The Opposite Butt Wink

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The Opposite Butt Wink | Ep. 115 | Movement Fix Monday

The problem

A common theme is that when the spine is loaded, we don't want the back to bend under that load for long term spine health. Rounding the back in a deadlift, at the bottom of a heavy squat or high rep squat, etc.

We know this and some people will debate it, but as a generally good idea, it's something we want to avoid.

The problem is this can happen in other places during lifts from miscuing or overcuing.

Welcome to the opposite butt wink.

I made this video because I have seen this more than 5x now, so I figure it's worth sharing so we can get rid of this.

People are rounding their low back at the TOP of a squat sometimes and I am not sure why. My thought is that they're being cued to SQUEEZE THE GLUTES at the top of the squat so hard that they end up rotating their pelvis and necessarily reversing the curve of the lumbar spine.

Why so hard?

I understand the idea of creating muscle tension to stabilize around a joint, but I also don't think you need to squeeze your glutes so hard you make diamonds and round your back at the top of the squat.

The glutes, like all muscles, can do 3 things: shorten, lengthen, and contract isometrically.

If you are squeezing your glutes so hard at the top of your squat and you don't know how to hold it as an isometric, you're probably going to be tucking your butt under via the glutes moving the pelvis around the femur (when you come up out of the squat, you are essentially moving the femur around the pelvis).

Point being, squeezing your glutes extremely hard at the top of your squat isn't efficient or needed. Use the amount of muscle contraction needed to do the lift well.


The butt wink (which is just rounding of the low back to rotate the pelvis) has the right to happen anywhere in the lift. People do weird things and have weird habits. Just because it's common for this to happen at the bottom of the squat does not mean it can only happen at the bottom of the squat.

It can happen anywhere and for any number of reasons. At the top of the squat (aka the opposite) it happens because someone is cued to do it that way or has developed a weird habit and now that movement feels 'right' to them.

Your normal way of doing things always feels right to you, but that doesn't mean it actually is mechanically the best way of doing it. It just means that you're used to doing it that way.

So that is the reverse butt wink. We need to get people to stop doing this!

My opinion: this is actually worse than doing it at the bottom of the squat.

Why? Because when you are standing tall, you have the most direct line of compression on your lumbar spine (the area bending under load) than at the bottom of the squat. The only argument to be made for the bottom being worse is that you are also then pushing up out of the bottom potentially adding more stress.

Either way, I don't like it and I don't want it!

Thanks for reading!


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