Achieving Glute Growth Without Expanding Quadriceps

When it comes to sculpting a well-rounded lower body, many individuals desire to develop strong and prominent glutes. However, some people may worry that focusing on glute growth will automatically result in increased quadriceps size, which may not align with their personal aesthetic goals or athletic pursuits. To address this concern, this article will provide you with effective strategies to target glute development without significantly expanding your quadriceps.

Mindful Exercise Selection

Choosing exercises that primarily target the glute muscles while minimizing quadriceps engagement is crucial. Incorporate hip-dominant movements into your routine, such as:

Hip Thrusts: This exercise specifically targets the gluteus maximus while minimizing quadriceps involvement.

– Romanian Deadlifts or Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: Focus on keeping tension in the glutes and hamstrings, emphasizing the hip hinge movement rather than knee flexion.

– Glute Bridges: Similar to hip thrusts, this exercise effectively activates the glutes without excessive quad engagement.

Back Extensions with Glutes Focus: These work best as an accessory exercise to your main exercises. For example primary focus in one workout might be glute bridges and stiff-legged deadlifts with back extensions being used more towards the middle or back-end of your workouts generally in a higher repetition range.

Machine Hip Abductions: Another accessory exercise. These form part of a well-rounded plan to build your glutes as they emphasize more the “upper” glutes by targeting the gluteus medius.

Increased Glute Activation

To prioritize glute activation during workouts, it’s important to perform proprioceptive exercises before targeting the glutes directly. This preparatory action helps to build a more localized awareness of your glute muscles. Try incorporating exercises like:

– Clamshells: This exercise stimulates the gluteus medius, an important muscle for glute development, without directly engaging the quadriceps.

– Fire Hydrants: Another effective exercise to engage the gluteus medius without placing excessive stress on the quadriceps.

Variation in Resistance Training

To continue stimulating glute growth while minimizing quadriceps development, vary your resistance training techniques:

– Focus on Eccentric Movements: Slowing down the eccentric (lowering) phase of exercises, such as hip thrusts or Romanian deadlifts, emphasizes glute activation and reduces quadriceps involvement.

– Incorporate Unilateral Movements: Unilateral exercises, such as single-legged glute bridges or lunges, allow for greater focus on each glute individually, minimizing overall quadriceps engagement.

Mindful Order of Exercises

Here is a full workout that explains more, covers exercise selection, and how you should format your workouts with this exact goal in mind. Featuring one of out Team EPT Athletes and Bikini Competitor, Donna:

Proper Nutrition

To achieve targeted glute growth without significant quadriceps development, nutrition plays a crucial role. Ensure you are in a slight caloric surplus to support muscle growth, but monitor your macronutrient intake. Prioritize protein intake to support muscle repair and growth while consuming an adequate balance of carbohydrates and fats.


Achieving glute growth without expanding your quadriceps is entirely possible with the right approach and exercise selection. By emphasizing hip-dominant movements, increasing glute activation, varying your resistance training techniques, incorporating resistance bands, and maintaining proper nutrition, you can sculpt strong and prominent glutes without unwanted quad growth. Remember, patience and consistency are key for long-term results. Stay focused on your goals and tailor your training to suit your desired physique.

For the exact game-plan and implementation learn more about our Online Coaching program HERE!

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