Hy, my name is Steve Hoyles, and I’m a glute guy if there ever was one.
And not in a pervy way…
(shame on you for thinking it)
I like a firm, round bum as much as the next personal trainer.
I like a good glute machine as much as the next gym owner.
And I’ve been both…for over two decades now.
If you’ll have me, I’ll be your industry insider for the day…your glute-machine sherpa, if you will.
Why trust me?
I know everything about these machines.
I’ve used them, bought them, and sold them.
In a word – I live this stuff.
For this guide, I teamed up with some of the top industry experts and analyzed every single machine that deserves your attention.
Every. Single. One.
That’s over 340 units.
The goal is simple but not easy – craft a concise list of recommendations that still covers every budget and need.
If I do a good job, you’ll know which of these is right for you in about 10 minutes.
You’ll learn about the scientific studies behind glute development.
And you’ll learn a few butt jokes…
Let’s pave your way to a strong Gluteus Maximus (aka. Butteus Bigus)!
- 7 best glute machines
- 1 – Best glute machine overall – Reverse Hyper and GHD combo – our pick, Reverse Hammer 2.0 by BOS
- 2 – Best glute machine for posterior chain balance – GHD machine – our pick, Rogue Abram 2.0
- 3 – Best glute machine for building mass – Rogue Monster Rhino belt squat
- 4 – Most versatile glute machine – REP FT-5000 functional trainer (cable machine)
- 5 – Top value among glute machines for hip thrusts – Lifepro 2-in-1
- 6 – Best glute machine for squats and leg presses – Ultimate 45 Combo by Force USA
- 7 – Best glute extension machine (money-no-object pick) – Cybex Eagle NX Glute
- Honorary mention – a budget glute machine alternative, the Step-Up Platform by Step Store
- Buyer’s guide to choosing a glute machine
- Methodology – how we assess and rate glute machines
- FAQs about glute machines
- Other glute machines – close-but-no-cigar
- Best glute machines – resume and key takeaways
7 best glute machines
|Name||Type / category||Price||Defining feature/characteristic/goal|
|Reverse Hammer 2.0 by Bells of Steel (BOS)||GHD and reverse hyper combo||$$$||combines two great glute machines|
|Rogue Abram 2.0 GHD||GHD||$$||strengthening/balancing the posterior chain|
|Rogue Monster Rhino||Belt squat||$$$$||mimics squats without taxing the spine|
|REP FT-5000||Cable machine||$$$$||versatile|
|Lifepro 2-in-1||Hip thrust and sissy squat combo||$||cheap and effective|
|Ultimate 45 by Force USA||Leg press and hack squat combo||$$$$||lower body development (more than just the glutes)|
|Cybex Eagle NX||Glute kickback machine||$$$$$$||premium unit|
1 – Best glute machine overall – Reverse Hyper and GHD combo – our pick, Reverse Hammer 2.0 by BOS
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a versatile glute machine.
- Value – solid alternative to premium brands.
- Doubles as a GHD and reverse hyper.
- Decompresses the spine.
- High potential for overload and glute growth.
- Bigger than a standalone GHD or reverse hyper.
Reverse hyperextensions are an effective glute workout, especially when mixed with GHRs (glute-ham raises). They’re also an excellent prevention/rehab item for those vulnerable to or recovering from back issues.
Four main reasons for that:
- They extend the glute muscles beyond the “normal” limits and work them from the hyperextended position, which is great for growth.
- The extra resistance (weights on the swing arm) translates to higher overload capacity.
- They’re more beginner-friendly than GHRs.
- They train the back without any impact forces.
But who has the space (or the money) for a separate reverse hyper and a GHD?
Enter the combo machines.
Why Reverse Hammer specifically?
Because it threads the needle between saving space and money and remaining fully functional as both machines.
The cheaper units are not close to it in build and craftsmanship.
The better ones cost much more.
|Dimensions (LxWxH, inches)||74.8 x 46.8 x 42|
|Frame cross-section (square inches)||6 (2 x 3)|
2 – Best glute machine for posterior chain balance – GHD machine – our pick, Rogue Abram 2.0
Who it’s for: Anyone looking to build a strong posterior chain.
- Isolates the glutes and hamstrings.
- Great for core-extremities connection.
- Unique hamstring activation (contraction on both ends, origin and insertion).
- Not taxing on the lower back.
- Has a learning curve.
GHD is the best glute machine for a holistic approach to posterior chain development and core strengthening.
The glute-ham raises fire up the glutes and target the hamstrings unlike any other movement.
And that’s no exaggeration.
It’s THE ONLY exercise where the hamstrings can be worked unilaterally with similar contraction at the origin and insertion of the muscle, and it emphasizes both the concentric and eccentric motion.
You don’t have to understand that sentence.
It means three things:
- It works the hamstring end-to-end.
- You can switch it up by working one leg at a time.
- You can slow down on the way down and on the way up.
Point #2 is especially interesting because it’s immensely useful for injury prevention, as shown in this 2021 study.
Glute ham raises aren’t for everyone
We’re talking advanced stuff here.
A glute-ham raise is a complex movement that calls for strength and body awareness.
The good news
Once mastered, the GHR uniquely balances the posterior chain, blasts your glutes, and works the calves.
All in one exercise.
And you can master it at your own pace and even without a machine.
Why Rogue Abram?
Because it’s stable, adjustable at all the right points, and nails the geometry of a GHR.
Moreover, the finishes and attention to detail are top-tier….as you’d expect from Rogue.
There are better GHDs, but those will add 10% to the value and 100% to the price.
For home gyms, Abram is the sweet spot.
A GHD machine is a unique way to step up your glute game without worrying if the rest of the posterior chain is keeping up.
Rogue Abram 2.0 is a way to do that without breaking the bank.
If you have the space and the money for it, get it.
|Dimensions (LxWxH, inches)||62 x 34 x 50|
|Weight of the glute machine (lbs)||222|
|Tubing thickness (gauge)||11|
3 – Best glute machine for building mass – Rogue Monster Rhino belt squat
Who it’s for: Anyone looking to pack on mass to the gluteus maximus and build stronger legs.
- Capacity for safe overload/growth.
- Spares the spine.
- Versatile and adjustable (it’s also a cable machine…of sorts).
- Works the hip flexors.
What makes the belt squat best for adding glute mass?
I have no hard data here (nor does it exist).
I’m basing it all on first-hand experience and the interpretation of the related data.
In other words – I’ve seen it happen, and I know why it happens.
What’s the other exercise that shares the top spot?
The hip thrust…we’ll get to it in a hot minute.
Let me lay out the logic…
In the 2020 comparative study, belt squats were in the top 3 exercises in terms of glute activation (source).
- The highest glute activation goes to step-up variations, which have little space for safe overload.
- The second highest is the hip thrust (75.41 ± 18.49 of MVIC*).
- The third, by a slight margin, is the belt squat (71.34 ± 29.42 of MVIC).
*MVIC – Maximum Voluntary Isometric contraction – how much you can contract the glute muscles without moving.
It’s neck and neck between the belt squat and the hip thrust here.
There’s a case to be made for both.
I’ll sum it up in 3 points:
- The belt squat has a higher overload capacity because there’s less glute isolation.
- The demand on the glutes is not as uniform on either. It’s “on and off.”
- You’ll get a better “pump” on hip thrusts, which translates to a greater metabolic response.
Metabolic response is one of the three pillars of glute growth, the other two being tension and damage.
What it means for you
You don’t need a machine for hip thrusts (nonetheless, we’ll recommend one below…’cause why not).
We recommend the Rogue Rhino for belt squats because it’s by far the most well-rounded and versatile.
If you have the space and the money for a top-tier belt squat machine, get the Rogue Rhino. It’s a versatile beast well deserving of the name.
If you already own one of the Rogue Monster racks, you can save a pretty penny by getting the drop-in version. (Which by the way, is also excellent.)
Bonus tip: If you have the space but not the budget, look into the Bells of Steel unit – it costs less than half.
Specs of the Rogue Monster Rhino standalone
|Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)||53 x 60.5 x 78.5|
|Platform height (inches from floor)||7|
|Cross-section of arms and cross-members (inches square)||9 (3×3)|
4 – Most versatile glute machine – REP FT-5000 functional trainer (cable machine)
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a machine that can work the glutes but does a gazillion other things, too.
- Good for glute kickbacks.
- Top-tier build.
- Costlier than most glute machines.
Summary – a good functional trainer is the ultimate glute machine
What makes it so good?
That’s the short answer…
Paired with a bench, a good cable machine can be all you need for a complete glute workout.
It also allows you to use cables and resistance bands and progress to complex body-weight exercises like GHRs.
I know what you’re thinking… ‘This isn’t a dedicated glute machine’, and you’re right. It’s still a machine capable of training your glutes though, and that’s why it’s here.
It’s also capable of lots of other things, and versatility is an asset in home gym equipment.
Here are a few cable exercises for glutes that come to mind:
- Cable step-ups.
- Cable squats (front, pistol and other variations too…if there’s a Smith machine like on the Inspire FT2.
- Deadlifts (cable or Smith machine).
- Squat walk-outs (these fire up the quads and hamstrings, too).
Why the REP FT-5000?
Because it’s better than the functional trainers in its price range and just as good as those that cost 50-100% more.
“Better” primarily refers to structural stability, pulley mechanisms, and finishes.
Paired with a bench for hip thrusts and ankle straps for kickbacks, the REP FT-5000 can be the only machine your glutes will ever need.
|Dimensions (inches)||68 x 36 x 85.5|
|Weight capacity||220 (per side)|
|Load type||Selectorized / weight stacks|
5 – Top value among glute machines for hip thrusts – Lifepro 2-in-1
Who it’s for: Anyone looking to level-up their glute workouts on a budget.
- Dedicated hip-thrust and sissy-squat stations.
- Ideal for working with resistance bands.
- Smaller and lighter than most glute machines.
- Benefits of the squat without the spine compression.
- No place to rack a barbell.
This glute machine is a unique way to blast your butt because it combines the hip thrust with the deceptively simple sissy squat.
Both are awesome in their own right…
Hip thrust – one of two best glute exercises for growth
The hip thrust is one of the two glute exercises with the highest potential for growth (along with the belt squat).
All conditions for hypertrophy are met:
- Overload potential.
- Rise of anabolic hormones release (metabolic response).
The sissy squat – not for sissies
The exercise sounds the opposite of what it is.
The name has nothing to do with being a sissy – it’s named after the Greek King Sisyphus.
That guy was punished by the gods and made to push a massive rock up the hill for all eternity.
So, the sissy squat is for kings, not wimps.
This is the single most humbling exercise I know.
It looks unassuming and simple, but it’s crazy punishing for the quads.
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the sissy squat here; we’re all about the butt today.
With that said, versatility is the name of the game for most home gyms, which is what makes this small, cheap “machine” great.
Another benefit… it’s perfect for Spanish squats too, and they’re a leg day favorite of mine as well.
Why this machine specifically?
Because it ticks all the boxes, it’s versatile beyond hip thrusts and costs less than most standalone units.
The “real” glute machines for hip thrusts are made for commercial use and don’t make sense for 99% of home gyms.
They’re too big and expensive – we’ll list a few in the honorary mentions.
If you want a dedicated station for hip thrusts but don’t want to spend a fortune, get this Lifepro combo machine. The versatility alone makes it a great item in my book.
|Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)||50.59 x 19.68 x 17.72|
|Weight of the unit (lbs)||39|
6 – Best glute machine for squats and leg presses – Ultimate 45 Combo by Force USA
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a versatile machine for leg and glute workouts.
- Great value for money.
- Correct geometry and angles.
- No glute isolation.
- Not great for the shorter or extra-tall folk.
- Can be taxing on the knees.
This is a unique combo machine that allows for the following:
- Leg presses.
- Hack squats.
- Calf raises (which do not interest us today).
- Forward thrusts, aka reverse hack squat.
Number 4. is an overlooked ham and glute-blaster – it activates the glute muscles more than the front hack squat because it allows your hips to go back.
Before you think it…
Yes, squats can absolutely grow, tone, and lift the buttocks.
At least when you go deep enough.
Most “problems” I’ve seen with my clients come in three forms:
- Not liking the squat because it feels unsafe.
- Not having the technique or the strength to perform it correctly.
- Existing back issues.
Enter the hack squat machine.
On the other hand…
The leg press works the whole lower body. In its basic form, it’s quad-dominant.
To switch on the glutes and hams more, place your feet wider and higher on the footplate.
Here’s the crux – few people have the space for standalone squat and leg press machines.
Enter this beastly thing.
Why Ultimate 45 Combo specifically?
Because it does everything well and costs about 20% less than the main competitors.
By “does everything well,” I mean this:
- Goes deep enough on squats to hit the glutes.
- It’s adjustable top-to-bottom.
- Has enough footplate space to tweak the leg presses so they’re glute dominant.
- Safety is well-thought-out.
Granted, I’d like to see a bigger footplate, but that’s not a deal breaker unless you’re super tall….like, over 6.5.
If you are, you won’t be able to target the glutes effectively.
If you want to reap the benefits of squats while sparing the spine (and don’t already own a leg press), this is where your search ends. Check you’ve got the room though – this is a big ol’ bit of kit…
|Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)||91 x 64.5 x 79|
|Maximum weight capacity (lbs)||1,000|
|Gauge of the frame||13 and 11|
|Number of stations||4|
7 – Best glute extension machine (money-no-object pick) – Cybex Eagle NX Glute
Who it’s for: For the rich.
- Perfect biomechanics.
- Convenience of the selectorized weight stack.
- Fully adjustable.
- Premium build (commercial-grade).
Like all Cybex stuff, this glute machine is expensive and damn near perfect for its purpose – the lying kickback.
Sure, you can do kickbacks with bands or cables, but the angles and position aren’t maximizing glute isolation.
- You’re standing, which brings a lot of the movement into the lower back and introduces instability….especially for beginners.
- The resistance is not uniform – the opposing force it’s a straight line going through the cable/band. This means the moment arm changes through the motion.
Simply put, you’ll feel more resistance at some points and very little at others.
A lying kickback machine solves both problems:
- It stabilizes your trunk, allowing for a more intense focus on the glutes and, to a lesser degree, the hamstrings.
- It makes the resistance uniform because the lever arm doesn’t change. It’s always the tangent of the curved lift path.
I don’t think a glute extension machine like this makes enough of a difference to be a reasonable purchase for most home gym owners. Cable and band kickbacks will do just fine.
With that said, if you have the extra space and money, go for it.
In all honesty though, unless you’ve got a home gym budget similar to the Rock’s, I think you might be best skipping past this.
It’s an excellent machine, but it’s pricey, big, and only serves a single purpose.
|Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)||70 x 40 x 56|
|Weight of the stack (lbs)||305|
|Weight of the machine (lbs)||637|
Honorary mention – a budget glute machine alternative, the Step-Up Platform by Step Store
Yeah, I know a step-up platform is not a “machine” per se.
Step-ups also occupy the top 4 spots in glute activation exercises. They’re an absolute go-to for me in my alternatives to lunges leg training article for this reason.
The step-up tells a story of how glutes activate and work.
So I’ll take a minute here to analyze its role in a well-rounded glute (workout).
Who it’s for: Anyone looking to shape their butt. Anyone.
- Highest glute activation.
- Controlled progress.
- Minimal space needed.
- Low potential for safe overload.
- Taxing on the knees, especially when performed incorrectly.
In a 2020 review study, 4 variations of the step-up (classic, lateral, diagonal, and crossover) blew away movements like squats and lunges.
And it’s not even close…
The average MVIC* of ALL step-up variations is well over 100%, with the classic step-up topping the list at almost 170%.
*MVIC is short for Maximum Voluntary Isometric contraction. It’s a way of measuring how tight you can contract the glutes without moving.
|Step-up variation||Average (% of MVIC)|
|Classic||169.22 ± 101.47|
|Lateral||114.25 ± 54.74|
|Diagonal||113.21 ± 43.54|
|Crossover||104.19 ± 33.63|
The numbers tell a story
It’s a story of the importance of proper form.
Let’s take the classic step-up as an example (first row in the table above).
The second number in the results column tells you the difference between participants.
It means that some of them had an MVIC of over 270%, while others had 70%.
That’s an unusually large margin.
Of course, many factors are at play here, but that massive difference indicates form problems, too.
“But it’s such a simple exercise…”
It is and it isn’t.
It does look unassuming, but simple it is not.
It gets easier once you nail the basics.
Going into detail is beyond the scope of this guide, but these are the four basic principles of proper form:
- Pushing with purpose through the lead foot (the one going up first).
- Not pushing through the “back” leg.
- Keeping the back straight and the abs tight.
- Keeping the hip, knee, and ankle aligned (imagine a straight line going through them and maintain it).
What it is not…
The high glute activation stems from the stabilizing work your butt has to do in order to safely propel you up.
That does not directly translate to muscle growth – you need overload for that.
And overloading on step-ups would mean adding significant weight.
Simply put – there are better (read: safer) ways to grow the butt without taxing the knee or the lumbar spine.
Why the Step Store platform specifically?
Because it’s cheap, light, adjustable, and still has a 275 lbs weight capacity.
With other things equal, it’s my experience that niche-dedicated brands are the way to go.
It’s like buying your bread in a bakery vs. a supermarket.
The Step Store is the bakery in that analogy (duh!).
They only make step-up platforms, and they make them in the US.
Whether you end up buying a fancier glute machine or not, you should absolutely own (and use) a step-up platform.
This adjustable unit from the Step Store hits the optimal balance between functionality, durability, and price.
|Dimensions of the top (inches)||43×16|
|Maximum height (inches)||10|
|Number of height levels||7|
|Max user weight (lbs)||350|
Buyer’s guide to choosing a glute machine
Below is one glute-machine guide to rule them all.
I have three goals with it:
- Provide insight into our decision process – so that you know none of the machine picks are random (you see a lot of that in our space).
- Provide guidance on what to look for in a glute machine if none of our picks work for you.
- Provide tidbits of data and information that go beyond choosing the best glute machine and spill over to glute training.
It sounds complicated, but it’s a 5-minute read (if you read really, really fast).
In all seriousness…
If I do my job well here, you’ll be among the 1% of people who know most about glute machines.
You’ll know the hows and the whats…most importantly, the WHYs.
Before we get to the actual factors
If you do one thing before buying a glute machine, do this – make sure you understand how the gluteal muscles move, what they do, and how they grow.
It will change the way you look at the piles of steel we call machines.
Because that’s what they are if you don’t know what you’re doing – big piles of steel.
OK, enough jabber; let’s get to it…
How glutes work and how that translates to machines
The glute is actually 3 muscles – below is an overview of their roles, with examples for clarity.
1. Gluteus Maximus – extends, externally rotates, and abducts the hip. It also tilts the pelvis and is the primary “butt grower.”
- Extension is any move that increases the angle between the pelvis and thigh.
It’s a foundational move, and the examples are too many to list – from glute bridges and step-ups to walking and kicking.
- External hip rotation is the thigh and knee moving away from your body – think side leg raises.
- One of the primary hip abductors – moving the leg away from your midway – think getting out of a car.
- Pelvic* tilt – changing the angle between your midline and the pelvis – think hip thrusts.
*Hip and pelvis are not the same thing. I mention it because I hear the question all the time. The hip is a joint – the ball and socket between your leg and upper body (with the hip bone being the socket).
Pelvis is a name for the whole structure that connects your upper and lower body. The hip bone is a part of it.
What glute machine works the Maximus: all of them.
2. Gluteus Medius – plays a role in lateral hip rotation and is the primary mover in hip abduction.
It’s dwarfed by the Maximus but can absolutely grow.
What machine targets the Medius: hack squat and step-up platform (pelvic drop, lateral and forward step-up).
3. Gluteus Minimus – stabilizes the hip and helps with abduction.
Not much growth is happening with the Minimus. Still, it plays a major supporting role in growing the Maximus and strengthening the posterior chain.
It’s much easier to recruit the back and middle part of the Minimus than the front.
It goes without saying that no move uses only one part of the glute – they work in unison and activate more/less depending on the angles and resistance.
These are simplistic explanations, and that’s intentional.
You do need to understand the basics to choose a machine that matches your goals, but you don’t need a medical degree.
With the nerdy stuff out of the way, let’s get to the “meat” – the tangible factors.
6 primary factors to look for in a good glute machine
1 – Type of glute machine – dedicated vs. others
Here’s the difference between the two types:
- A dedicated glute machine is made with the purpose of working the glutes – something like the Eagle NX Glute of the Booty Builder…even a GHD loosely fits the category.
- Other – a machine that can work the glutes, but it does other stuff, too – like a cable machine.
My advice – cover the basics first!
It’s the 80-20 rule.
You might be all set if you own the basics – a step-up platform, a good bench and cable machine, a barbell, and some elastic bands.
This setup will take you 80% of the way to a head-turning butt.
In other words, make sure you’re making the most of what you have before throwing money at the problem.
If glutes are a priority or you’ve taken the existing setup to a plateau, move on to a dedicated machine.
2 – Size of glute machines
The size of the glute machine is actually two factors:
- The actual size of the unit – footprint, and height.
- The space you need to effectively use it.
The former is straightforward, and the latter is intuitive.
So, I’ll keep this brief…kinda…
The actual size of a glute machine ranges from 7 to 40 square feet.
On the lower end, you have the basic units like the Lifepro 2-in-1 and foldable hypers like the Westside Scout.
In the upper ranges are multifunctional behemoths like the Force USA Ultimate 45.
Below is a graph comparing the footprints of the top-rated machines.
The more critical factor is the space you need to comfortably use the machine.
It’s difficult to pack into simple numbers because it’s not just about dimensions.
It’s about the orientation of the free space in your gym.
I call that air space
For example, you’ll need at least 4-5 feet of air space on the pendulum side of the Rogue RH-2.
The simplest and best advice I can give you here is this three-step formula:
- Imagine the move.
- Add 2 feet for comfort.
I’ll use the example of the reverse hyper to illustrate.
Imagine using the machine.
You’re “hinged” above the hips, and your legs swing back.
Put your sneakers on, measure the distance between the top of your pelvis to the floor, and add 2 feet.
Bonus tip: If the space is cutting it close, imagine the path of your feet and ensure nothing “protrudes” in.
Doing the math this way accounts for the frames and parts that take up floor space but don’t get in the way.
Simply put – adopt an engineering approach.
The good news is that 80% of people won’t need to get into this – it’s usually obvious whether there’s space for the extra machine.
3 – How the machine matches your glute goals – size, strength, tone, and definition
I’m not a fan of talking about “definition” unless you’re a professional pursuing a specific aesthetic.
Size and strength go hand in hand.
Tone describes the tension of a relaxed muscle. You can have toned glute muscles and see little-to-no growth.
Let’s unpack that…
If your goal is mass and strength, you’ll need a machine that allows for progressive overload.
That damages the glute fibers, and your body fills in the cracks (no pun intended).
If I had to choose the best glute machine for growth, I’d be torn between three machines:
- Belt squat.
- Reverse hack squat
- Any machine that allows for weighted hip thrusts.
The belt squat tops that list by a narrow margin.
Note: Bulgarian hip squats should also be front and center if your goal is growth, but you don’t need a machine to do them.
4 – Overall build of a glute machine
There’s little sense in comparing the build of glute machines across types – it’s an apples-to-orange comparison, and I won’t do it.
Instead, I’ll mention a few basics to look out for.
Stability comes down to 4 things:
- Gauge of the steel.
- Cross section of the frame.
- Geometry of the machine.
- Joints and welds.
Gauge of the glute machine’s frame
This describes the thickness of the frame tubing.
With other things equal, a lower gauge translates to better stability.
Cross section of the frame – the dimensions of the tubing
This ranges from 4 to 9 square inches. The higher the number, the more rugged the machine will feel.
It’s especially important for the uprights because it minimizes wobble.
Geometry of glute machines
There are two sides to the geometry card:
- Biomechanical accuracy.
Biomechanical accuracy describes how natural the movement feels.
Stability-related geometry can mean many things.
In my experience, the most important factor is the footprint shape.
For the same footprint, you want:
- Greater contact with the floor.
- More angled (perpendicular or close) sections.
I’ll explain that using the image below.
The Rogue Abram (left) has 2 pairs of floor tubes – 4 in total. The Westside Scout (right) has none.
Which of these do you think will be more stable?
5 – Padding of a glute machine
You want the padding to meet 3 criteria:
- The filling is high-density foam – you’ll see less breakage (i.e., it will remain unchanged longer than a sponge).
- The vinyl or leather doesn’t feel “plasticky.”
- The padding is generous enough to prevent contact with the metal parts (when needed), but doesn’t get in the way.
6 – Price of a glute machine
A good glute machine will set you back anywhere from $100 to over $5K.
Again, we’re talking about different machines here.
Still, for reference, below is a graph comparing the prices of our top picks.
Methodology – how we assess and rate glute machines
I’ll take a moment here to give you a rundown of what we did to choose the machines we’re recommending.
I’m doing it with two goals:
- Present the expertise, data, testing, and first-hand experiences that exist on the back end of the recommendations.
- Earn your trust and make your experience more than a one-off visit – maybe get you to bookmark this page or join our Facebook community of savvy home gym owners.
Putting this guide together wasn’t easy…because we’re not talking about one machine type.
It’s like asking me to create a list of the best movies.
Best movies for what? Best for whom?
So it took some back and forth to craft a guide that actually makes sense.
Here’s what we did:
1. We looked at our previous guides on the individual machines and chose the relevant ones.
Some of these are glute machines in the strictest sense of the word. Others are simply worth mentioning in the context (like a Glute-ham developer and a cable machine).
2. We merged the existing databases on different types of glute machines into one massive data pool.
That’s a total of over 340 machines for glutes analyzed:
- 100+ cable machines
- 63 functional trainers
- 40 glute-ham developers
- 27 hack squat machines
- 40+ leg presses
- 50+ Roman chairs
- 19 reverse hypers
3. We created a database of studies on glute activation with different exercises.
4. We consulted experts on glute development.
The goal of this was to learn from personal experiences and interpret the studies.
The interpretation was especially tricky because most of the data deals with how glutes work. Our job was to draw parallels to glute machines.
5. We made a long-list of glute machines that are worth it.
6. We filtered the long-list through multiple iterations and chose the machine to recommend.
The goal of this was to make the list comprehensive and versatile but not overwhelming.
In other words – actually help without confusing you.
FAQs about glute machines
Are glute machines effective?
Yes, glute machines are effective because they can target the gluteus in unique ways, which is the case with the Rogue Abram GHD machine.
They’re also a great way to reduce the injury risks of free weights.
In terms of glute growth, machines are just as effective as free weights – as shown in this 2020 comparative study.
The final point is that they make glute training simple, without the need for a complex technique to learn or master.
What machine is best for the glutes?
The best machine for glutes is a GHD and reverse hyper combo like the Reverse Hammer 2.0.
It combines two effective glute exercises into one machine.
The movements are complex, have a learning curve, and are hard to replicate without a machine – especially the glute-ham-raise, as indicated in this study.
Other glute machines – close-but-no-cigar
Below is a list of machines that did not make it to the top picks.
It includes some awesome units.
Despite the awesomeness, covering all of them as “best” would be confusing and overwhelming. It’s a matter of priorities and simplicity.
Still, all these deserve a mention:
- Smith machine – useful for hip bridges, thrusts, and split squats. Most of what it does is covered by other machines on the list. Check out our best smith machine article to learn more about these.
- Glute abduction machines (seated and standing) – good for the Gluteus Medius and the upper part of the Maximus, but not worth it for 95% of home gyms – both money and space-wise. You can easily replicate the movement with resistance bands or cables.
- Lying reverse leg curl machine – hamstring-dominant move and an expensive machine that does one thing. You can replicate it with a cable and an ankle strap.
- Roman chairs – don’t hit the gluteal muscles and hams as intensely as a GHD (check out our best roman chair in-depth guide if you’re keen on getting one).
- The Glute Builder – a dedicated unit that’s actually a bit of everything. More hype than substance, if you ask me.
- Glute drive machine – a great alternative to classic hip thrusts with a high overload potential. Too expensive for most home gyms.
- Rogue RH-2 reverse hyper – a great reverse hyperextension machine. In the context of this guide, the Reverse Hammer by BOS is the better use of space and money.
- Booty Builder – popular for good reasons; it’s basically a glorified hip thrust machine. Great for commercial spaces, not so much for homes.
- Rogue Floor Glute – a great alternative to a full-sized GHD. Doesn’t really deserve a separate spot because it’s not unique enough. To be specific – it’s too heavy, and moving it around will get old fast…and if you’re not moving it, you might as well get the Echo or the Abram.
Best glute machines – resume and key takeaways
This was one of the most complex guides to plan, research and write.
I aimed to take that complexity and mull it over until I made it simple.
And I believe I did it ‘cause some obvious winners emerged.
We have the Bells of Steel’s reverse hyper and GHD combo machine at the very top. It’s a fuse of two unique glute exercises in one robust unit.
Where to from here?
The next step is actually choosing the machine that’s right for you.
Click here to skip back to the Top 7 picks table or bookmark this page and come back later.