Rehab Trainer- Quad Dominant?

By Ulrik Larsen:

The fitness industry has seemed fixated with the idea of clients being “Quad Dominant” for as long as I have been involved in it – no doubt you have heard this term too? Google it! – so many very vocal and articulate writers decrying Quad Dominance, it is incredible. Have you noticed how so many USA writers focus solely heavily on the hip-hinge movement, and demonise any forward movement of the knees over the toes?

“Quad dominance” is loosely used to describe a client that has Quads that are overly well developed, who excessively takes their knees forward over their toes during squats and doesn’t use their Hips sufficiently . People are loosely categorised as Quad or Hip Dominant, and everyone seems to be saying you need to be Hip Dominant in your squats, etc.

What I don’t like about it, is that it mistakenly gives good Quads a BAD NAME.

Also I have yet to be convinced that the actual problem is that their Quads are dominant anyway! Isn’t it a good thing to have dominant Quads – especially for knees? All the research we have looked at, and much more, have convinced us of the long term benefits of Quad strengthening as the only real solution to Grumpy Knees.

As a true injury-producing dysfunction, then, I maintain that the Hamstrings being dominant is the real problem at the knee and the hip, NOT the Quads being dominant.

Important note: there IS a dysfunctional movement pattern that reveals itself as the “quad dominant” movement, and this is what it actually is:


Excessive posterior tilt (butt too tucked under in upright and loaded movements) with a flat or flexed lumbar spine. Often the glutes are underdeveloped, especially Gluteus Maximus, because  this person finds it so hard to get into hip flexion and control it.


I might argue that their hamstrings are so dominant that they are held in posterior tilt – perhaps they actually are Hamstring dominant in their movement?


Due to poor Glut Maximus and Lumbar lordosis control, the client finds it hard to incline their trunk forward as they feel weak and load up their spines into flexion.


Quad dominant” clients need to be taught the Deadlift to correct their Pelvic Dysfunction (which is what it really is).

So in summary, clients need to be taught to hip hinge but also bring knees forward over toes – BOTH! This is the true functional movement that we need for effective movement in life. Calling the dysfunctional version Quad Dominance is perhaps misleading – rather lets call it “No Ass Syndrome”!

Over and out – I’ve had my rant 😉



P.S. Last week’s video got mixed up with a previous one on the website, I’m sorry. The CORRECT one is now live and ready for watching: