Eliminating the Butt Wink – CFS


Hey Gang,

Below is a write up by Wes Hendricks on the butt wink and improving the squat.  Give it a read and some thought and then go out and start perfecting your squat.  Remember Virtuosity is about doing the common uncommonly well. Mastering the basics is essential to improving fitness….

How to improve your squat Part 1
Is your lower back typically sore during/after a WOD that has squats in it regardless of weight? Do you experience lower back discomfort at about parallel in the squat? Does it feel like a dull ache in the side of the hip/glute that you just can’t seem to get a lacrosse ball on?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then I am willing to bet you are butt winking when you squat. Most of the time when I tell patients they are butt winking I get laughed at. Lets first go over what the “butt wink” is, why we should care and how to fix it.
The butt wink is the moment we loose our neutral spine in the bottom position of the squat and go into what is known as lumbosacral flexion. I often tell athletes/patients that rounding your back in the bottom position of the squat(butt winking) is the same thing as rounding your back excessively in a deadlift.


Butt wink                                            Neutral Spine

Your lower back or lumbar spine have 5 vertebrae that are labeled L1-L5. There is a disc between each vertebrae and nerves that come out of each pair of vertebrae. I want you to think of the discs like layers of an onion. The inner layers get injured first. The outer layers are where all the pain nerves and blood vessels are. So you can potentially damage a good amount of the of the disc without feeling pain. The primary mechanism of injury to damage the layers of your “onion” are flexion/compression, which is exactly what butt winking with weight is.
I would like to also point out that if you are butt winking, you are relaxing in your squat so this is an indicator you are not doing something optimally, which means you are leaving gains on the table. Now that you have an understanding of why you should avoid butt winking, Part 2 is going to go over what I have seen as the three main causes and how to fix them. So next time you’re videoing a squat PR attempt with all the 10lb bumpers in the gym to hashtag beast mode, make sure you are not butt winking.

Hollow Rocks
90 Hollow Rocks

4 Rounds
12 Front Squats (135,95)
400m Run
15 Pull-ups
200m Run

Level 2 – 95, 65
Level 1 – 75, 45

3 Rounds
20 Sit-ups
15 Medball Jacknives
20 Russain Twists