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View Full Version : Argh. I can't get rid of my squat butt wink



Cmanuel
05-24-2009, 08:41 PM
I've been lifting seriously for probably 2.5 years or so. Squat has given me the most trouble out of the three lifts and until recently, I've never put as much time and effort into correcting it. I switched from high bar to low bar, read and re-read starting strength, watched squat rx vids, etc, I feel a lot more stable in the hole now but I can't get rid of that stupid butt wink!!!

Am I overreacting about this? I think i've read some places that a little bit is fine. I stretch my hamstrings and hips very well before my squat sets and I still manage to have some butt wink

Thoughts?

oh and i'll try to get a vid tomorrow. I had one on my phone but deleted it to clean memory space

MarcusWild
05-24-2009, 09:09 PM
Just focus on holding your arch the whole time. Maybe start out with a little higher box where you don't do it. Then keep lowering the box a little every 1-2 weeks.

One of the guys I train with does this. We've been trying everything to correct it. I think his issue is weak hamstrings. He's been doing extra work for them and it's helping. You need your hamstrings to be strong enough so you can sit back and be confident. If they are weak, then you'll butt wink because it takes the weight off your hamstrings and puts it on your quads.

Sensei
05-24-2009, 09:51 PM
I had a lot of fun making the videos, but I never meant for people to become squat form nazis, just to give some guidance and ideas to help out people w. zero assistance.

Is your lower back rounding a lot at parallel? If not, I wouldn't be too stressed about it.

Cmanuel
05-24-2009, 09:58 PM
I had a lot of fun making the videos, but I never meant for people to become squat form nazis, just to give some guidance and ideas to help out people w. zero assistance.

Is your lower back rounding a lot at parallel? If not, I wouldn't be too stressed about it.

I appreciate your videos. They have been very helpful for sure.

I'll get a vid during tomorrows workout and post. I dont think its that bad, but then again its a subjective topic. I will mention that I feel really, really stable in the hole now after spending 3-4 weeks relearning the squat. This along with the fact that my back isnt really hurting is making me think that sometimes a bit of butt wink like I have isnt giong to kill ya

deeder
05-24-2009, 10:22 PM
I just got the video Magnificent Mobility about a week ago. There are some good stretches and good ideas to work in to your warmups that might help you out.

alex8503
05-24-2009, 10:45 PM
does anyone have a few tips about squats and proper form, i happened to injured my back about a year ago cause i was focusing on my upper body rather than my lower( big mistake) so all i have been doing now are squats, stretching work outs, cardio from time to time cause i dont want to loose any muscle tissue.

deeder
05-24-2009, 10:49 PM
does anyone have a few tips about squats and proper form, i happened to injured my back about a year ago cause i was focusing on my upper body rather than my lower( big mistake) so all i have been doing now are squats, stretching work outs, cardio from time to time cause i dont want to loose any muscle tissue.

Check out Sensei's SquatRX videos. Do a search on youtube for them...

Cmanuel
05-25-2009, 08:28 PM
Vids from my 5x5 straight set of 225 today

Couple of things. First, i hock up my shorts like that so i dont blow a hole in my boxers. Only on days when i forget my tight whites :(

Second, I am new to low bar position so any critique there is welcome too!
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Hazerboy
05-25-2009, 08:50 PM
Your first video looks worse than your second.

Yeah. its there. I mean its not chronic or anything but I would say its enough to be actively trying to fix it.

Strengthen your hamstrings with accessory exercises and work hard on holding your arch as well as flexibility.

I think what most people miss is that the single most efficient way to improve your squat form is to... you guessed it... squat more. Thats the best advice I can give you.

Cmanuel
05-25-2009, 08:53 PM
Your first video looks worse than your second.

Yeah. its there. I mean its not chronic or anything but I would say its enough to be actively trying to fix it.

Strengthen your hamstrings with accessory exercises and work hard on holding your arch as well as flexibility.

I think what most people miss is that the single most efficient way to improve your squat form is to... you guessed it... squat more. Thats the best advice I can give you.

Thanks for the input. I'm really stretching my hams before my workouts so thats a good thing. I'll probably try to throw in some accesory stuff for strengthening next time i hit the gym.

Also, i squat a lot. Each 3 days im in the gym im squatting 5 sets of 5 so hopefully that will help. I'll continue to stretch and focus on holding my arch throughout the squat.

ZenMonkey
05-25-2009, 09:12 PM
I dont know if you are one, but there are some people who just cant fix that wink (or its not a wink and just how their body is built). I think Blitzforce (who only posts in the journal sec) has the same problem. You might talk to him

Sensei
05-25-2009, 09:25 PM
I only watched the first three reps of the first video. You are squatting WELL below parallel there. With a low bar position and squatting way below parallel, unless you are a freaking mutant, you will have some rounding.

There's always room for improvement, of course, and I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't work to improve it. But, if you want to come close to eliminating it completely, you'll probably have to shave it a little bit shallower on the low bar squats, or switch to a high-bar (& more upright) squat.

Cmanuel
05-25-2009, 09:49 PM
I only watched the first three reps of the first video. You are squatting WELL below parallel there. With a low bar position and squatting way below parallel, unless you are a freaking mutant, you will have some rounding.

There's always room for improvement, of course, and I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't work to improve it. But, if you want to come close to eliminating it completely, you'll probably have to shave it a little bit shallower on the low bar squats, or switch to a high-bar (& more upright) squat.

Thanks for input everyone.

I switched to low bar position because I felt I was plateauing a bit with the high bar position. I felt very instable in the hole. Also, this was olympic depth (ass literally 2-4 inches from floor). I squatted like this for almost a year which is why I always squat way below parallel.

I feel that low bar has helped me become more stable in the hole. I'll continue to stretch/work on my hammies and keep on squatting.

Other than the rounding, how does the form look?

Notorious
05-25-2009, 10:34 PM
Looks like you're squatting too low. Go just below parallel and you'll have a lot easier time not rounding your back.

MarcusWild
05-25-2009, 11:08 PM
I agree with going too low causing it. Which is odd since very few people squat too low.

CleverName
05-25-2009, 11:54 PM
I find squatting low-bar and not butt-winking is almost impossible. I can squat all the way down with a high bar without winking fairly easily. What I did was watch video after video of Oly lifters squatting, making note of what they do and taking something from each lifter. I would often get in what I thought would be a perfect squat position without any barbell on me and just hold it there, usually holding onto something so I can stay 100% upright. Stretch those hamstrings and calves as much as you can. Make sure you focus on that lower back area every time you squat...!

Kiknskreem
05-26-2009, 08:00 PM
One of the guys I train with does this. We've been trying everything to correct it. I think his issue is weak hamstrings. He's been doing extra work for them and it's helping. You need your hamstrings to be strong enough so you can sit back and be confident. If they are weak, then you'll butt wink because it takes the weight off your hamstrings and puts it on your quads.

I disagree with this.

Butt winking isn't caused by weak hams, assuming its not just an awareness issue, lower back rounding happens when the hamstrings pull the pelvis out of position, which is controlled on the top end by the erectors. If anything, tight hamstrings or hams that are much stronger than one's back will cause winking, not weak hams. I've also never even considered weight getting put on the quads an issue associated with butt wink.

Just my .02.

MarcusWild
05-26-2009, 09:37 PM
I've never met someone with hamstrings that were too strong... I don't get how hamstring flexibility can be an issue when the knee is bent. The butt wink typically causes the knees to go forward which shifts weight to the quads.

Sensei
05-26-2009, 10:15 PM
Here's the problem - the "butt wink" (lower back flexion at the bottom of the hole) is a SYMPTOM. Symptoms can have more than one or many different causes.

As I see it, the common causes of this particular symptom are:
*inattention to (or insufficient mastery of) proper form
*poor hamstring flexibility
*poor glute & hamstring activation

So, if you had "weak" glutes and hamstrings (or strong ones that you weren't using) it could certainly exacerbate things.
The hamstrings are HIP EXTENSORS, not just knee flexors. If you have inflexible hamstrings, it's pretty common to shoot the knees forward to avoid overloading the hamstrings. It's also pretty common to round the lower back to take pressure off the glutes and hamstrings as well.

So, what the hell does all that mean?
Start w. technique. Hammer away at it - WITH WEIGHT because who the hell cares if you can do a perfect rep w. PVC pipe if your form goes to hell w. 135...
Work on your hamstring flexibility and strength, because most of sit around all day and have a weak posterior chain that's inflexible and inactive.

Kiknskreem
05-27-2009, 09:09 AM
I don't get how hamstring flexibility can be an issue when the knee is bent.

The hips move backwards, stretching the hamstring throughout the squat.



The butt wink typically causes the knees to go forward which shifts weight to the quads.

In my experience, I see butt wink pretty frequently without any effect knee position, however, if the knees did move forward to put some slack in tight hamstrings, I wouldn't describe the winking as the cause, but as Sensei said, a symptom.


Sensei, perhaps you could expand on how weak or inactive glutes lead to lower back flexion. I would think that since the hamstrings are the big bottom force on the pelvis causing it to roll under, if they were weak or inactive then the erectors would be able to easily maintain their extension.

MarcusWild
05-27-2009, 02:22 PM
How would these people do routine things like sit in a chair, sit on a couch, sit in a car, or sit on a toilet? If their hamstrings are so inflexible, then they'd be constantly stretched during these routine sitting positions. The hamstrings are weak. That's why people panic when sitting back. They realize they don't have any strength there.

Sensei
05-27-2009, 02:40 PM
Gentlemen, you are both right. I don't know why you are arguing.


How would these people do routine things like sit in a chair, sit on a couch, sit in a car, or sit on a toilet? If their hamstrings are so inflexible, then they'd be constantly stretched during these routine sitting positions. The hamstrings are weak. That's why people panic when sitting back. They realize they don't have any strength there.
Marcus,
Most Americans have very inflexible hamstrings - that is a fact and it is not arguable. Part of the reason for that is because many sit on their asses all day long. Sitting does not stretch the hamstrings! The hamstrings are not lengthened when sitting on a chair (or in a car) and they will shorten and can become hypertonic.


Sensei, perhaps you could expand on how weak or inactive glutes lead to lower back flexion. I would think that since the hamstrings are the big bottom force on the pelvis causing it to roll under, if they were weak or inactive then the erectors would be able to easily maintain their extension.
If you don't or can't engage the glutes and hamstrings for hip extension, you will adjust your technique to use the quads and lumbar, changing the squat from a hip extension exercise into a knee extension/lumbar extension exercise - this is why you see knee and lower back issues from poor squatting.

Doing a Romanian deadlift correctly and incorrectly will show all of this very quickly I think and make clear what I am saying. I will post some pictures later tonight if anyone wants me to.

MarcusWild
05-27-2009, 03:08 PM
Wait, so people can sit all day long but if they squat to that same position their hamstrings are too inflexible? You're saying people are sitting with butt wink all day long, since their hamstrings aren't flexible enough?

People have WEAK hamstrings. Just look at 99% of leg training you see in gyms (leg press, squatting high which only uses quads, lunges with weight on the front leg, leg extensions, etc). Everything is quad dominant. Put them on a GHR and they'd struggle to do 5 reps with body weight. That's why people squat the way they do. They use their strongest muscle groups. It's not until the hamstrings get strong enough that someone will squat correctly.

Sensei
05-27-2009, 07:58 PM
Wait, so people can sit all day long but if they squat to that same position their hamstrings are too inflexible?Noooo. When you squat, are you in the same position as when sitting in front of a computer?

You're saying people are sitting with butt wink all day long, since their hamstrings aren't flexible enough?No, you've totally missed the point. People are sitting with lower back and knee flexion all day, THUS their hamstrings aren't flexible enough.


People have WEAK hamstrings. Just look at 99% of leg training you see in gyms (leg press, squatting high which only uses quads, lunges with weight on the front leg, leg extensions, etc). Everything is quad dominant. Put them on a GHR and they'd struggle to do 5 reps with body weight. That's why people squat the way they do. They use their strongest muscle groups. It's not until the hamstrings get strong enough that someone will squat correctly.
Marcus,
I don't know you from Adam, so maybe you're not such an argumentative ass in real life, but I'm not saying that "strength" is not an issue, just that it might not be the only issue.
I'm not going to bother continuing to try to inform you, because obviously you have it all figured out.

If anyone else has questions about this thread, feel free to PM me.