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Combat Your Butt Wink

by Mike Giunta, DPT, CSCS

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The “Butt Wink” is a common problem where the proper lumbo-pelvic position is unable to be maintained throughout a squat, resulting in a curling or tucking under of the tailbone towards the bottom of a squat position. This lack of control can affect our muscle sequencing and ultimately cause issues both up and down the chain. Use the following exercises to gain more mobility and control of your squat to avoid injury.

Segmented Cat/Camel (2 sets x 5 reps)

During this exercise, focus on moving through one spinal segment at a time. Start at the tailbone and move your way to a fully flexed position at low, middle and upper back. Finish with full flexion of the neck. Before reversing, ensure all of the motion in the spine is used up. Then starting again from the tailbone, begin to unwind into a fully extended, or arched, position.

Jefferson Curl (2 sets x 5 reps)

This exercise is designed to improve mobility and control in the lumbo-pelvic region. Start on an elevated surface holding a light weight and fully flex the spine below the level of the surface (or as far as comfortable without pain). In segments, return to a fully standing position. As mobility and control improves, carefully increase weight.

Wall Sit w/ Anterior/Posterior Pelvic Tilt (2 sets x 10 reps)

This exercise will challenge the ability to control the lumbo-pelvic position as you improve load. Additionally, the wall will give the upper and middle back the appropriate cues to stay in an upright position. Start by sliding into a wall sit position, ideally at 90 degrees of hip flexion. Alternate rocking the pelvis forward and backward, bringing the low back away from and towards the wall. Continue to progress by loading the spine with weight or lowering the starting position.

If you experience any pain, weakness or inconsistency performing these exercises or holding a squat, please reach out for an appointment with a physical therapist!

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