Ready to put in some work on your glutes? Cable kickbacks are a killer way to develop a stronger and more toned backside. Here’s a breakdown of the best ankle straps to get that bootie popping.
Ankle straps are one of my favorite tools for developing stronger glutes and improving lower body stability.
Hook them up to your local cable machine (or set of resistance bands), and pop that bootie.
Ankle straps are also great as they:
? Can be easily stored in your gym bag. Ankle straps are light, take up almost no room, and can be transported easily.
? Low-cost. Ankle straps are a cheap piece of fitness equipment that are also highly durable. The right ankle strap will last years and most cost in the $10-15 range.
? Versatile. They aren’t just for glute kickbacks—they can be used to strengthen adductors, improve athletic performance, core strength, knee and hip stability and so on.
Buuuuutt ankle straps are not all made the same.
When it comes to finding the right ankle straps for you and your workouts, there are some things to think about…
Fabric, strap length, D-ring positioning, where the strap sits on your foot/ankle, price and more.
Take advantage of my 30+ years of training in the gym and coaching clients and get the full low-down in this ultimate guide to the best ankle straps.
Read on, find the right ankle strap for you and your training, and make that bootie pop.
DMOOSE Fitness Ankle Straps for Cable Machines
⭐⭐⭐ Best overall ankle straps
One of the issues that consistently come up with ankle straps is the chafing and rubbing that happens on the ankle.
DMoose Fitness’ ankle straps reduce the chafe with a soft neoprene cuff that is easy on the skin and breathable at the same time.
DMoose makes high-quality gear, some of which I have already reviewed here, including their knee wraps and wrist wraps.
Available in eight different color combinations, and around $10 a pair (check Amazon for current availability and pricing), these ankle straps will have you kicking your butt and building those glutes in comfort.
IPR Fitness Flute Kickback PRO
⭐ Best ankle straps strictly for kickbacks
If you are looking for ankle straps that are going to be used *only* for kickbacks, the IPR Fitness Kickback PRO is your ankle strap of choice.
The design of the strap, which could be more realistically considered a foot strap, is very smart.
It wraps around your shoe and closes with a thick Velcro strap that makes it easy to get in and out of while still locking in when fully secured. I really like how wide the strap on the heel is as well, as it evenly distributes resistance across the heel.
Gymgoers who fear the chafing that can happen with ankle straps will appreciate the foot-based fastening position, as the strap never makes contact with your skin, leaving you free to pound away on kickbacks without that pesky rubbing.
IPR Fitness sells these in five different colors, offer men’s or women’s sizing, and pricing varies by availability, size and the color you end up choosing (click here to see what Amazon has in stock right now).
Iron Bull Strength Padded Ankle Strap
Iron Bull Strength is one of my favorite all-time fitness equipment makers.
I swear by their hip thrust barbell pad, battling ropes, and use their elbow compression sleeves on heavy upper body lifting days.
Iron Bull’s ankle straps are made of leather and have two sturdy D-rings to snap onto your local neighborhood cable machine. A thick Velcro strap gives a proper and secure fit, and the shearling interior helps cut down on chafing and unnecessary rubbing.
In terms of pricing, they are middle of the pack, slightly more expensive than the DMoose straps but cheaper than the IPR Fitness Kickbacks at around $15 (click here for today’s pricing on Amazon).
Vishusju Fitness Leg and Ankle Cuffs
So far, all of the ankle straps we have looked at are made specifically to be wrapped around the ankle.
The Vishusju Fitness cuffs are a little more versatile.
- See also: 5 Best Home Gym Cable Pulley Systems
They can be strapped around the ankle and also the legs, with an adjustable length of up to 28 inches. This means that the cuffs can be used instead of resistance bands for many popular glute exercises like crab walks.
Each cuff (they come in a pair) has two D-rings and a Velcro clasp to give you plenty of options for fit and resistance. The cuffs (which some reviewers use for more, ahem, adult purposes) are made of soft neoprene, which cut down on painful rubbing and chafing.
Vishusju Fitness sells these for around $14 (click here for current pricing and availability at Amazon).
FIGHTECH PRO Series Ankle Straps for Cable Machines
⭐Best ankle straps for versatility and secure fit
FIGHTECH Pro Series straps have everything you expect from a typical ankle strap.
Soft, comfortable inner lining that takes it easy on your skin. The D-rings are rated for up to 220lbs of weight. And the straps are durable.
What sets them apart (besides the price, which I will get into in a moment), is the added foot strap that wraps under your shoe and three different attachment points.
The added D-rings give you more choice and flexibility for targeting medial, lateral and anterior muscles while the foot strap provides a superior and snug fit.
FIGHTECH’s straps are pricier, costing around $24 (check here for today’s pricing on Amazon), but reviewers consistently rave about the secure fit and comfort of these ankle straps.
Benefits of Training with Ankle Straps for Cable Machines
Ankle straps or cuffs are a Swiss Army knife for training your lower body.
They are low in overall load and stress on your body (compared to lifting heavy weights) and you can achieve a lot of the same muscular and strength gains in your posterior chain and core.
Some of the reasons I love training with ankle straps include:
? Low stress.
For gymgoers and athletes who want to strengthen their lower body but don’t want to use barbells or heavy weights, ankle straps and a cable machine provide an alternative that is safer and generates less stress on the body.
Exercising with ankle straps on a cable machine is an excellent way to target the leg muscles without stressing your lower back, for example.
Whether you are training around an injury or a total beginner in the gym, ankle straps are a fantastic alternative to the big lifts.
? Very versatile.
For as simple as an ankle strap is—strap it around your ankle, add resistance, and off you go—it’s extremely versatile.
The number of exercises you can do with ankle straps is only limited by your imagination.
Kickbacks are the big one, obviously, but whether you want to work your hip abductors, core, do leg extensions, or target your glutes, there is an exercise with ankle straps that matches your goals in the gym.
? Comfortable to use.
Ankle straps—when fastened properly, obviously—are snug on the body and comfortable.
Most quality ankle straps have a soft, wool-like inner layer that eliminates chafing and rubbing on the skin.
This way, you can spend more time exercising and less time in ouchie mode.
? Promotes better posture.
One of the underrated benefits of training with ankle straps is that they force you to maintain better posture when exercising.
Compared to seated exercises, where our core and back go soft as overcooked spaghetti, cable machine exercises require an engaged core and an aligned back and hips.
In this way, using ankle straps on a cable machine is highly functional training. Not only are you training your glutes, but you’re also encouraging better posture and working your core.
All of the wins!
? Unilateral training.
We all have a dominant side on our body. The difference in musculature and strength isn’t always super obvious, but unilateral training can shine a light on the imbalances in our body.
As opposed to some exercises, like using a leg press machine or doing squats, where our dominant side can make up for the weak side, ankle straps force us to work one side at a time, getting a more honest and balanced workout.
Starting each set of exercises on your weaker side is a quick way to get “easy wins” in the gym as there is more ground to make up.
Unilateral training is also a much more functional way to train, especially for athletes and weekend warriors who want to improve athletic performance on the field or court.
The Final Rep
Now that you’ve read my breakdown of the best ankle straps for cable machines, and you have a grasp of how effective of a tool they can be for chasing down your workouts goals, you’ve got the information necessary to make the right decision.
Choose the best straps for you and get to work.
? The DMoose ankle straps are the best value option.
? The IPR Fitness Kickbacks are the best if you are only doing kickbacks.
? And the FIGHTTECH ankle straps are perfect for heavy-duty users who want added versatility and strap security.
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