Tips and Fixes
In the gym our number one priority is staying safe while we move. The one thing that helps us control almost all of our movement in the gym is our spine. Our spines are amazing and are made to move! They can bend, twist, flex, and extend to help us play, lift, jump, and run. So, obviously our number one priority is keeping it safe, but how do we do this when our spines are under load in the gym? We do this by limiting the amount of movement our spine has when it is under load. This means getting rid of our butt wink.
What is a butt wink, and how do I know if I have one?
This happens primarily at the bottom of a squat when your hips tuck under and your lower back rounds. Think of a dog going to the bathroom. Recognizing and spotting a butt wink is what coaches and friends are for. If you don’t have a mirror to check out your squat, grab a coach or a buddy and ask them to help you out.
Okay, I’m butt winking. How do I fix it?
There can be many different factors that influence your butt winking, which is why having a coach look at your squat is always a great idea!
The top 3 things that help reverse butt winking are:
- Loosening up your hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can pull the hips underneath when squatting and when deadlifting. Having some room for your hamstrings to move can allow you to get and keep your spine in a great position.
- Pushing those knees out. This is going to set your hips in the optimal position to squat. This will also allow you to engage your glutes much more, which will help stabilize your hips and keep you from looking like that dog we talked about earlier.
- Setting yourself up for success by bracing your core properly. The core is not just your abs. The core is your whole torso, all the way around to include your low back. Bracing your core properly will set your spine in a great position and keep it there throughout your squat.
So make sure you recognize whether or not you have a butt wink and get on the road to fixing it! Fixing your butt wink might not be a fast process, but it is a necessary one to keep you safe and on the path to health, wellness, and more gains.
About the Author
Carter is a LIV Athletic coach. He grew up as an active kid, playing all kinds of sports but focusing on karate. He fought all over the country and the world, but realized he needed to get stronger and faster to better his performance, that’s where he found Crossfit back in 2011. He loves coaching at a place like LIV because he is able to be goofy and give people the best hour of their day, while also giving them the tools to live healthier and more active lives.