Question in regards to glute development.
I have been squatting for the last 4 years. Naturally my glutes are more developed in regards to the rest of my body but it has got to a point now where my physique looks out of proportion. My glutes are way bigger than quads / hammys and I throughly dislike it.
I believe this is due to my glutes overpowering any other muscle activation during the squat therefore taking most of the load.
It’s got to the point where I have stopped squatting altogether and have noticed small improvements in the proportions.
Does anyone else have issues like this? Any recommendations?
My plan is at the moment to stop squatting (yes - not utilising the most efficient leg builder I am aware) and focus on building up the quads and hammys through heavy leg presses and other standard accessory’s.
Could I potentially just focus on front squats instead or will I again get too much glute activation?
Are you doing Romanian Deadlifts, Hamstring curls and Quad Extensions? I would never willingly let an ‘overdeveloped’ muscle get smaller just for better proportions - it sounds like you just need to focus on more isolation type movements.
Don’t stop squatting, just make sure you get your isolation movements in.
Additionally, you can also change how you squat:
- Narrower stance
- Upright torso
- High bar
- ROM that takes your knees through some forward displacement
I find pausing in the bottom and holding just short of full lockout on the top helps me get my quads sore as well.
Getting a hamstring pump via some leg curls seems to help this style hurt my knees less.
You can also pre-exhaust with leg extensions.
All that said, you certainly don’t have to squat. I just like doing it and I think it can certainly be a powerful quad developer.
Edit: didn’t even see the end question about front squats, which is basically accomplishing what I suggested above. Front squats are great. A lot of times your upper back may give out before your legs, but I think people overblow idea that somehow that means your legs got nothing out of it.
Yes I have always done plenty of accessory work.
I own a seated leg curl and leg extension so they cop it.
Romanians are something I’m trying to start incorporating more of also.
I knew someone would say to not stop squatting, this is what I was afraid of haha. Front squats instead though?
I have experimented with many different variations like you’ve said - with no change really. I still feel like the quads aren’t doing a whole lot and the glutes just take over.
I will try your pre exhausting methods and see what I can do. Front squats may be the move.
Sure, if you want. They tend to target quads a bit more as you are forced to remain more upright than back squats. Could also try Zerchers but those are pretty far down the list on squat variations IMO (YMMV).
Hamstrings are a weird muscle. You need to work them from the “bottom” and “top” as they perform two functions…
- Raising the calf up from straight leg
- Assisting in straightening your upper body from being bent over
So make sure you hit them from both sides for full development (not really necessary for strength, but pretty mandatory for physique/aesthetics).
Do you have any form of progressive overload in your isolation movements? Do you beat the logbook?
I have some ideas, but I should start with some questions:
How much are you squating for 10 reps?
How wide is your stance?
Are your legs (thighs) long compared to your torso?
Does your squat look similar to a good morning?
-265 for 10
-I started off squatting narrow stance which always felt awkward, then I adjusted to a little wider than shoulder width and the movement felt a lot better
-I believe I have a very similar frame to yourself. Short torso with long legs. (6ft tall)
-I would say no… it doesn’t really look like a good morning?
Any help appreciated thanks Terry.
IMO, don’t stop squatting, but get much stronger. A little wider than shoulder width would be best. Don’t worry about your glutes growing. As the weight gets heavier the thighs will get stronger and bigger too.
You can do narrow leg presses after squats with your feet rather low on the plate. This can get rough on the patella tendon. So keep that in mind. You don’t need any patella tendon pain.
I liked doing leg press high and wide on the plate and the seat back in the highest position. Allow your thighs to go outside your torso to your shoulders. Here your hamstrings will be activated. The initial push is primarily glutes and hams.
Do leg extensions and leg curls.
Your primary focus is to get strong enough to squat as much weight as possible. 5 sets of 5 reps, then 3 sets of 10 reps, consider Wendler 5-3-1 when you stall with the others.
If you not use knee wraps for support that would help IMO. I used knee sleeves whenever I did legs to keep my knees warm.
Do you play hockey by chance
Okay. I will start squatting tomorrow. Not what I had planned but I’m going to believe in what you’ve said.
Do you still recommend doing leg curls lying down with a dumbbell? I believe you’ve said this once before?
Thanks for the advice - I will implement what you have said. I have already started barbell rowing with a wider stance and have found it very beneficial.
Thanks for the info. Great insight.
If I’m being 100% honest - with accessory work sometimes I can get lazy with progression overload.
I always try and train to failure and I feel for the most part I am consistently increasing the weight but I could be a lot sharper.
I like those a lot. You can also include machine leg curls, as they have good resistance in the contracted position.
How much weight can you do 6 to 8 reps with the dumbbell? Can you feel the difference between the dumbbell and the machine, because you must squeeze your feet together to hold the dumbbell?
Huge difference between the 2 variations yes.
Did them this morning for the first time because of your recommendation. Did 3 x 8 with a 20kg DB. Felt great and will definitely be continuing to do them as well as seated machine leg curls.
On these lying dumbbell leg curls I do not recommend going to failure. I would do a building pyramid of three working sets. Example: 3 sets of 8 reps with 20kg, 22.5kg, and 25kg. As you get real strong you will need to warmup to get to the heavy weights.
Of course you need to be working progressively. More weight as you get stronger.
I should add that I rarely trained to failure on thighs. I did do a fair amount of volume. And usually only did them once a week. I was wasted at the end of leg day. I did not train any weights the following day, once I had figured out how to squat efficiently. I was spent and needed recovery.
I know you have commented on this countless of times in the past… personally, how many workouts per week felt right for you?
Just speaking in a general sense… not necessarily prepping for a contest but just your average training week?
It can be hard sometimes getting caught up in the “optimal science” of workouts p/week and over complicating things.
In my 40’s I found 4 days per week workouts best.
Pretty much all my younger years I worked out 6 days per week (this was before I figured out how to squat) Those were pretty much all “push, pull, legs” twice a week.
BTW, I didn’t change my training very much at all for contests. Like on legs I just added walking lunges to try to chisel my glutes. I could begin to see striations, just never fully achieved the look.
I just read through this whole thread, and I find it interesting that nobody has even considered the ‘body dysmorphia’ possibility. We’re all assuming that his glutes are out of proportion without verification. Whereas, on basically every other body part, we expect pictures, and often it turns out the person asking the question is quite proportional and doesn’t realize it. Just a little surprised by this.
A second consideration is posture/hip tilt. I’ve seen a lot of people, men and women, whose hip tilt makes their glutes APPEAR larger/stronger/more pronounced than they actually are. I think this could also be contributing to the impression the OP has that his glutes are overdeveloped.
I have RARELY seen individuals who truly have overdeveloped glutes compared to the rest of their lower body. It almost never happens. I have, however, seen plenty of people who THINK this is the case. So, I’m skeptical to say the least.
Regardless, I think my advice would be the same:
I’ve been squatting for many, many years, and over that time, my overall shape and proportions have indeed changed. Sometimes, I’ve felt like my hamstrings are my stronger point. Sometimes my quads. I think that what happens, over a long period of time, is that your body will likely go through phases of compensation/development. If a particular body part is growing faster than the rest of the muscles in the chain, eventually that stops, and the other muscles will grow to compensate. In other words, even if it is the case, currently, that your glutes are overpowering the movement, they won’t do it forever. Eventually, the rest of your body will catch up, and proportionate development will occur, especially as the weights get heavier and you become more proficient in the movement. Right now, you’re squatting pretty light weights, so it’s hard for me to believe that anything is truly overdeveloped, as compared to where you’d eventually want to be.
just my 2 cents.