Bench Exercises: Side Kickout

The side kickout exercise can be performed on your exercise mat or on an exercise or weight bench. This is an exercise that targets your gluteal region. All three of your gluteal muscles, the maximus, medius and abductor muscles, will receive a good workout with this exercise. Your gluteal abductor muscles lie under your gluteal maximus muscles, and cause the retraction of your legs.

Step 1: Exercise Area Setup

Your exercise bench needs to be in an area that is clear for three to four feet on all four sides of the bench. Making sure that the area around the bench is clear means you can exercise safely and not kick anything over while you’re performing the kickouts.

Step 2: Beginning Position on the Bench

The beginning position for this exercise is kneeling on all fours on the bench, hands grasping the corners of the bench. Your shoulders should be directly above your hands and your knees should be directly beneath your hips.

Step 3: Lift Your Knee off the Bench

Starting with your left leg, lift your knee off the bench straight out to your side, keeping the knee bent. Lift your leg until it’s as close to parallel to the floor as you can get it.

Step 4: Kick Your Foot Out

With your leg parallel to the floor, forcefully kick it out until your leg is straight.

Step 5: Bring Foot Back In

Retract your foot until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle again.

Step 6: Lower Your Leg

Lower your leg until your knee is back on the bench.

Step 7: Repeat on Opposite Side

Repeat the above steps with your right leg.

Perform the Workout

Once you have performed the side kickout with both of your legs and returned both knees to the bench, you have completed a rep. A full workout for someone just beginning this exercise is going to be 10 to 15 sets. Each set will normally consist of 20 to 30 reps and each set should be separated by a break of 30 seconds to a minute.

Getting More Out of Your Workout

There are a few ways to intensify this workout and obtain a greater benefit from it. The first and easiest way is to just add more sets and reps. If you start the kickout routine with 10 sets of 20 reps, you can bump that up to 15 sets of 30 reps. Another great way to add intensity to this exercise is by adding resistance using a resistance or exercise band. This can be done by attaching the band to both of your feet, making sure there is tension in the band when you’re in the beginning position with your feet together. These two methods of intensifying your workout can be combined.

To ensure an injury free workout, you should always warm up and stretch prior to beginning. If you are just embarking on an exercise regimen, you should check with your doctor prior to starting out.

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