Health and Beauty

What are the causes of the butt wink in the squat exercise?

Despite its funny name, the term “butt wink” actually refers to an unwanted phenomenon that occurs when performing a squat: the user rounds their back at the end of the squat, risking injury and reducing muscle. employment.

Fortunately, this problem can be treated quite easily once the causes are found, as butt dimples can be caused by a number of different reasons related to the squats or warm-up exercises that are performed.

Regardless of the cause of the butt wink, exercisers should try to correct this problem as soon as possible if they wish to continue squatting, as the butt wink can lead to painful injuries to the lumbar spine.

What does the term butt wink mean?

Butt wink is a deviation from the neutral flexion of the spine and pelvis at the bottom of a squat movement, causing the lumbar spine to flex (rounded back) into a position where stress is high.

From a visual standpoint, the practitioner's tailbone and buttocks appear to be facing forward, wrapping around the lower back rather than forming a slight arc indicating a neutral spinal angle (see illustration below).

Butt squat on the left, and neutral spine squat on the right.
Illustration credit © Docteur-fitness.com

When the pelvis bends in this way, it is called posterior pelvic tilt. The pelvis and lower back are connected to each other, so if your pelvis begins to tilt backward, you will notice a flexed spine and a rounded lower back.

Not only does this position present many disadvantages to the practitioner, but it also affects other technical and mechanical elements throughout the squat execution, which may alter the movement as a whole. The time a person may feel the pelvic tilt varies from person to person and will vary depending on your ability to move and warm up.

Is butt wink dangerous?

Although a butt wink is not always immediately dangerous, it can potentially cause injuries to the pelvis, knees, and back if not corrected quickly.

When the butt wink is repeated too many times during workouts, it can lead to hip pain, strain, hernia or other damage to the spinal discs and even pinched nerves (sciatica or groin pain) which can become very serious if not done. Anything to treat it.

However, people who currently have a problem with butt dipping during squats don't need to worry, because this poor posture is relatively easy to correct once you realize it.

Squat with a neutral back
Picture squats with the back in a neutral position, without the butt wink.
Image rights © Adobe Stock
Butt wink before after before after
Pictures of squats with or without a butt wink.
Image source © Movement Enhanced / Girlsgonestrong

Why is a butt wink dangerous?

Butt wink is dangerous primarily because it causes the pelvis and spine to bend into an inappropriate position for movement, creating the perfect environment for injury.

However, many other problems also arise directly from the wink, such as increased stress on the knee joint and all the risks associated with failure of the repetition, because the wink reduces the force production capacity of the practitioner at the most crucial moment in the training.

Should you stop doing squats if you have butt dip?

Having your butt wink while squatting doesn't necessarily justify stopping squats, because performing more squats (and correcting them) can address the problem, along with proper mobility exercises.

However, unless the practitioner can successfully identify the cause of the butt wink problem, it is best for them to reduce their squat workload.

For some people, there is a certain depth of squat that can be done without the back starting to round. In this case, while waiting for the problems causing the gluteal wink to be corrected, you can continue squatting by adjusting your range of motion to prevent your pelvis from tilting and causing the gluteal dimpling.

If in doubt, the practitioner can seek advice from a qualified sports coach to check whether his technique is correct and whether there are other factors contributing to the dimple problem.

The main reason for butt winking

The most common cause of butt dip is lack of movement in the hips and the muscles that connect them, such as the hamstrings and hip adductors, or the ligaments that connect them to the skeleton.

This mobility problem affects almost all movements of the hip joint, including hip flexion and rotation of the femur and hip in both axes, and therefore requires a comprehensive program aimed at improving flexibility of the hips.

Other causes of butt wink

Although lack of movement of the lower body is the main cause of this phenomenon, several other reasons can contribute to it or be directly responsible.

Among these factors, insufficient abdominal girdle, muscular imbalance in the hips and lower back can be mentioned.

Premature curvature of the spine indicates a deficit in ankle dorsiflexion.

The position of the bar during a squat has a huge impact on the technique you will have to follow. High bar squats typically place the bar above the trapezius. Squatting on a low bar places the bar toward the posterior deltoid muscle. Butt wink can happen if you end up placing the bar too low on your back. This can also happen if your squat technique does not allow the bar to move in a straight line up and down.

Each risk factor for butt wink should be considered by the practitioner and addressed appropriately before squatting intensely.

How to fix a butt wink

There are different strategies possible depending on the many underlying causes of this problem.

For problems with decreased mobility and range of motion, a proper stretching and warm-up routine before starting to squat can greatly help reduce the degree or incidence of this problem.

If there are muscle imbalances or weakness, or if the person doing the squat is unable to adequately strengthen the abdominal muscles, highly targeted isolation exercises should address these deficiencies over time.

If you are experiencing pain, numbness, or other signs of injury associated with a butt dip, you should first take time to rest and recover, and then consult a health care professional before trying to correct the cause of your problem.

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What are the causes of the butt wink in the squat exercise?

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