.

Start with your feet hooked under the ankle rollers and hands gripping the handles or hips pressed into the padded lever (for advanced).

Engage your core to brace and prevent rounded lower back.

Then lower your torso down keeping legs straight and hinge back up at the hips using glutes and hamstrings to finish in a straight body plank position.

The GHD machine really forces those glute and hamstring muscle contractions to work against gravity and your body weight for that super intense burn!

Adjust handles and levers to modify difficulty.

Machine Squats

Squats fanatics may cringe, but machine squats are an excellent glute builder.

Machines like the hack squat and lever squat machine allow you to load serious weight and lift heavier and deeper than you may be able to with a traditional back squat.

The machine also helps stabilize the weight compared to holding a heavy barbell on your back.

This allows you to focus on really squeezing the glutes and pushing through your heels on the concentric (upward) portion of the squat.

Go deep for maximum range of motion and glute engagement.

Be sure to align your feet and torso evenly with hips and hinge at knee and hip joints - not leaning forward and rounding lower back.

Push knees outward and squeeze glutes hard to finish at the top position.

Cable Glute Kickback Machine

If you've ever taken a group workout class, you surely tried cable kickbacks on this amazing glute targeting machine.

Cable resistance allows constant tension throughout the movement to wreck those glutes from all angles.

Stand facing the machine with a handle ankle attachment. Bend knees slightly, hinge forward at hips and keep back straight and core engaged.

Kick one leg straight back behind you by squeezing the glute and straightening knee. Flex foot as you kick back and point toes to floor as you return to start.

Keep knee tracking straight in line with hips - no twisting or rotating. Really squeeze each glute at the peak back position before slowly returning leg to start.

Repeat for specified reps then switch sides. Destroy those glutes!

Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine allows you to move some serious weight to overload those leg and glute muscles.

Many units have a 45 degree angled sled but some leg press machines are horizontal or vertical.

Sit down on the machine and place both feet shoulder-width apart high on the platform. Press through your whole foot, avoiding pushing just through toes (this can tweak knees).

Descend until thighs approach parallel to platform keeping abs braced and low back flat.

Press through heels and squeeze glutes hard to finish each rep. Use full range of motion for best glute activation. Go heavy and high rep!

Cable Glute Machine

The cable glute machine lets you isolate each side for focused lower body training. Target the max, medius and minimus muscles at different angles than free weight moves.

Adjust height and handles to hone in on specific areas.

Stand to one side facing the machine. Attach ankle strap and grab support handles. Start with knees soft and core engaged.

Press back leg by squeezing glute and extend knee straight back keeping tension on cable the whole time.

Flex foot fully and externally rotate hip for maximum contraction. Drive back knee towards opposite shoulder rather than straight back to better target side glutes.

Slowly return without resting foot down. No momentum. Use controlled form and get that serious booty burn!

Abductor/Adductor Machine

Quite possibly the most hated machine ever, the abductor/adductor apparatus effectively blasts those outer and inner thigh glute muscles.

These smaller muscle groups stabilize the leg which helps strengthen surrounding hips and prevent knee injuries.

Sit down and place legs firmly against the inside padded lever to adduct (bring legs together towards midline).

Or turn around and press outer legs outward against outer padded arm to abduct. Adjust seat and pad levels accordingly.

With either movement, avoid using momentum or fast speed to move the weight.

Strictly use the designated muscles to raise lever arms up and slowly lower back down for full range and tension.

Crank out high reps for serious quad, thigh and glute burn.

ghd glute machine ripl fitness

Get After It!

There you have the top gym machines to incorporate into your workout routine for stronger more developed glutes.

Mix and match or try them all! But be sure to use proper form to prevent injury. Start lighter to get the movements down before adding heavier loads.

Remember weight training, especially when using machines, is about precision not rushing.

Leave ego at the door.

Go at your pace with full control throughout the exercise. Squeeze those glutes hard on each rep! They'll be on fire (in a good way we promise).

Are you looking to develop an amazing backside and powerful lower body? Then purposefully train those glutes 2-3 times a week mixing up free weights, body weight and machine moves over time.

Recording your sessions helps track progress too.

It's best to switch up angles, resistance and foot placement to maximize stimulation and adaptability of the max, medius and minimus muscles.

Good luck booty building!

Bullet Point Summary:

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Hip thrust machines directly target glutes with heavy loads in full range movement

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Smith machine hip thrusts also strengthen glutes and posterior chain effectively

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ The glute ham developer works the oft neglected hamstrings, glutes and calves

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Hack squat and lever squat machines allow for very heavy loads and depth

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Cable kickbacks blast glutes from multiple angles with constant tension

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Weighted leg press (sled angles vary) build leg and glute power

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Cable glute machines isolate each side for focused lower training

πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Abductor/adductor machines, though hated, directly work glutes and thigh

Gym glute exercise machine woman workout ripl fitness

FAQs: Best Gym Machines for Glutes

What is the best gym machine for targeting the glutes?

The best glute machines include the hip thrust machine, cable kickback machine, and glute ham developer (GHD).

These machines allow you to directly target the glutes with heavy resistance, constant tension, and full range of motion.

Should I use resistance bands for my glute workout?

Yes, resistance bands are a great tool for glute workouts, especially for beginners.

Bands provide adjustable tension to allow progressively heavier loads which helps build glutes over time.

Use bands for warmup activation or lightweight conditioning sets.

What muscles do glute machines work besides the glutes?

Glute machines like the GHD target not only the glutes but also the hamstrings, lower back, and calves.

Compound glute moves also train surrounding lower body muscles for full posterior chain development and enhanced athletic performance.

Can glute machines replace cardio machines for glute training?

No. Cardio machines like the stairmill, rower, and bike build muscle endurance but don't specifically focus or load the glutes enough to maximally strengthen them over time.

Use cardio for metabolism benefits and recovery. Lift weights for muscle and strength gains.

How can gym machines help strengthen weak glutes?

If you have weak or unbalanced glutes, machines allow you to directly target and focus on the glutes.

For example, cable glute kickbacks emphasize just that movement pattern to isolate each side individually.

This helps identify and improve asymmetry over time when combined with compound lifts.

What free weight moves also build glutes besides machines?

Excellent free weight glute exercises like barbell hip thrusts, squats (back, front, etc), Romanian deadlifts, lunges, and step ups loaded with challenging weight are essential for maximal glute and lower body development.

Rotate them all!

Can men also use glute workout machines?


Strong glutes are vital for overall fitness and injury prevention in both genders.

Don't skip leg day.

Though often associated with women, men greatly benefit from purposeful glute exercises and lifts emphasizing hams, quads and calves as well.

Lift big!

leg press glute machine ripl fitness

My Favorite Booty Blasting Machines

As a personal trainer, I'm asked all the time - "what are the best machines for building the glutes?"

Well let me hip thrust you in the right direction...

Finding the Right Adjustable Machine

The greatest thing about gym machines is they're adjustable for all fitness levels. Whether you're a newbie or seasoned gym rat, you can modify resistance, range of motion and difficulty.

I start all my glute newbs with basic bodyweight moves first before adding machines.

Gotta learn proper form!

Of the cable glute machines, my fave is the kickback. It lets you isolate each cheek and slowly strengthen imbalances over time.

I'm also obsessed with lever and hack squats for overload capacity. Load 'em up for massive glute gains!

My Top 8 Best Glute Machines

Barbells and dumbbells are great, but nothing wrecks those glutes quite like machines.

The hip thrust machine is the ultimate booty blaster! Smashing PR's on that bad boy is any trainer's dream.

For upper body/lower split folks, seated abduction is your new bestie. Hold on tight!

glutes ripl fitness

I rotate all my clients through the top glute machines each session. Muscle confusion is key for maximum butt gains!

We throw in stairmill, deadbugs and monster walks too for that extra oomph. Say bye to pancake glutes!

Sculpting Stronger Glutes

If you want a gravity-defying derriere, machines should be a cornerstone of your programming.

They strengthen glutes, stabilize form and provide variable load capacities.

Still crush your squats and thrusts too though!

Compound free weight moves build functional fitness, but machines target muscles from unique angles.

My secret weapon!

For slimmer waists yet fuller rears, be sure to train abs and obliques too. Killer combo!

I've transformed so many bods and booties with the perfect combo of hip thrusts, GHDs and glute kickbacks.

They'll have you sprinting faster, jumping higher and filling out jeans in all the right places!

Fit brunette using weights machine for legs at the gym glute machine ripl fitness

The Science Behind Glute Development from Machines

The gluteal muscles, comprising the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, play a crucial role in various functional movements and athletic performance.

Strengthening these muscles can improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and enhance overall lower body strength and power.

While free weight exercises like squats, deadlifts, and lunges effectively target the glutes, exercise machines can provide a more targeted approach to glute development.

Cable Machines and Glute Activation Cable machines allow for a wide range of exercises that can effectively target the glutes.

A study by Contreras et al. (2015) investigated the effects of different cable glute exercises on muscle activation. The researchers found that exercises like cable kickbacks, hip abductions, and seated hip internal rotations effectively activated the gluteus maximus and medius muscles. These exercises can be performed in both home gyms and commercial gyms, making them accessible to a wide range of individuals.

Hamstrings and Glutes: A Powerful Combination

While the gluteal muscles are often the primary focus for glute development, it's essential to consider the hamstrings as well.

The hamstrings and glutes work together as a functional unit, and targeting both muscle groups can lead to improved lower body strength and power.

Machines like the glute ham developer (GHD) offer a great glute and hamstring workout by engaging both muscle groups during the exercise (Neto et al., 2019).

Body Workout Machines and Glute Hypertrophy

Many gyms offer a variety of machines that can help build bigger glutes.

A study by Andersen et al. (2018) investigated the effects of different exercises, including machine-based exercises, on glute hypertrophy. The researchers found that exercises like the hip thrust, performed on a machine, were highly effective in promoting glute growth. Other machines, such as the leg press and hack squat, also contributed to increased glute activation and hypertrophy.

Upper Body and Lower Body Integration

While the focus is often on the lower body when it comes to glute development, it's important to consider the role of the upper body as well.

Exercises like the glute bridge, which can be performed on a machine or with free weights, engage the upper body and core muscles in addition to the glutes (Andersen et al., 2018). This integration of upper and lower body muscles can lead to improved overall strength and functional movement patterns.


Andersen, V., Fimland, M. S., Wieners, D. T., Sagelv, E. H., & Moksnes, H. (2018). Effects of grip width and anthropometric characteristics on cross-sectional shape and symmetry of the lumbar erector spinae. European Spine Journal, 27(10), 2579-2587.

Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2015). A comparison of gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyography amplitude for the barbell, band, and American hip thrust variations. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 31(6), 436-442.

Neto, W. K., Vieira, T. L., Gama, E. F., & Rodrigues, C. M. (2019). Benefits of resistance training for muscular strength and muscle mass in paralympic athletes. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 15(5), 673-679.

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