T Nation

Deadlifting and My Huge Ass


Hi, everyone

I've been lurking here for some time now. I first intended to keep quiet until I had reached a minimal level of hyoooogeness, but I guess it world be stupid of me not to take advantage of your collective experience as Iâ??m learning.

Iâ??ve been training since January â??07. I initially didnâ??t see too much in the way of results, though. I read everything I could find on the topic, and ended up over-analysing everything. I switched programs twice a week (following the Holy Weider Principle of Muscle Confusion) and poured all my energy into all the little fancy details, while missing the most important point: Progression. I really wish I had found this forum a little earlier...

Iâ??ve recently decided to spend the next couple of years trying to get my strenght levels up, with the main focus on the big three. Which finally brings me to my actual question... I do deadlifts mainly to hit my spinal erectors, and for general mass. The problem is that, while I do see progression and growth, almost all of it is in my glutes. My legs have always grown better than my upper body, and my glutes have always grown better than my legs. My ass starts growing if I I go too heavy on my barbell curls. Now, I do appreciate having a firm and perky butt (and the girls seem to like it, too), but if things keep going like they have been lately, Iâ??m going to end up with the upper body of a Labeouf and the ass of a 400 lb gospel-singing black woman.

Is there any variation on the deadlift or change in technique I can use to take some of the stress off my glutes? Or should I just drop the deadlift altogether? What should I then be doing for my erectors?

Iâ??m still new at this, and havenâ??t really gotten the technique down in the first place. It seems my main problem is that I lean forward too much at the start of the lift, so that my ass is too high, and the legs donâ??t get in on the action. Iâ??ve been told itâ??s probably an issue with flexibility in the hip flexors, so Iâ??ve been working on that. I donâ??t know if thatâ??s relevant to my problem...

Any input would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:



Since your focusing on the "big three"...I must ask....Could it not be the Squat that is contributing to your glute mass and not the deadlift?


I would suggest you try rack pulls, which significantly reduce lower limb involvement.

But what is clear is you are confused.. either you are focusing on strength of the big 3 - or you are focusing on your aesthetics. Which is it? As you have learnt, you can't do both.


Sure, the squats aren't innocent. But it's when deadlifting I feel it more in the glutes, and that's when I get the most sore... there. I've found that I can modify the squat a bit to make it hit the quads more; narrow stance, keeping the bar fairly high, not going below parallell etc. So I was wondering if there's any modifications like that for the deadlift.


Look at Thibs Dissecting the Deadlift article.


Deadlifts for general mass?

Why would you be focusing ONLY "on the big 3" if your goal is bodybuilding? you use a movement focus only twice:
1. as a complete beginner/novice trying to add an initial foundation of size while developing useful motor skills and balance yada yada, and if you are in that category you may want to wait a while before you post on this forum.
2. AFTER you have identified your key movements and training those movements for progression --- on specific days when you train specific body parts.

Assuming you arent a rank beginner and can bench, squat and dead correctly, AND that you have some mind muscle conenction built in through a few years of training -

  1. if your quads dont match your glutes, train your quads directly with the leg press and also play with your stance on squats. Try hack squats. Ive personally found that those who lean forward significantly while squatting get that "hip spread" much faster than others. Once you've got that going for you (hip spread, turnip thighs) there's no real turning back other than build enough size all over to cover it up.

  2. If your upper body lags behind your lower body, the obvious solution is to train your upper body harder - but thats not something you can do if you "focus on the big 3" alone. Plenty of presses, pulldowns/chins and rack deads in your future if you want to make a difference.


There are definitely worse things to have, chicks dig a guy with a nice ass.


Lol, picture of over developed legs that grow too fast?


can never have too much glute strength! you play any sports?


if muscle is the more important goal just stop deadlifting until the rest of your body catches up to your ass.. I too gain alot easier in my lower than my upper.. believe me its a blessing... alot of guys gain easier the other way around and thus have to smash their legs hard for anything down there...

I'll tell ya a little secret.. I didnt train my legs all summer. and have never had a more aesthetic physique than I do now... yes theres great benefits like higher test etc.. but I had no problem putting on 15 pounds this year without squats or deads.. and now that the winter is coming ill go back to it


I have a similar problem, my glutes grow ridiculously compared to the rest of my body, which I owe down to squats.


Thanks, everyone :slight_smile:

Yes, I want to be huge AND pretty! Is that too much to ask? :stuck_out_tongue: One of the main things I THOUGHT I have picked up on this site is that size and strength aren't supposed to mutually exclusive. For the record, I don't just do "the big three". I basically train 4 days per week. I train the whole body over the course of the three first days, with more of a bodybuilding mindset (higher volume, relatively high reps and short rest intervals). I'll do variations on bench, squats and deads, but also different presses, rows and isolation work. On the fourth day, I'll do the big ones with lower volume and lower reps, basically trying to move as much weight as possible.

I'm afraid I AM something of a beginner, at least when it comes to benches, squats and deads. I haven't had the access to the right equipment until I joined a gym a couple of months ago. Before that, I mainly trained at home, using free weights and doing different kinds of presses, rows and pullups/chins. I do feel I've mastered those, at least.

So I'm sorry if anyone feels like I stepped out of line posting here. I realise I'm not yet ready to dish out advice left and right, but I didn't think I was too much of a noob to even ASK for advice. Lol. I'll try the beginner section for a while....

Rasturai, I don't play any sports. Aside from lifting, the only function my glutes serve is attracting the females. But then that's kind of a sport, isn't it? :wink:

So I guess I'l try the duck-feet variations in Thibs' article (which seemed to be the only one that put less stress on the glutes), rack pulls, training my quads more directly and my upper body even harder. I do feel a little bit like a pussy having to give up on the conventional deadlift. But then again, if Prof X don't do them, they can't be that essential... :slight_smile:

Thanks again for all your input :slight_smile:



OP could it possibly be Anterior Pelvic Tilt.


Don't rule out on dropping deads from your program. There is no rule that must must deadlift/squat. I have a similar issue but if your doing back squats they are probably going to be the culprit. Do less exercises that involve the glutes as much.

There are lots of variations to deadlifting, and you can also do good mornings but I have no idea how you would not know this if you've been training since 07


@ hardgnr: Yes, I am considering dropping them altogether. I have of course been aware of the usual variations on the deadlift, but until I read about the "duck-feet"-variations in the aforementioned Thibs article, pretty much all of them have been as described as "excellent for activating the glutes", which obviously is the opposite of what I was looking for. I could try good mornings for my lower back, but aren't they pretty hard on the glutes as well? That has sort of been the problem; everything that hits the lower back seems to hit the glutes even harder. I take it you don't do to much deads/squats, then? It doesn't look like that has been hurting you. What have you replaced them with?

Part of the reason why I've started doing deads (and squats) is because of the systemic effects (like hormone production). That's basically what I had in mind when I said I do them for "overall mass". And it seemed like everyone and their mother felt they were essential if you want to get big. I guess not...

@ ucallthatbass: I haven't thought of the pelvic tilt before, but that sounds reasonable. Will check it out. Thank you :slight_smile:


I don't feel deadlifts a whole lot in my glutes but I don't do them too much because they tend to strain my body alot, as in it hinders progress on every other exercise for the week. It is a compound movement, and your glutes are always going to be involved in any decent lower body exercise so attempting to remove them from the equation is not going to happen. I have not done good mornings personally to have much experience, but from testing they should be primarily be hitting your l.back and hamstrings and glutes secondly.

I actually found lunges to be hitting my ass pretty hard too, so i dropped them also. All I do for legs is front squats for quads and SLDL for hamstrings. Sure, my ass still gets involved in both exercises but no way near as much as before.

For the record, I do deadlift maybe once/twice a month because it is my favorite exercise, and it still progresses pretty decently.

And yes, anterior pelvic tilt will exaggerate the appearance of a big ass also.


good post hardgnr..im with you on many things here..i dont feel deads in my glutes either, lunges hit my glutes hard, and sldl's defianetly make my hamstrings sore the next day, and lower back.

I would say OP, train the upperbody obviosuly so it can come up to standards...train legs perhaps once a week n hit them hard. Like hardgnr said..front squats, sldl's, leg extensions...all will work n make your legs big still
never used a leg press, but maybe those will help as well with not using the glutes as much?

p.s - sweet avatar hardgnr who is that chick lol


Yes a more upright torso stimulates the quads more. That's why the front squat is better for quads. Also, if you use the dreaded smith machine, you can push your legs further forward to keep the torso more upright, but if you push them out too far you'll feel it in your quads and glutes again. You have to play around with foot position to find the sweet spot where the emphasis changes.


Agreed. I really only feel it in lower back muscles for deadlifts. Back squats and box squats are the only time glutes are feeling it