“Butt Wink” Squat Myth

Whatsup guys in today’s video I’d like to talk about the butt wink. And if the title hasnt already given it away, this is not going to be like other butt wink videos that you’ve seen. I’m not here to tell you the same information that you’ve heard over & over again like it’s a mobility issue, it’s a flexibility issue, or even that it’s bad. I understand that some of you may disagree with me right away, but stick with me through video, hear me out, and feel free to comment below & share your thoughts.



First, let’s define what “butt wink” is for those of you that are watching the video that may not know. The term Butt Wink is referring to that moment in a squat where the pelvis rotates backward. So imagine your tailbone tucking in & rotating inward as you get low in your squat. This is also known as a posterior pelvic tilt which is the opposite of an anterior pelvic tilt. Now the problem with butt wink is that when your holding a heavy weight load like in a squat for example & your pelvis rotates backward there is a lot of extra tension on your lower back & your disks. This could lead to an injury to the lower back, especially when you really exaggerate this posterior tilt of the pelvis. So what’s my problem with “butt wink,” well i actually have multiple problems with the idea of butt wink.

Fist I think it’s been taken out of proportion & any sort of tiny posterior rotation of the pelvis is now considered bad form. The truth is that there isn’t only a backward or forward rotation of the pelvis, but there is also a natural neutral spine in between these two positions. Usually when someone begins a squat before even starting they exaggerate the forward tilt in their pelvis. This isn’t wrong, in fact I have my clients start with almost an anterior pelvic tilt on multiple exercises like squats, dead lifts, and rows. I even give them cues like stick your butt out & stick your chest out when they’re performing these exercises.

The reason why we want to tilt our pelvis forward before starting these movements is because as soon as you’re holding a heavy weight load in exercises like squats or deadlifts for example that weight is putting tension on your lower back & it’s causing your pelvis to want to rotate backward & your spine to want to flex forward . So by starting off with our butts rotated out & by keeping all the muscles in the lower back tight when the weight load we’re lifting is added to the equation & it’s pulling on our spine in the opposite direction we wind up having more of a neutral spine. A neutral spine is actually what we want in order to protect our lower back from injury.

So my first problem with butt wink is that as soon as most people see a slight backward rotation of the pelvis while going down during a squat they call it butt wink when in reality it’s simply the spine switching from that exaggerated extended position to a neutral position. Now when this happens the solution that most trainers & physical therapists recommend is the implementation of corrective exercises as well as stretches. Which brings me to my second problem with the general notion of butt wink, it’s not always caused by a flexibility or mobility issue. In fact it may be more genetic then anything & nobody ever considers that.

The depth of your hip sockets will actually greatly effect how soon you’ll experience “butt wink on your way down for a squat. If you have really deep hip sockets the sooner your thigh bone & pelvis will come in contact during hip flexion as you get lower in your squat. Once your thigh bone & pelvis meet, the range of motion in the hips locks & the only way you’ll go further down in to the squat is by flexing the spine. On the other hand if you have shallow hip sockets you’ll have a lot more space before the thigh bone & pelvis meet allowing you to squat deeper before your spine is forced into flexion. My point here is that you can do all the mobility work, corrective stretching, and practice perfect form but it’s not going to change the bone structure of your hips.

So does this mean that those of us with better squating genetics should squat while the rest of us should not. My answer is a definite no we should all be able to squat because the squat is a very natural movement. Regardless of whether you have very deep or very narrow hip sockets EVERY single person that performs a squat will experience some form of butt wink.


My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first gym in 2011, Gravity Training Zone. I'm now in the process of opening up my third location! I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with almost 1,000,000 subscribers! I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to max@gravitychallenges.com
Founder // Gravity Transformation, Max Posternak