How Not to Destroy Your Lower Back While Squatting: Avoiding The Dreaded Butt Tuck Position

To start, I wanted to say that I plugged the words “butt tuck” into google to get some good images to put along with this post and what I ended up getting was not anything related to squatting. Man am I naive.

Anyway, we’ve all heard it, squatting is going to hurt your back.  We get screamed at every day to keep our backs flat at the gym and we understand it well, right?

Well ya, we want the lower back (lumbar spine) in a neutral position during squatting.  It’s important for avoiding flexion based back pain and disc herniations.  Our motion should be coming from the hips.  Here’s a quick refresher.

I’m really picky about my squats though and despite us knowing how important keeping a flat back is, I still see people’s spines rounding at the bottom of the squat all the time.  Here’s what I mean:

Do you see how at the bottom of Brian’s squat his butt tucks a bit underneath of him and his lower back rounds slightly?  It might not seem like much, but Brian has a history of lower back pain and correcting this movement is most likely going to pay dividends in his lower back health. This is referred to as “butt tucking” not to be confused with anal winking (A real medical term)

After showing him the video and going over this check out his squat now:

Better right?  Now all it took for Brian was me showing him a video of himself and giving him some cues on how to correct this.  For other people it could be a number of things:

  • Tight hips
  • Tight ankles (limited Dorsiflexion)
  • Poor lumbar and thoracic spine stability

That’s going to be your job to figure this out, but if you’ve got this issue going on, especially if you have a history of low back pain (flexion intolerant back) it would be smart to fix it fast.

As far as staying healthy goes, technique is vital but having the correct programming is another extremely important part of the equation.  I spend copious amounts of time creating competitive crossfit programming for those who wish to minimize risk of injury and promote longevity.  Learn more about the program by clicking HERE:

Your back will thank you later,

Dan Pope

P.S. Like the videos?  If you do sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date with new videos articles and podcasts.  You’ll have my undying love as well.

7 Responses to How Not to Destroy Your Lower Back While Squatting: Avoiding The Dreaded Butt Tuck Position

  1. Pingback: Push Press 101: Why Does Push Press Hurt My Lower Back? Part 2 | FITNESS PAIN FREE

  2. Pingback: Why Do My Hips Hurt When I Squat? Femoral Acetabular Impingement: Part 2 | FITNESS PAIN FREE

  3. Hey Dan!

    The improvement is awesome. Do you remember the specific cues you gave him to fix his butt wink?


    • Hey Shannon, I think I just showed him the video. My cues are usually to push the knees out and squeeze the chest up.

  4. Pingback: Finding the Best Squat Stance for Performance, Hip and Lower Back Health

  5. Thanks for the video comparo, i guess i am doing the same mistake as i am having lot of pain in lower back.

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