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Don't feel anything in glutes when I do squats or lunges

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I have been doing squats and lunges for a few weeks now, but I'm beginning to worry I'm doing them wrong. All the videos I've seen showing how to do them say I should feel it in my glueteus maximus, but the only place I feel sore or anything is my thighs.

Also, yesterday I added weights for the first time. And, omg! I can barely touch my thighs today they are so sore. Is that normal? Please help!!

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I used to do squats/deadlifts/lunges on a regular basis (I run now so I've given up lower body lifting for a while). Anyway I never felt anything in my glutes either. That's not to say that you are doing them right/wrong, however.

Deadlifts - you pretty much know your form is wrong if you feel pain in your lower back. Otherwise chances are your form is good.

Squats - Watch how far you come down and how much you bring your knees forward.

Lunges - not sure you can really do lunges "incorrectly" per se.

There were times I lifted legs where I'd have some level of discomfort walking for up to 4 days afterward.

Bring your legs closer together (just underneath your hips) and squat down putting your bottom right out as if you're hovering above a chair about to sit down. You can make it harder by lifting one leg off the floor as u come up from the squat and will feel it more the the standing leg. Good luck :)

So my legs shouldn't be shoulder width apart?

'activate' your glutes in your warm-up, before you do anything else leg-related. (google that, 'glute activation' + 'warm up').

you could do glute bridges, or just lie on your belly and squeeze those suckers (in eg a superman). w glute bridges: experiment with where on your feet/foot (for singles) you place your weight to feel your glutes working - heel, midfoot.. you could find yourself emphasizing your hamstring, otherwise.

squatting: put your weight on your heel. 

when doing split squats or lunges, go really deep into the squat (true for all actually). 

rear lunges are good. co-contraction lunge is good.

for all - pay attention. feel what's working - top glutes? mid-glute? quads? shift your weight/adjust to correct. 

even: put your hand on your butt to remind yourself where it is.

Original Post by stoogesfan:

So my legs shouldn't be shoulder width apart?

Your feet should be shoulder width or wider depending on your proportions and bar position.

I keep my feet wider than shoulder width when I do squats. If you want to feel it in your glutes, squat as deep as you can, and squeeze your glutes on the way up.  Also, try stiff-legged deadlifts. 

Original Post by armandounc:

Lunges - not sure you can really do lunges "incorrectly" per se.

Allowing your knees to cave in or out (i.e. not track over your toes) would be incorrect. Leaning your torso forward too much would be as well.

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If I want to target my flutes during squats, I do sumo squats. You should feel it pretty quick.
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Er, that should read "glutes."

I want to target my oboes and clarinets. Wink

Original Post by smashley23:

Also, try stiff-legged deadlifts. 

I don't really like this exercise. I think most people are fine with just a standard deadlift. If you have to do an assistance, I'd recommend the Romanian deadlift over the Stiff-legged deadlift, since it's easier to keep your spine in a good position.



Thanks for the help. The soreness is a lot better today so I'll try the suggestions.
At my gym theres a machine that holds the bar so it you sont have to worry about falling forward and back. Its made it so easy to squat and its good to learn how to squat with a free bar.

is that a smith machine?  Smith machine squats are not good for you.  The movement is unnatural, and it puts undue stress on your knees and lower back. 

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