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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-16-2007, 09:37 PM   #11
Wayne Nelson
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The problem I see with the hip flexor to tilt the pelvis thing is that when you activate the hip flexors which includes the quads, you place a considerable abount of stress on the knee and knee cap (patella). The key muscles used in creating anterior tilt of the pelvis are actually the back muscles and the iliacus (which is not a hip flexor).

Another thing to consider is that if the pelvis is in proper position, that is, anterior tilt, the muscles of the lumbar spine are very activated and there is better leverage for the Glut Max to provide hip extension. To experiment with this, try running or cycling up a hill in both rounded and arched positions of the low back and see which is stronger.

If the butt is winked, the G max is at a disadvantage and the lumbar muscles are turned off then there will be a lot of load put on the hamstrings and quads to stand back up. That will overload the low back and the knees.

That stretch that Brett suggested is a great technique. I have seen pictures of Jerzy Gregorek sitting on the floor, legs out to 45 or so and, and with a neutral, straight back, place his chest on the floor! Flexibility of the legs is manditory to perform these lifts. Always best in leg stretches to keep a neutral spine, it stretches the target muscles better, and saves the back.
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:38 AM   #12
Matthew Swift
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Stretching is important and should be encouraged.

Activation of the glutes and lower back is also important.

Glute Max is responsible for hip extension on the ascent.

The butt wink is bad and creates load where it shouldn't be.

I am not debating any of these things. However, my post was directed at how to resolve the butt wink in an individual that already has sufficient glute and hammy flexibility.

I did not mention using the hip flexors to "tilt" the pelvis, in fact I didn't mention tilting at all. What I suggested was a neurological coaching cue (activating hip flexors to pull yourself into the correct position) that would encourage stability and motor control of the pelvis, and promote a more correct bottom position. I am suggesting that the butt wink occurs when the hips (as a neutral whole unit, nothing to do with tilt) don't move forward on the descent. The result of this is that the knees do not move over the toes and the angle between the thighs and lower torso does not close.

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/41865.jpg

This image is borrowed from Rip's CrossFit total explanation in the CrossFit Journal. If I can safely assume that this is an ideal bottom position, what I notice is that the knees are well forward of the toes, the angle between the thighs and the hips is entirely closed and the butt and knees are equal distances away from the centre line. I believe that the but wink occurs when the butt is further behind the centre line than the knees are in front of it. By thinking "activating the hip flexors and pulling yourself down" on the descent, the angle between the torso and thigh closes more aggressively and the butt moves towards the centerline, essentially removing the need to wink. What actually causes the change in mechanics is irrelevant to me as long as the athletes demonstrates the correct mechanics and bottom position. Just addressing flexibility without considering mechanics and control leaves it to pot luck as to whether the wink is corrected.

As for the alleged "considerable amount of stress" that this would place on the knees, I struggle to see how using the muscles of your body in the way they were intended can create any greater loading than having incorrect mechanics which is made obvious by the butt wink. How can moving into a correct position create more stress? Even if it did, bear in mind that this is a technique that is used at a point in time. Once the athlete gets a couple of correct squats, the hip flexor cue is no longer required and can be discarded because they have then felt the correct movement pattern and can replicate it.

I have run this technique through the black box on both myself and several clients with severe butt winks and it is effective as a coaching cue. Within a single session we have been able to dramatically reduce or eliminate the butt wink.



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Old 05-20-2007, 12:51 PM   #13
Wayne Nelson
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So, Mathew, what you are saying is that with a but wink the center of gravity is too far back and simply moving the COG forwards facilitates more lumbar extension and corrects the butt wink? Indeed balance requires the weight be symmetrical about the mid line.

Definitely, when I move backward, butt wink; as I shift forward, no butt wink. How simple. Just keep mid-knee cap over first interspace of toes and knee stability is maintained.

thanks
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:06 PM   #14
Brandon Oto
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How flexible do the hamstrings need to be in order for flexibliity to be ruled out as the cause of the wink? Is there some kind of test you could use, so you know where the problem lies?
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Old 05-20-2007, 03:59 PM   #15
Matthew Swift
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Wayne, I am not sure yet whether having COG more forward facilitates more lumber extension or whether there is simply less stretch required and therefore it is easier to maintain the lumber extension that is already established at the top position. One of the by-products of moving the butt forward is that there is greater flexion of the knee (butt closer to heels) so I am assuming therefore less stretch on the hamstrings. I also suspect that there is an abduction of the legs which would also lessen the pull on the ITBs. Your point about kneecap position is good, I will remember that.

Brandon, the problem lies with both flexibility and mechanics. Poor flexibility contributes to poor motor control. Greater flexibility probably increases the window of opportunity to move into the correct position on the descent, or reduces the amount of motor control required (I am just thinking aloud now).

The short answer is continue working on both, it can only help. There is some excellent stretching advice in the above posts by Wayne et al.
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:39 PM   #16
Brandon Oto
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BTW, I'm a butt-winker (heh) and I tried this today -- nothing complex, just using my flexors to "pull" my body into the folded position. Thought it was just a flexibility issue before, but it helped, so probably there's both. Thanks a ton.
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:15 PM   #17
Matthew Swift
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Brandon,
Just a tip, the slower you practice the squat when using the cue, the more you will eliminate the wink. Do it in front of the mirror and experiment with floating your knees forward. Once you have it, you can then speed up.
Cheers,
Matt
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:42 PM   #18
Ben Moskowitz
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I would just like to bump this up because the tips look amazing. I also watched Dan John's seminar, found here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...81301858251744

He also disbelieves in traditional stretching helping out the squat. I think there's a big nuerological component too. If you can get together in "triads," a.k.a. groups of three, you can do Dan John's version of improving squat flexibility.
That, and goblet squats and potato squats, are all things I'll be working on.

Thanks guys and girls!
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:30 PM   #19
Jacob Vohs
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Re: Butt wink during squats

When doing squats without a bar on my back or with a bar overhead, I can go below parallel without a butt wink. However, when I place the bar on my back for low bar squats I tend to get a butt wink at the bottom of my squat. Does it have to do with having to lean over with the bar on the back? When I don't use a bar my back is more vertical. How do I fix this?
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:03 PM   #20
Boris Bachmann
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Re: Butt wink during squats

Some of the drills/exercises given in this video will be, at best, marginally helpful. Others might be the one you need - check it and see (Squat Rx #1 - Lower back rounding in the hole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq8CWv8UPAI ) work/family safe
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