After my last glute post, I got several messages from you, asking if it was normal for one glute to be larger than the other? And the answer is YES! Just as you can be quad dominant and they can take over movements hindering your glute progress, the same thing can happen in your glutes. It is very possible to have a dominant glute, meaning one glute is stronger than the other side, allowing it to take over during movements & therefore grow MORE on one side than the other.
Here is what I suggest, break your leg movements down into single leg movements, this way both sides are getting the same amount of stress applied to the muscles. You may notice when you do this, you are much stronger or have better mind muscle connection on one side, that will be the dominant side. You also could notice, that you have better range of motion on one side vs. the other, that could actually be telling of a structural issue (you may want to follow up with a chiropractor).
Here are 3 leg isolating movements that are great for glutes, I would add these in 1-2 times a week and track your progress. Remember this didn’t happen overnight, so give it some time to balance out. Also pay attention to any lifestyle factors, that may be contributing to the imbalance. Perhaps you sit a certain way or there is a particular movement you do throughout the day that keeps you stimulating one side of the muscle over the other. For example, growing up my Father drove A LOT and one day he noticed the leg he drove with was getting slightly more developed than the other leg that just went along for the “ride”. I know that sounds crazy but think about it all day long every day, you are using one leg and not the other, over time that will make a difference! My point being, pay attention to your lifestyle factors because they can contribute more than we give them credit for!
Here are the movements:
1. Single-Leg Deadlifts
You can hold onto a bench to balance yourself as these can be challenging, especially just from a balance standpoint. You won’t want to go too heavy on these as the point is to really get the stretch. Keeping your back and neck straight, slowly lower the dumbbell keeping it close to the leg as far as you can go without losing your form. On the way up, think about squeezing up with your glute, repeat 10 times for each leg for 4 sets.
2. Single-Leg Hip-Thrust
Place your shoulder blades against the bench allow your arms to reach out to either side. Your feet should be positioned so they are bent at 90 degrees, slightly raise one leg up, this will be the non-working leg. Lower your glutes toward the ground, until they slightly touch the ground and then squeeze up. Repeat 10 times on each leg for 4 sets.
3. Donkey Kicks
While on all fours make sure your hands are directly underneath your shoulders, and your knees are directly under your hips. Raise one leg toward the ceiling, think about actually squeezing it up to the ceiling using just your glute. Slowly return it to the starting position and repeat 10 times each leg for 4 sets.
During all of these movements REALLY focus on squeezing the glutes, especially on your non-dominant glute, it may take some time to really engage the muscle. So be patient and remember these exercises are not about lifting heavy, they are all about engaging the glutes and getting them to grow equally! Don’t forget to track your progress with photos, if you don’t know how, don’t worry I will cover that next week!