Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) (male) – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) (male) - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Get ready to strengthen your glutes with the straight leg kickback (kneeling) exercise! In this video exercise guide, we'll show you the proper form and offer helpful tips specifically tailored for men.

Watch This Exercise Video

All you need is a mat and a little bit of space to perform this effective exercise. Avoid common mistakes and explore variations to challenge yourself as you progress.

Let's get started and transform those glutes!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper form and technique are important for a straight leg kickback (kneeling)
  • The exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles
  • Straight leg kickbacks strengthen and activate the glutes for improved lower body strength and power
  • Common mistakes to avoid include improper alignment, using momentum, neglecting full range of motion, and allowing hips to rotate

Proper Form for Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling)

To perform a proper straight leg kickback (kneeling), you should ensure that your form is precise and controlled. Common mistakes in this exercise include using momentum to swing your leg up instead of engaging the targeted muscles and arching your back instead of keeping it straight.

To avoid these errors, start by kneeling on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep your core engaged and your back straight throughout the movement. Then, extend one leg straight back, keeping it in line with your body. Avoid lifting it too high or letting your hips rotate.

Slowly bring your leg back down to the starting position, maintaining control and tension in your glutes and hamstrings. Remember to exhale as you kick back and inhale as you bring your leg down.

Benefits of Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) for Men

You should regularly incorporate straight leg kickbacks (kneeling) into your workout routine to maximize the benefits for men. This exercise primarily targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles, making it an effective way to strengthen and tone your lower body.

During the straight leg kickback (kneeling), you activate your gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your buttocks. This muscle is responsible for hip extension, which is crucial for movements like walking, running, and jumping. By strengthening and activating the glutes, you can improve your overall lower body strength and power.

Additionally, the straight leg kickback (kneeling) engages the hamstrings, the muscles located at the back of your thighs. Strengthening the hamstrings not only improves your athletic performance but also helps protect your knees from injury. It's important to maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise to effectively target these muscles.

To incorporate straight leg kickbacks (kneeling) into a full body workout routine, you can perform them as part of your leg day or lower body workout. Begin by starting in a kneeling position with your hands on the ground. Extend one leg backward, keeping it straight, and squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. Aim for 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions per leg.

Including straight leg kickbacks (kneeling) in your workout routine can help you build strength, improve muscle activation, and enhance your lower body aesthetics. Remember to consult with a fitness professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Equipment Needed for Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling)

To perform the Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) exercise, you'll need a resistance band or ankle weights. These equipment options add resistance to your leg kickbacks, making the exercise more challenging and effective in targeting your glutes and hamstrings.

Resistance bands are a popular choice for this exercise because they're portable, affordable, and versatile. They come in different levels of resistance, allowing you to adjust the intensity of your workout. To use a resistance band, simply attach it to a stationary object or hold it firmly with your hands while kneeling. Then, loop the band around one foot and extend your leg straight back, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.

Ankle weights are another option for adding resistance to your kickbacks. They're worn around your ankles and come in various weights. Ankle weights are convenient and easy to use, as you simply strap them on before starting the exercise. Similar to resistance bands, ankle weights make your leg kickbacks more challenging and engage your glutes and hamstrings effectively.

Whether you choose resistance bands or ankle weights, incorporating these equipment options into your Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) exercise will help you build strength, improve muscle tone, and enhance your overall lower body workout.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling)

When performing the Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) exercise, it's important to be aware of common mistakes that can hinder your progress and effectiveness. To ensure you get the most out of this exercise and avoid potential injuries, here are three common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Improper alignment: One of the most common mistakes isn't maintaining proper alignment throughout the movement. Make sure your supporting knee is directly below your hip and your hands are aligned with your shoulders. Keep your core engaged and your spine neutral to avoid any unnecessary strain on your lower back.
  2. Using momentum: Another mistake is relying on momentum rather than focusing on controlled movements. Remember to engage your glutes and hamstrings to lift your leg, rather than swinging it back. This will target the intended muscles and prevent other muscles from compensating.
  3. Neglecting full range of motion: It's important to utilize the full range of motion during this exercise. Avoid cutting the movement short by not fully extending your leg behind you. Aim for a straight line from your knee to your heel to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

Variations and Progressions of Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling)

There are several variations and progressions you can incorporate into the Straight Leg Kickback (kneeling) exercise to challenge your muscles and increase the effectiveness of your workout. These variations target different muscle groups and enhance muscle activation.

One variation you can try is the Resistance Band Straight Leg Kickback. Attach a resistance band around your foot and hold the other end with your hands. As you perform the kickback, the resistance from the band will provide an additional challenge to your glutes and hamstrings.

Another variation is the Single-Leg Straight Leg Kickback. Instead of using both legs, perform the exercise on one leg at a time. This variation increases the intensity and works on balance and stability.

To further progress the Straight Leg Kickback, you can add ankle weights or use a stability ball. The added weight increases resistance and muscle activation, while the stability ball engages your core and challenges your balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do for Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling) as a Beginner?

As a beginner, you may want to start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps for the straight leg kickback (kneeling). This exercise targets your glutes and hamstrings, helping to strengthen and tone those muscles.

However, if you experience knee pain, you can modify the exercise by using a softer surface or padding under your knee, or by reducing the range of motion. Remember to always listen to your body and adjust as needed.

Can Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling) Help Improve My Balance and Stability?

Straight leg kickback (kneeling) is a great exercise to improve your balance and stability. By targeting your glutes and hamstrings, this exercise helps strengthen the muscles that support your core and lower body.

As a beginner, start with a few sets of 10-12 reps and gradually increase as you get stronger. Remember to engage your core and maintain proper form throughout the movement.

With consistent practice, you'll notice improved balance and stability in no time.

Is It Normal to Feel a Burning Sensation in My Glutes During Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling)?

Feeling a burning sensation in your glutes during straight leg kickback (kneeling) is normal. This exercise targets your glute muscles, and the burning sensation is a sign that they're being engaged and worked. It indicates that you're activating and strengthening your glutes effectively.

However, if the burning sensation becomes too intense or painful, it's important to listen to your body and modify the exercise or consult a professional to ensure proper form and technique.

Can Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling) Be Modified for Individuals With Knee Pain or Injuries?

If you're experiencing knee pain or have an injury, there are knee-friendly modifications for the straight leg kickback (kneeling) exercise. Instead of kneeling, you can perform the exercise while standing or lying on your side. These alternative exercises will help target your glutes without putting stress on your knees.

Remember to consult with a professional to ensure proper form and avoid exacerbating any knee issues.

Can I Incorporate Resistance Bands or Ankle Weights to Increase the Intensity of Straight Leg Kickback (Kneeling)?

Yes, you can definitely incorporate resistance bands or ankle weights to increase the intensity of the straight leg kickback (kneeling).

Adding resistance bands or ankle weights will provide extra resistance and challenge your muscles even more during the exercise.

However, it's important to ensure that you have proper form and technique while using these additional equipment.

Also, keep in mind any modifications needed for individuals with knee pain or injuries during the straight leg kickback (kneeling).


In conclusion, the straight leg kickback (kneeling) is a beneficial exercise for men that targets the glutes and hamstrings. By maintaining proper form and using the appropriate equipment, you can maximize the effectiveness of this exercise.

It's important to avoid common mistakes and progress gradually to more challenging variations. Incorporating this exercise into your routine can help improve lower body strength and stability.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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