Visit our new website!

02 Tue

The butt wink

The butt wink

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP, CGFI


The butt wink. What is it? It’s not as lascivious as you might think. It really is a mark of poor squatting form.

I’ve written about squatting before. It’s a functional movement that is important in everyday life. Getting up out of a chair or picking something up off the ground, these are things that we do repeatedly and for some, these movements can be quite difficult.

Training someone to properly perform a squat can be difficult. But I want to talk about the butt wink and why it makes squatting bad. You can refer back to my previous posts for the basic components.

Contrary to what you might think, the hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your legs connecting the pelvis to your lower legs, which bend the knee or extend the hip) are pretty active during the squat movement. They have to control the pelvis and elongate under load to allow for full range of motion. If they’re not sufficiently flexible enough to allow for a full squat movement, you get the butt wink.

Proper squat form is: back straight, hips back, weight on heels, feet straight, knees out. One should functionally be able to squat till the hips go below the knees. This bottom position can be tricky. The butt wink is when the pelvis loses it’s proper anteriorly tilted position, the hamstrings pull on the pelvis, and create a posterior tilt of the pelvis. At the bottom position, the butt tucks under, and then comes out backward when you start the upward squat motion. Think of a bucket of water: anterior tilt is when the bucket tilts forward and the water spills out the front, posterior tilt is when the bucket tilts backward and the water spills out the back. Anterior pelvic tilt creates a solid base for muscles involved in the squat movement to create tension and force. The posterior pelvic tilt inhibits this, and can create lumbar flexion (the low back bends forward). Lumbar flexion with load is bad. Very bad. You open a whole new can of worms there.

Butt winking during a squat is bad form. Nobody wants to see your butt wink. Seek out the help of a movement specialist, see a physiotherapist.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417. Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.



Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Comments are closed.

Call Now