Best Glute Machine
There are many good reasons to train your glutes (the large muscles of your buttocks), many good ways in which to do so, and many people looking to build their perfect derriere.
Glute machines are some of the best training tools you can find for doing so. It’s no easy task asked of them, either – the glutes are amongst the largest, strongest muscle groups in the human body and so finding the best glute machines has not been easy.
The gluteals (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus) and the hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus) do a lot of the donkey work of everyday movement, working in concert to extend, rotate and abduct the hips. They also play a major role in pelvic stabilization, as part of which they normalize and facilitate movements as you walk and run.
A good glute machine, or training apparatus, will stimulate these muscles and these actions. It will have a great deal to offer your training programme. From large glute machines themselves, to training bands, to implements that help you to better emphasis the glutes through large, compound movements, there should be something for all comers, all occasions.
The implements in this list are varied. There are large, expensive machines and small, inexpensive bands. All do their job well; all earn their place on this list. Essentially, all of them will help you to build stronger, fuller glutes.
Why Train Your Glutes?
You should train your glutes for the same reasons you would train any other muscle group – to improve functionality and aesthetics. However, there are some specifics that are worth considering when talking about them.
The first of these is posture. As the gluteals and hamstrings extend, rotate, and abduct the hips, and keep your pelvis stable, keeping them strong and healthy is key to building and maintaining good posture.
This is very important, especially in today’s sedentary world. Many of us spend far too much time sitting than standing and moving. I’m a fitness nut and I spend a good 70% of my day on my backside, typing away on my laptop!
This leads to tight, shortened hip flexors, weak, over-stretched hip extensors, and glutes without the muscle memory and mobility needed to activate properly. In turn, this leads to swayback and kyphosis-lordosis, two of the most common postural issues.
The forward tilt from the hips associated with weak glutes can also give you the appearance of a large gut by pushing the abdomen out.
Including glute and hamstring strengthening exercises into your weekly routines will counter this. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, step ups (see bottom of article) and, of course, use some of the items on our list below, and you should overcome these postural issues.
This will also lead to pain reduction, injury prevention, and will halt the development of muscular imbalances. Strong glutes will keep you stable, meaning that the muscles around them needn’t, and meaning that you are far less likely to hurt your hips, or to experience pain and compression in the lumbar spine, hips, and knees.
Then there is the improved athletic performance and full body strength that stronger glutes will give you. They are the body’s powerhouse, generating a lot of power. This power will be used in pretty much every large movement your body can perform, translating into sports-specific speed, acceleration, vertical distance, and endurance, and in lifting power through the legs and back.
Finally, of course, we have the aesthetic element. The glutes are the main component of your bum. If you want a big, rounded, well-developed booty (as I’ve been assured many people do), you really do need to train them.
Some Of Today’s Leading Glute Products
There aren’t all ‘glute machines’ as many of us, me included, would generally term them. The best glute machines tend to isolate the glutes against a moveable, loadable barrier. There are elements of this below. However, there are many ways to build your glutes, and I wanted to represent as many of them as possible.
We therefore have resistance bands designed specifically to work your glutes. We have apparatus, like our first offering, designed to facilitate plenty of different compound exercises that will help to build them. There are plenty. All of them have their place. They work well and you will benefit from trying a few out.
The Best Glute Machines Reviewed
So, without further delay, let’s run through what I’ve been checking out recently (and what has got me filling my jeans out a little more than usual!) with my best glute machine roundup.
Leiki Fitness Multi-Function Sissy Squat Bench
Let’s begin with a multi-function gym station from Leiki, suitable either for use at home or in a studio.
It’s incredibly versatile. There are a whole host of exercises you can perform using it, most of which are perfect for targeting the legs in general and the glutes more specifically. You can perform deep sissy squats (which put a lot of tension through the glutes and posterior chain, and are thus perfect for training hypertrophy), as well as exercises like the band squat, back extension and hyper-extension, side extension, and forward lunge, all of which will also train the glutes, legs, and posterior chain.
You can also use Leiki’s multi-function station to train your torso, with options for push-ups and high-tension sit ups.
In terms of utility, then, it’s a bit of a beast.
It isn’t strictly necessary in all instances. You can perform push-ups, lunges and sit ups with no equipment, saving a lot of money. However, you can’t perform exercises like back extensions and sissy squats without some form of apparatus. These are so beneficial to training your glutes and posterior chain that, to me, this kind of equipment pays for itself.
Leiki have also designed and built it very well, including a duty steel main frame, foam foot holder, comfortable rear cushion, and a large steel non-slip footplate. Everything is robust, everything is comfortable, and everything is very much built to last. It’s all fully adjustable, so that different sizes and body shapes can all be catered for – the foot holder can be adjusted for different foot sizes, the rear cushion can be raised or lowered, and its angle can be changed.
It’s also foldable, making it great for home use. When you’re not training, simply pack it up and put it away in a cupboard.back to menu ↑
CoBa Glute Trainer
CoBa make a great deal about the unique counterbalance design of their glute trainer. They should do.
It has a 7% incline, which is scientifically proven to put the body in the perfect biomechanical position to increase glute muscle activation while minimizing use of quadriceps and knees. It has been proven to increase glute muscle activation with greater speed, safety, and efficiency than many similar machines and exercises.
If you’re looking for something that will really let you zero in on your glutes and posterior chain, this could be the machine for you.
Of course, making an apparatus with a 7% incline is hardly rocket science. Any company could do it, and many have. But CoBa have done it in spectacular fashion in this case.
Their glute trainer is of commercial build and design quality, made to last no matter how hard you train. It is also very convenient. At just 12lbs (about 5 and a half kilograms, give or take), it is easy to move around and store. In fact, CoBa’s claim that it’s the only portable piece of equipment in the marketplace with functionality to work the full range of glutes sounds very plausible.
They also have a free app to show you how to train using the CoBa glute trainer.
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INNSTAR Booty Bands
Cable machine and banded exercises can bring a lot to your glute workout. Movements like walking side steps, hip abduction and adduction, kick backs and lunges will all target the muscles of and around your glutes with a great deal of intensity.
INNSTAR’s Booty Bands are amongst the top forms of at-home band workouts and can be used for a great many beneficial exercises. They are easy to use, can be used both from a seated position and standing, and make use of a door anchor for stability through each rep. It will be like having a cable machine in your living room.
The door anchor is simple and effective. It involves a nylon connection strap and a door anchor attachment so you can use anywhere at home. You can also take it outdoors to use on trees, fences, columns, or anything you can think of.
Ankle straps keep them secure as you train and are incredibly comfortable.
These bands are best used for high rep work. Only the most inexperienced beginners will get enough resistance from them for strength work. However, if you’re looking to train in the 12-14 range, they work very nicely. As the resistance increases, you can simply increase your distance from the anchor, increasing tension.
The thing I like most about these bands is the 20-page workout guide that INNSTAR include. This is vital for any beginners (and for many more advanced athletes, too). It will show you how to use the bands, which exercises are best for achieving which results, and will give you a full demo routine to try.
It really does manage to be an all-in-one.back to menu ↑
BFR Booty Occlusion Bands
I’m not generally a fan of occlusion bands. The science behind them kind of checks out, but occlusion is no substitute for hard lifting and full ranges of motion (ROM) – the skill and mobility transfer simply aren’t there.
I’m also not generally a fan of anything with the word ‘booty’ in the title.
I was therefore surprised by how much I liked BFR Booty Occlusion Bands. I wouldn’t personally use them – they don’t fit in with any of my current goals – but I can absolutely see a use for them in stimulating and growing your glutes.
First off, occlusion training is its own thing, and it takes a little specialist knowledge to get started with. It works by temporarily restricting blood flow to your muscles. This may sound like a bizarre thing to do (and I’m not fully convinced it isn’t…), but tentative data suggests that around ten minutes of forced restriction can speed up growth.
This is because restricting blood builds up lactic acid and HGH (human growth hormone), which in turn gives you a ‘pump’.
Now, a pump isn’t growth. It is a build-up of fluid. You will look bigger immediately, but there are few long-term benefits to achieving a pump in terms of hypertrophy, certainly in terms of strength training. Full ROM and adequate time under tension are the way to go for this.
However, BFR provide a full 8-week guide to using these bands, including video tutorials. The exercises they give you to perform (with full ROM and adequate time under tension) whilst wearing these bands work incredibly well. It’s impressive.
The bands themselves are also very well made and comfortable to use. They are simple and easy, and they seem to work well. The improved HGH won’t lead to muscle growth in itself; it will aid recovery after hard training, leading to improved muscular growth.
Paired with their guide, with the appropriate exercises, these occlusion bands really begin to make sense. I like them a lot.back to menu ↑
BBooster Squat Belt
The BBooster Squat Belt is a bit of a clever take on the traditional exercise band. If you’re looking for a good way to build high rep work into your daily routines, at home or in the gym, it’s a really solid option.
It targets the glutes perfectly when used correctly, and will also be decent for your thighs, giving you the stimulation that you need, where you need it. It’s also incredibly easy to use correctly, thanks to what BBooster call their ‘Ultimate Butt Lift Package’.
Dodgy names aside, this thing is great. Basically, it means that every purchase includes the band itself, alongside a printed ‘Buttocks Bands Workout Guidebook’ (a good list of exercises, clearly laid out so that even beginners can make the most of them), and a training schedule (scheduling is everything in a training programme, so I was really happy to see this!).
In total, you get a list of 10 specialized exercises for glute training, 5 stretches perfect for warming up and cooling down, and a month-long training schedule with 3-5 sessions per week.
The bands themselves are comfortable and easy to work out. They make use of a figure of eight pattern and have extra grippy bits on the footholds, making them very durable and smooth to use. As a small exercise band, it’s incredibly portable (and cheap – you won’t spend much more than ten bucks!) and easy to store, making it super convenient compared to some of the other offerings on this list.
Simply pack it in your bag and take a few minutes out of your day to build the glutes you’ve always dreamed of.back to menu ↑
Allstar Innovations Squat Magic Home Gym Workout
I’ve included this item in our list because I think some people may find it genuinely useful. I personally don’t like and don’t see the point in it for most athletes.
There’s no doubt that it will help you to train your glutes. It will give you some great stimulation through your full lower body, incorporating your quads, thighs, and hips.
Essentially, it is a tilted seat that works a bit like a pump – it struck me as an oversized bicycle pump – with a kind of concertina motion. You sit on it, at what they call the ‘perfect angle’ due to its specially engineered tilt. It then guides and supports you on the way down into a squat, using Squat Assistive Technology (S.A.T.)
Now, I don’t like this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, how on earth do Allstar Innovations think they know what the perfect angle is? It’s different for everybody. I’m 5 foot 8. The angle at which I squat (and the height from which I begin, obviously) will be far different to a 6-foot-tall athlete. Then there are variations in hip, knee and ankle flexibility and angle. There simply is no such thing as a one size fits all ‘perfect angle’ – our perfect angles are all very personal and unique.
Secondly, there are other options if you need squat assistance. Use TRX bands, which are cheaper and offer far more utility, as they can be used for a whole range of movements. Hold onto a chair or a wall. Save yourself some money and get a similar result.
That’s my moaning done with.
So, why have I included it in this list?
I can see a market for this kind of S.A.T., and Allstar have made a very good job here – for the right person, their product is well-designed, well-made, and will be incredibly useful. Those with joint concerns may like the added support – if you have a bad back, hips, knees, or ankles, it’s worth considering. If you have motor control problems, such as Parkinson’s or vertigo, having a guided squat that allows you freedom of movement whilst keeping you in position will be a godsend.back to menu ↑
Let’s finish this list with another band-style training system, in the form of EcoZen’s booty bands.
This is a product for people who like to use their kit hard but still expect it to last a lifetime, as it should. EcoZen’s build quality is superb. The materials they use – durable non-Snap Latex, super strong carabiners, load bearing boxed stitched connection points – mean that their bands are tough as hell.
In a world stocked full of breakable, short-term buys, this is refreshing. These bands are built to last.
One of my main issues with resistance bands is their lack of ability to scale. You can plateau quickly, as it’s hard to increase resistance and tension, thus stimulation. Progressive overload stutters to a halt.
EcoZen get around this to a point. Their booty fitness bands can be adjusted to three different levels of resistance. You can tailor it to your own level, then increase the resistance as you develop. There will still be a cut-off point, but at least there is a degree of more flexibility here.
You can also adjust for height and waistline, so everybody should be comfortable using these bands.
Their ‘Sauna stimulus technology’ helps you to retain body heat and bring about greater perspiration. Now, this isn’t always a good thing and should be approached with care, as dehydration and high blood pressure are very real risks. However, there will be a thermogenic effect, making it easier to burn through calories.
These kinds of resistance exercises aren’t really aimed at burning calories in real time. They are more geared towards building muscle that will raise your overall metabolic rate, so I don’t really see the point in this. It’s clever, though.
They have a very good set of exercises laid out in a booklet that comes included, alongside links to high-quality training videos. You will never be short of things to do with these bands.
Silly ‘sauna tech’ aside, these are very good resistance bands. I thoroughly recommend them.
How To Train Glutes Without A Machine
I like the various styles of equipment represented above. I use some of them in my regular training regimes and would be very happy including the rest. However, they do form the minority of my work – they are best used as assistance movements.
This means that they are specialized and isolated.
Here’s how I would typically train my glutes, as part of a broader lower body day.
- Begin with a compound movement
- Move onto a couple of assistance movements
- Finish with conditioning
Many of the above items would work best in the middle portion. For example, I might start with low bar back squats, for five sets of five. Then I might move onto an assistance superset. Here, I may go for sissy squats and cable kickbacks, for three sets of twelve. Then I might do another assistance move for good measure, bringing my hamstrings into play alongside my glutes with some back extensions.
Then conditioning would generally be high rep bodyweight work, like burpees, box jumps and walking lunges.
You will get the most utility out of the first – the compound movements. Here is where pretty much all of the strength training comes from. You can also use them in higher rep ranges (8-14) for hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Glute compound movements that won’t use a machine include squat variations, large, explosive movements like box jumps and squat jumps, as well as single leg work, like walking lunges, reverse lunges, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian split squats. Sprinting and running will also work them, though through a lesser range of motion.
You can perform all of these with nothing but your bodyweight (and a box or wall to jump onto where necessary), or with weight, as your needs and programming dictate.
If you’re looking to programme a full glute workout for muscle growth, without any equipment, it may look something like this:
- Box jumps (5), superset with air squats (15)
- Rest 90 seconds after each pair
- Complete five sets in total
- Walking lunges (10 steps each side), giant set with wall sits (30 seconds) and laying back extensions (15)
- Rest 60 seconds after each giant set
- Complete three sets in total
- Step ups on a low wall, to failure on either side
- Complete one set either side