Butt wink – the fitness industry colloquialism for a persons hips tucking underneath them at a certain point in a squat.
We’re often asked how to correct it – which raises the question should we correct it?
The answer to that really is ‘it depends’. For me the ‘it depends’ takes two parts:
Firstly, butt wink is really a flexing of the lumbar spine, however, flexing doesn’t necessarily mean flexion. If an individual’s starting position is in extension (an overly arched lower back), then they can be flexing to neutral, whilst if they start in a neutral position they would be flexing into flexion.
Secondly is the more simple consideration ‘is the person under load?’ If not, then their risk is really minimal. So unless we are specifically trying to learn movement skills to be replicated under load – in general I am less concerned about a pain free flexed spine not under load. (please note the pain free!).
Answering the second consideration is clearly very straight forwards. However, answering the first requires us to be able to both consider and assess the persons starting position, and also the alignment of this all important segment relative to those above and below it. Assessing alignment, however, can be deceptive….
To answer some common questions about what alignment is, check out this video giving an introduction to what alignment is and what it isn’t, and therefore how to decide what we could (or indeed should) do about butt wink during a squat: