I want to start off this blog by apologizing to the "experts" on YouTube that I am about to offend. Their "fixing the butt wink" videos by merely stretching the hamstrings may work on a small percentage of athletes, but leaves the rest of us scratching our heads and firing up our nerves in frustration.
It's not that stretching doesn't have its place. Believe me, stretches always have room in corrective exercises and performance programming. It's just that saying your "wink" is due to hamstring tightness or an overactive hamstring is an oversimplification, and in my opinion, the path of least resistance to make a video, slap on some graphics, generate some likes, and call it a day. Meanwhile, many athletes are left disappointed and discouraged.
What Causes Butt Wink?
I'm going to give it to you straight. No song and dance, no funny anecdotes, and most importantly, no one size fits all.
The fact of the matter is that your butt wink, which absolutely leads to a vulnerable lower back and hips in the weighted deep squat, could be caused by many different factors, such as lack of core bracing, poor motor patterning (bad movement habits), restricted joint mobility, Acetabular depth, boney blocks, Gluteal weakness, poor Thoracic Extension, and yes, even tight/overactive Hamstrings and or Hip Flexors.
How Can I Correct Butt Wink?
The questions that we are left with now is where is the chink in the armor that's causing your squat to breakdown. Unfortunately, this blog isn't going to give you the answer you were probably hoping for. It is however, hopefully, going to motive you to seek out a movement expert that can help reprogram the software that is poor movement patterns or sup-up your hardware, that is the body your momma gave ya. At Kinetic, we deploy (among other things) the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) to help our patients/athletes correct and groove their squat pattern as quickly as possible.
Check out some of the awesome exercises we use at use here at Kinetic to help our athletes and patients relearn to squat like a ROCK STAR. The only question left is what exercise is right for you. Time to find out. Happy squatting!!
(Note: There are 16 exercises we consistently recommend for patients who need to improve their squat. Below are 5 of the 16. As we add more videos, they can be found on our YouTube channel under the playlist "Exercises To Correct Butt Wink".)