The Dreaded Butt Wink: Good, or Bad? I’d rather not take my chances and find out later.
Butt Wink? The heck is that?
It’s a moment in the bottom of the squat – just south of parallel, that the persons pelvis begins to rotate backward and slip under the body.
Here is a question I received from a fellow coach this week regarding the Butt Wink, and squatting. The response is not overly Scientific, but may give you some sound logical insight to this phenomenon and why it should be avoided, when possible.
For reference, I am answering under the understanding that this athlete has plans to be a weightlifter.
Hey broski I want to get your opinion on the dreaded “butt wink”. I have an athlete that is built like a weightlifter and has awesome squat mechanics but I noticed she has a major butt wink. I have been having her squat to a box to try and prevent the wink, but it is significantly higher than her traditional squat. She says she is losing a lot of strength when she does not reach her previous depth. So my problem is I’m not sure what to tell her”.
I have heard the butt wink is ok and I have heard it is terrible and should not be allowed. I also understand it can be related to hip socket depth as well, so there is no stretch in the world that will fix it. Have you dealt with this problem before? If so how did u tackle it? I’m wondering if I should tear down and rebuild her squat, or just leave it be as she is not experiencing any issues from it (yet). Thanks in advance man hope all is well.
I would really have to see her Squat to answer that definitively. If you have a video, or can get one; I’d be happy to check it out.
I try to keep my lifters from letting that happen as much as possible. As Weightlifters, we tend to take plenty of shearing force in the spine at sub-maximal loads when we perform the Snatch and Clean and Jerk.
That said, I like to think of Squats as the opportunity to build tissue and strength through the best Range of Motion (R.O.M) available to the lifter at the time.
When you’re missing R.O.M and speed, in the Squat; those can be built up with lighter jumping exercises at the end of a training session. This should help promote flexibility through dynamic action as well. High Box Jumps, Box Jumps w/ 2 boxes on either side of the feet(for foot speed and landing low), Broad Jumps, Frog Jumps, etc. and Lunges , of some sorts, post lifting.
If it’s structural, then I think you go with what’s safe for the lifter. Even it means keeping them from doing full depth on Cleans, Snatch, Squat, Etc.
Usually shorter Range of motion squatting, with complete control of the speed of movement – is a great remedy. You can see where the problem begins and stay above it. Over a few reps, you may even notice it get better, especially if it’s due to overly tight Hip Flexors and Quads.
And don’t forget – This could also be due to a lack of coordination, as the muscles translate tension to each other; mainly if you have a newer lifter. The nervous system hasn’t quite gotten use to talking with all that muscle at once, so it’s trying to interpret the data as you move. A muscle imbalance could also cause this.
Ask her if she wears heels a lot? (because ankle ROM can be the culprit)
Obviously, we can get way more in depth with the answer; I just wanted to offer sound logic when thinking about the safety of your lifter. Remember, your athletes trust you. I also have my own theory on how a Butt wink is more indicative of weak back extensor and glute muscles, as opposed to tight hamstrings. More Back and Hip Extensions during warm-ups may help get this lifter moving in the right direction.
I hope this helps you in your coaching endeavors in regards to the Butt Wink Question. And to you athletes who made it this far – feel free to apply or discuss these methods with your coach.
Here’s to moving safer and more efficiently!