When I signed up to my new gym, I was able to get a free consultation with the trainer. One of the things he deterred was that I was quad dominant. When he said that, suddenly things in my life made perfect sense, the heavens opened up and illuminated all things…not exactly, but it did explain some of my experiences at the gym. Whenever doing squats, I always felt it in my quads more than my gluteus. I’ve also always had a small booty and fairly decent sized thighs, proportionately. I’ve been trying to research on how to correct this issue for al my sisters who are looking to have a round bum.
What They Are
Let’s start with definitions, shall we? The quadriceps are the front of the thighs. They mostly work to bend and straighten the knee, something kinda important. The gluten are the muscles that make up the butt. They are the largest muscle group in the lower bod. Their purpose is focused primarily on hip balance and leg rotation. Again, pretty important.
I point to the fact that both muscle groups are important, because when I first started, I thought I needed to do glute isolation exercises only; no quad or compound movements. To be healthy in your body, your training needs to work toward achieving balance between these two vital muscle groups. Therefore, we should be training both, but focusing more on one than the other…balance. More on that in a bit.
So when it comes to figuring out your workouts and training schedule, you need to know if you are quad or glute dominant. Or perhaps you are one of those perfect and wonderful well balanced people. You have been blessed by God, but I kinda hate you. One things to do is to check in and consider your lifting history.
Are you like me with ever growing thighs and a little board booty? Another thing you can do is a squat test. You don’t need to add wight, just do the motion. If you’re driving through the heels, your knees are over your ankles, hips pushed back, and your torso angled, you are probably glute dominant. On the other hand, if you drive through the toes, your knees are over your toes, hips are over your ancles, and your torso is perpendicular to the floor, you’re in my club of quad dominance.
Correcting Quad Dominance
There is nothing inherently wrong with being a little bit stronger in the quads than in the glutes. You should be as close to balanced as possible, and if you lean a little bit toward the quads, that’s ok…unless you’re trying to grow a butt. If you are looking to grow your backside, you have to “correct” quad dominance. These are my top five tips for that correction:
1. Keep your muscles stretched and loose.
If your hamstrings are tight, your quads will try to overcompensate for the lack of mobility. Before doing your workouts, make sure you stretch and foam roll to make sure your leg muscles (all of them) are loose and ready to work.
2. Invite your glutes to the party.
For your warm up, do some glute firing exercises. This will wake them up and let them know they have work to do. I like to do banded squat walks, banded glute bridges, clamshells, banded fire hydrants, and banded donkey kicks. Can you tell I like bands for glutes? One tip, don’t do a band that’s too tight, this is just the warm up.
3. Embrace glute and hamstring dominant compound exercises.
Compound exercises utilize multiple muscle groups. Although you’ll be working both glutes and quads, the glutes should fire more. Examples would be deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and box squats.
4. Reduce quad dominant compound exercises
These exercises include front squats, lunges, and split squats.
5. Do glute isolation exercises
I have fallen in love with several glute isolation exercises. They focus almost elusively on the posterior chain which includes the glutes and hamstrings. The quads are not engaged if done in correct position. My favorites include hip thrusts, squatted hip abductors, and kick backs.
Before I end this post, I want to make a few final points about glute and quad dominance. If you suffer from knee, hip, and/or lower back pain, it could be because you are off balance. When I started training glutes, my knees stopped bothering me so much. Also, because the glutes keep the hips balanced, my running form has improved.
Don’t overwork your glutes, or any other muscle group for that matter. Growth happens at rest, not in the gym. So embrace rest and focus on recovery just as much as you focus on lifting.
It takes time to grow your glutes, so if you’re here because you’re looking for a bubble butt, be patient and consistent. I’m at the beginning of my booty journey, but I’ll keep you updated.
Let me know in the comments if you would like me to share my glute training routine, or any other gym routines. If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting, subscribing, sharing on social media, and making a contribution to my Patreon.