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Old 11-29-2011, 01:44 PM   #1
Erik Wäffel
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Squat - butt wink

How dangerous is the butt wink in lower part of the squat exercise? (High bar back squat). I have a tendency to wink a bit and I am currently working on stretching my hamstrings to correct it. I am however wondering how dangerous this wink is since it is a normal lower back movement which takes places when squatting deep (pistols or deep, shin to butt, bw squats). Re. the back squat I am not looking to squat more then 120-150 kg once I get to those numbers (currently around 80 kg in bw).
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Squat - butt wink

http://www.70sbig.com/blog/2010/10/the-butt-wink/ (wfs - some text swearing)
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Last edited by Rebecca Roth : 11-29-2011 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #3
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: Squat - butt wink

Butt wink= non-sense.

Squat often and squat deep.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Squat - butt wink

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Originally Posted by Daniel Wheeler View Post
Butt wink= non-sense.

Squat often and squat deep.
Butt wink = potential problem.

If your spine is going from neutral into flexion under load, then this is bad. If your spine is going from over-extended to neutral, this is quickly corrected by starting the movement with a neutral spine.

A video would be much better than trying to describe the degree of wink in writing.

In any case, there are many factors that can lead to dog poo squat, not just hamstring flexibility. Basically every muscle between your toes and your lower back could affect your ability to get in a deep squat. Joints themselves play a part as well, as a sticky hip capsule or ankle will rob you of mobility. You could even extend this to the top of your head because a rounded thoracic spine and forward neck posture will ruin your squatting parade.

I would start by looking at improving hip flexion and hip external rotation first (hammie flexibility plays a role, obviously), and then move on ankle flexion, hip internal rotation, knee flexion, hip extension, etc. Use stretches, mobilizations, soft tissue work, and nuerodynamic stuff.

Find out which mobilization or two improves your squat the most and then do it every day.

For specific stuff, go to http://www.mobilitywod.com/search for 'hip flexion external rotation' to get started.

link wfs
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
Preston Sprimont
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Re: Squat - butt wink

Listen to what Ben said. While I do enjoy and to some extent agree with the 70s big article on the butt wink, I also think it causes some people to over-zealously dismiss something which is, in some cases, a sign of a form or flexibility issue.
Get some video up if you want an accurate assessent, and mobilize regardless.

Out of curiosity, why don't you want to squat more than 120 - 150 kg?
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:27 AM   #6
Erik Wäffel
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Re: Squat - butt wink

thank you for your time and replies.

I do agree that it is not something to neglect completely and that I should work on flexibility regardless. Just wondering if it is a big no no to do squats with a little wink, as with a rounded back for deadlifting.

Preston: I am not that interested in lifting heavy since I like to focus more on gymnastics and mobility/calisthenics. For me, 120-150 kg in squat will be enough (and press, DL, etc. in matching numbers) and will stop focusing on pure strength training once I get there. Even 110-120 kg squat might be enough in my opinion (ca 80 kg in bodyweight).
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:36 AM   #7
Preston Sprimont
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Re: Squat - butt wink

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Originally Posted by Erik Wäffel View Post
thank you for your time and replies.

I do agree that it is not something to neglect completely and that I should work on flexibility regardless. Just wondering if it is a big no no to do squats with a little wink, as with a rounded back for deadlifting.

Preston: I am not that interested in lifting heavy since I like to focus more on gymnastics and mobility/calisthenics. For me, 120-150 kg in squat will be enough (and press, DL, etc. in matching numbers) and will stop focusing on pure strength training once I get there. Even 110-120 kg squat might be enough in my opinion (ca 80 kg in bodyweight).
Gotcha. Just don't drop squatting all together if you have a lot left in the tank! What are your numbers right now?

I wouldn't say a little butt wink is any reason to stop squatting. Squatting correctly can even help your flexibility.
Like Justin mentions in the 70s big article, "butt wink" is sometimes just the lumbar spine passing from slight hyperextension into proper extension. If this is the case, the "wink" isn't dangerous and really just signifies that you need to work on keeping proper extension throughout the lift. However, if you are going from extension into slight flexion at the bottom of the squat, this "wink" can be dangerous, especially when squatting bigger weights.
I had a bit of a "wink" for a while, which I dismissed. I started getting low back/hip pain with some nasty nerve business. Took some time off, saw a PT, mobilized, started wearing a belt and o-lifting shoes, improved my form and lost the butt wink, and now I'm pain free. Everyone's different. You just need to assess the problem and find what works for you.

I would say that if you are experiencing any hip/lower back pain, you would be wise to lower the weight, work on form, mobilize like mad, and squat with a belt (if you don't already).
Otherwise, mobilize, post a video in the "Digital Coaching" forums, and keep squatting.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
Om Puri
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Re: Squat - butt wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preston Sprimont View Post
Gotcha. Just don't drop squatting all together if you have a lot left in the tank! What are your numbers right now?

I wouldn't say a little butt wink is any reason to stop squatting. Squatting correctly can even help your flexibility.
Like Justin mentions in the 70s big article, "butt wink" is sometimes just the lumbar spine passing from slight hyperextension into proper extension. If this is the case, the "wink" isn't dangerous and really just signifies that you need to work on keeping proper extension throughout the lift. However, if you are going from extension into slight flexion at the bottom of the squat, this "wink" can be dangerous, especially when squatting bigger weights.
I had a bit of a "wink" for a while, which I dismissed. I started getting low back/hip pain with some nasty nerve business. Took some time off, saw a PT, mobilized, started wearing a belt and o-lifting shoes, improved my form and lost the butt wink, and now I'm pain free. Everyone's different. You just need to assess the problem and find what works for you.

I would say that if you are experiencing any hip/lower back pain, you would be wise to lower the weight, work on form, mobilize like mad, and squat with a belt (if you don't already).
Otherwise, mobilize, post a video in the "Digital Coaching" forums, and keep squatting.
Totally agree with Preston. I had the same experience. Butt wink may not be a problem for some, but for me it was giving me back pain.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:09 PM   #9
Donald Lee
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Re: Squat - butt wink

Butt wink and not warming up enough caused me to sprain/strain my low back. I couldn't tell anything was wrong until I went to bed. Re-injured it at least twice. Tweaked it at least 5 more times.

I have a much better sense of what's going on with my hips and spine now though, so I guess it was worth the years of spinning my wheels.

Many other people have had similar experiences.
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