Ass-to-Grass Squats, Good or Bad?

Have you ever been told you have a ‘butt wink’ when squatting?

Squats and I have a love hate relationship, I love doing them, hate how sore my legs are during the 48-72 hours following.

Squats are wildly regarded as not only one of the best compound exercises that a person can implement into their workout routine, for many reasons including the amount of EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption) it generates, proprioceptive awareness, and an all-around great compound movement that is very applicable to every day movements.

The most consistent arguments regarding squats are:

  • How deep should you squat
  • Should your knees go past your toes

The latter is a discussion for another day. But the depth argument is one I am going to dive a bit deeper into.

Many people believe that you should be going as deep as you can when squatting, the idea behind this is to maximize the range of motion through the exercise. On the other hand, there are arguments that going as low as possible in your squats is actually contraindicative (the risk outweighs the reward).

The argument that doing ass-to-grass squats is contraindicative revolves around the idea of the ‘butt wink’, the point at the bottom of a squat where your butt seems to tuck under your your torso. The idea of the ‘butt wink’, actually illuminates whats called a posterior pelvic tilt, this pelvic tilt does not allow the spine to stay in a neutral position. The posterior pelvic tilt can commonly lead to having lower back pain.

There are many right ways to do a squat, and many good opinions on how a squat should look. My recommendation: LOOK FOR PARALLELS. These will make sure your depth is still good, and you will not be arching your back too much to risk injury.

What do I mean by that? You want to sets of parallel lines:

  • Your lower legs and your back
  • Your quads and the ground Bottom of Squat Form

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