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Does your Butt Wink When you Squat?

Written by Andrew Moloney, Exercise Physiologist at Northern NSW. Article from November 2016.

butt winks

It’s pretty weird right? “Hey! Your butt winks!” You’d think you have walked in to a club and being hit on by the creepy guy in the corner. However, what this person is trying to tell you is that they noticed during your squat, that your hips ‘tucked under’ at the bottom of your squat movement. So what does this mean? Are you doing this movement completely wrong? Are you potentially hurting your body?

So as you can see here on the left we have an easy to understand picture of your hips during a squatting movement. During your initial assessment we will ask you to perform a ‘squat movement’ so we can view it from all sides and determine whether there are any patterns/restrictions which are causing dysfunction. These can include inadequate forward lean, feet flattening, knee collapse, the list goes on and on. What we are seeing on the right is a posterior pelvic at the bottom of a squat, or ‘butt wink’. Let’s look into this further.

What muscle groups may be causing this? Well to answer that we have to think of two things; what muscles are ‘tight/overactive’ and what muscles are ‘weak/lengthened’. When we answer this question we can start to treat this dysfunction.

Tight / Overactive: ‘Rugby team’

• Piriformis • Biceps femoris • Adductor Magnus • Global core muscles

Weak / Lengthened: ‘High school Volleyball team’

• Glute Max / Med • TVA

Think of a game of ‘tug-of-war’. You’ve got two teams battling for glory. One side is made up of prop forwards from you’re A Grade rugby team, the other side is made up tall volley ball players from your local high school. Which side do you think will win? Probably the rugby team right? But then to help out the volley ball team a couple of other teams tie their ropes onto the middle and start helping out the losing side. This is what can happen to joints in your body if there is dysfunction. Our role as AEP’s is sometimes as simple as putting muscles groups into teams.

For the next 4-6 weeks each team will have the following training program:

Rugby team:

You guys are going to release and stretch either manually or through self administered techniques such as static stretch, foam rolling, trigger point. Then… reactivated again so we know you can go through your full movements with becoming over active.

Volleyball team:

You guys are going to get stronger! So we will be isolating you and increasing your ability to do your role through strength. At the end of this you will get back together and pull and release on either side of your ropes without any struggle.

So at the end of this analogy I hope you have a simplified version of what is occurring during a ‘butt wink’, and how we as practitioners will aim to correct this potential dysfunction. However, what if all these muscle groups are in balance but my ‘butt’ still winks? Then what may be occurring is you have simply gone too far into the depth of your squat. We would recommend not pushing past this point while bearing weight as there could be long term affects to your lower back health.

So remember guys if you tell someone they have a ‘butt wink’ you're not hitting on them, you’re identifying a squat dysfunction and you should give them them the number (8599 6275) to Optimum Health Solutions!

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