by Dana Cavalea August 15, 2017


I recently received an email from a virtual coaching client looking for help on reducing the pain in her quads and bringing them back to life via strengthening! Common problem- easy fix!
Today I am going to share with you the advice I had given her.
When it comes to pain, especially in the quads, we must first understand the quads are like the TENSION DEPOT of the lower body.
When I work with clients hands-on, I spend a large percentage of the time breaking up trigger points and knots that exist in the quad region! Since the quads are so active, usually overactive, they house all the tension and therefore become the cause of pain.
Why? Most people do not use their glutes effectively when using their lower body, so the lower body is powered by the quads almost exclusively.
How do I know this? Just look at peoples backsides! Many athletes are developed in their backsides due to the lower body training they do, while most general pop folks have what I call Gluteal Amnesia, or negative ass. Their glutes are poorly defined, sagging, or not defined at all. Indicative of a dead glute complex.
This shows right away a lack of optimal glute function, so as a result, the quads are going to be overworked.
So how do we fix this?
1. Release tension in the quads.
2. Isolate the glutes through specific training exercises- both standing, on your back, and on stomach ( called prone and supine)
3. Train your lower body with complex, multi-joint lower body exercises as a part of a weekly strengthening routine.
The anterior side of the body is always preferred when it comes to training and work- since those are the mirror muscles. But when we overtrain the anterior side, or front side, especially as it relates to the lower body, our hips can become tight, locked, and cause us daily pain.
Along side this quad dominance, the IT Band, or band of tissue on the side of the quad can get tight causing pain as a result of the overall anterior tension. Using massage, massage sticks, hot baths, and foam rollers can keep this relaxed and drop your pain profile.
And finally, you must study your activity. For example, if you have quad dominance and glute weakness, excessive stair climbing, elliptical work, or any quad dominant cardio vascular exercise that is typically time and volume driven will lead to more tension, and therefore more pain!
For more exercises on how to reduce quad tension, increase glute function, and overall lower body strength, click the videos for exercises.
Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the former Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

Leave a comment

Also in High Performance Leadership Blog

The Makings of a Championship Team.....
The Makings of a Championship Team.....

by Dana Cavalea September 20, 2019

Read More
This Doctor Gave Me Some Amazing Advice!
This Doctor Gave Me Some Amazing Advice!

by Dana Cavalea September 18, 2019

Read More
Using "EMOTIONAL OVER-RIDE" to Achieve Success..

by Dana Cavalea September 17, 2019 1 Comment

Read More

Want to Know the 7 Surprising Things Ultra-Successful People Do Differently?