A personal trainer on how to stop butt wink when doing squats

If you want to learn the right techniques and get the most out of your workouts, you *definitely* need to wrap your head around the ‘butt wink’. Achieve peak levels of booty tone by following these tips from personal trainer Maria Rita, that’ll stop butt wink in its tracks.

Do you butt wink? No, that isn’t some new innuendo to add to your vocabulary; it’s really a squatting issue!

If you’re working towards getting those buns of steel but you’re not getting your technique right, this could be due to a butt wink.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the best glute exercises and changing up your set – it can still happen. It can take time to familiarise yourself with the best techniques for exercises at the gym, especially when you’re lifting weights (we don’t want injuries)!

What’s also important is that you’re not overdoing it at the gym, especially if you’re not educated on the way the body needs to work during your sessions. This is when the butt wink comes in…

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What is ‘butt wink’?

‘Butt wink’ can be better described with the term ‘posterior pelvic tilt’ or, just ‘pelvic tilt’. It occurs at the bottom of a squat, causing the lumbar spine to round and go into flexion.

How does butt wink happen?

It can happen in all squat variations: the back squat, front squat, overhead squat or the goblet squat. Your hips can rotate and tuck under you, which can cause problems. In a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information journal, it’s said that the lumbar vertebrae should be maintained in a neutral alignment throughout the back squat movement.

Failure to stiffen the lower back increases the potential of overloading the spine and back tissues, and for injury – especially when the movement is incorrectly repeated over time. Overall, the spine loses ability to hold weight if the torso isn’t in a neutral lumbar position when squatting.

So, if you’re ever squatting and find yourself in pain, it’s best to stop. Don’t be afraid to use lighter weights while you’re trying to stop butt wink during squats.

Why does butt wink happen?

Butt wink isn’t only related to stability or mobility issues – it can also be due to a structural issue, such as the depth of the hip socket.

Not performing a squat properly and doing a butt wink can cause major issues to your lower spine. This means you’ll also fall short when it comes to strengthening areas such your glutes and legs.

To make sure you’re getting the right squat and not getting injured in the process, technique is everything. It’s great to have a trainer or a friend around to check your squatting form; or if you’re training solo, have a look in a mirror to check how it’s looking.

How can I improve butt wink?

If it’s a mobility issue that you’re dealing with – butt wink can be fixed by working on your ankle, hips and thoracic mobility.

If your butt wink is being brought on due to a stability issue – it can improve after learning how to brace and hold the lumbo-pelvic alignment.

But if it’s a structural issue, unfortunately, this is something that can’t be changed and it won’t be altered by any amount of mobility or stability drills.

Tips to improve your overall squatting technique:

  • Keep your head up and look straight ahead, but tuck in your chin so you don’t put strain on your neck.
  • Keep your back straight without hunching or arching.
  • Wear supportive footwear.
  • Stretch before squatting with weights.
  • Practise your technique so you don’t injure yourself.

Maria Rita is qualified exercise physiologist and personal trainer working at Goodlife Health Clubs in Brisbane’s CBD.

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