Tag Archive for: twitter

Hey you, is that your butt winking at me?

Here’s a fantastic guest post from Halevy Life Staff Coach Jake Roswell:

Jeff Halevy TODAY Show Fitness ExpertAlright guys, let’s get one thing straight. It is absolutely asinine (no pun intended) to think that everybody should squat to depth with the same stance. Some have been genetically blessed with squatting hips where they can stand with their feet shoulder width apart, touch their ass to their calves and stand back up, and then there are those of us (yes that means me too), who aren’t that lucky and want to beat the shit out of the aforementioned.

When first told that I was doing a “butt wink” in my squat, I wondered, “What is this butt wink B.S.? Who would come up with such a term?” The only wink I know is the one our business affairs guy gives to the good looking lady at the water fountain. So how is it possible to wink with my butt? Actually, I just asked, I didn’t really want to consider the options for what the creepy bald stranger behind me was saying.

I eventually learned that Butt wink is a term used for excessive posterior pelvic tilt at the bottom of a squat. Think of your pelvis as a bowl full of water. You’re holding the bowl evenly (standing vertical) resulting in no spillage. The instant you tilt the bowl backwards, water is spilling out of the back and the bottom of the bowl is facing forward, also known as posterior pelvic tilt. You may hear terms such as “ass to grass” or “in the hole”, but from experience, if you cannot do this without excessive lumbar flexion (typically caused by posterior pelvic tilt) then STOP! Butt winking puts added tension onto the backside of the intervertebral discs, which can result in potential disc herniation. Addressing factors contributing as well as prescribing corrective strategies to minimize the occurrence of butt wink is crucial to the prevention of injury and the education of novice lifters.

butt wink

Butt-wink, stage right!

1) You may hear coaches’ state that the reason you suffer from posterior pelvic tilt is due to tight hamstrings. This may in fact be the case, however, I believe it is a lazy prescription to correcting such a complex movement. No I’m not trying to harass you trainers out there, I’m just saying that research has concluded that when squatting, your hamstrings do not stretch as much as you think. Dean Somerset’s article “Butt Wink is Not About the Hamstrings” addresses Lombard’s Paradox, which states, “During a balanced flexion of the knee and hip, no real length change occurs in the hamstrings as well as the rectus femoris”. If there is noticeable lumber flexion early in the squat, it could very well be hamstring tightness. Try stretching, but if there is still no difference in performance then there are different structural limitations other than tight hamstrings.

2) Everyone is different. The anatomical structure of your joints (especially the acetabulum in this case) may limit full range of motion. Some can have deep hip sockets which is the cause of limited range of motion. Do NOT try and force yourself in to the hole. This will result in pelvic tilt and subsequent lower back pain as well as discomfort at the hip. There are however ways to work around it. The first can be the beloved kettlebell or dumbbell goblet squat. This will allow you to get low into a squat by maintaining correct lumbar position while hitting depth without any complications as opposed to a back squat. Secondly, try a wider stance in your squat with your feet pointed out more than 45 degrees. When pointing your toes out it allows your femoral head to rotate properly within the acetabulum. Posterior movement of your hips in this position puts your spine into a more neutral position, limiting pelvic tilt. A narrower stance requires a greater range of motion to parallel. To hit depth, for some, the tucking of the lumbar spine is required to get “ass to grass”. Hip mobility becomes more of a factor in this type of squat. The wide movement exhibits greater hip flexion and less plantar flexion which trains the hips on all three planes of motion. To increase hip mobility, try the tactical frog stretch.

3) As stated before, excessive posterior pelvic tilt is a huge detriment to the lower back resulting in possible disc herniation. Another way to control that is to brace the core and activating the glutes. To brace the core breathe into your stomach then your chest, this stabilizes the core anteriorly and posteriorly (front and back). Think of breathing in through the bottom and getting a “fat stomach”. Also, motor control is imperative. You must activate the glutes throughout your squat. Spread and grab the floor with your feet. When activating your glutes during your lift, you are allowing space for a deep squat by relieving pressure off your hip flexors. Both of these concepts control hip rotation and when relaxing in one or both of these areas may result in butt wink.

Yes, I can admit that I have fallen victim to butt wink, consequently resulting in injury. Excessive posterior tilt had me out of the squatting game for 2 weeks. I was able to correct this however, through corrective exercises such as the dumbbell goblet squat explained above. If you have high hopes for the squat then you better check your ego at the door.

Being a better squatter is more efficient than being a bigger squatter. Work the movement pattern, increase your range of motion incrementally, and set yourself up for some serious gains. Hit me up with questions/comments on Twitter: @jroswell3

The Biggest Threat to Your Health

I recently found myself in a Twitter-debate-gone-bad with a garden variety personal trainer, referred to herein as GVPT, who labels herself a “fitness expert” for a few major-brand health magazines (though she is not listed as such on said publications’ websites). That being said, GVPT does have a “name” in the business, whatever that’s worth, but therein lies the problem, as I’ll discuss later.

The catalyst of our debate: the health and fat loss merits of fasting.

What set off the debate was, by my standards, an innocuous response to one of GVPT’s tweets, in which I clarified that one can fast up to 72 hours without any slowdown of metabolism. Now, for purposes of clarification, this is not my opinion, but in fact lab-tested truth. There was no agenda here, other than to clarify this one small piece of information. However, GVPT disagreed with clinical research because it ran contrary to her opinion.

GVPT then made “J.V. Debate Club Mistake #1,” by attempting an Appeal to Authority, one of the most rudimentary forms of a fallacious argument, by photographing and posting a small blurb in a magazine quoting Dr. Andrew Weil, in which Weil says that fasting may not be the best solution for weight loss.

But wait, weren’t we talking about metabolic slowdown? But GVPT wouldn’t have it. After all, the existing clinical research doesn’t support her opinion. When I then offered to supply over twenty studies that strongly indicate the benefits of fasting — I should clarify; “fasting” can last from hours to days — she didn’t respond by agreeing to read research, but instead sent a link to an exercise “guru” who actually peddles pills claiming to spot reduce fat, which by any informed medical opinion is a complete impossibility. In fact, the only method of spot reduction is liposuction. But alas, an Appeal to Authority corroborated by…a second Appeal to Authority.

Never mind the fantastic research that is emerging not only for using periodic fasting for fat loss and for health — autophagy, or the body’s internal cleaning and maintenance system, only occurs to full-effect in a fasted state — but back to GVPT’s original source, Dr. Weil. Interestingly enough, Dr. Weil in fact supports fasting as espoused in an incredibly popular 2012 piece for The Huffington Post.

GVPT continued our debate by…you guessed it, more fallacious arguments, this time in the form of ad hominem attacks — always the last resort of the misinformed and defeated. GVPT then blocked me. I guess it’s easier to block out research and truth than change your opinion.

This anecdote is important not only to those of you who are curious about the truth behind fasting, or why you must distrust information from “experts,” but to all of those out there who are influenced by anyone with a “name”…names like good old Jenny McCarthy, the Queen of the Misinformed.

Jenny McCarthy has been making headlines lately not so much because she is joining talk show “The View,” but because she is an outspoken critic of commonly accepted, science-backed childhood immunizations. You see, Ms. McCarthy’s opinion is that immunizations lead to autism — a completely unsubstantiated claim. Research in no way supports her opinions.

However we can’t ignore her opinions, because her opinion as a celebrity inherently carries weight and has an impact. We trust celebrities. After all, that’s why celebrities are used in commercials and advertising. But LeBron James endorsement of Nike product poses no risk to the lives of our children. Ms. McCarthy, however, soap-boxing about her single (questionable) anecdotal experience of “curing” her child’s autism carries with it immeasurable harm.

There’s lots of scary stuff out there negatively affecting our health: carcinogens in the air and water, fast food, the list goes on and on. However these threats are perceived as such. And as great a public health threat as they may be, the threat is at least clear (whether we choose to acknowledge it or not is a whole other story).

Which leads me to the greatest public health threat we face: seemingly credible, benevolent “expert opinion” rendered by those with a public persona — be it a garden variety personal trainer with a Twitter account, or a mother with a talk show hell-bent on using pseudoscience to dissuade parents from providing critical immunizations to their children.

I’ll choose science over celebrity, and research over regurgitation any day. I hope you do the same; the health of Public Health depends on it.

Do. Not. Trust.

Jeff Halevy Answers Your Twitter Questions: Workout Fatigue


My Christmas Gift for You!

Jeff Halevy Fitness Guru Upper East Side Personal Training GymI’m usually “all business,” but this time of year is about FUN!

So you want your gift, huh? :)

Tweet me why you “deserve” (over all others) to train with me and I will:


  1. Do an entire assessment and training session with you at Halevy Life
  2. Design a custom exercise program for you
  3. Create a nutrition plan based on your goals

That’s it! All you have to do is Tweet me by Monday 12/24/12.*

*Some restrictions may apply. Call Halevy Life at (212) 233-0633 for details.

Jeff Halevy Voted #2 Of 20 The Best Fitness Experts Worth Following On Twitter!

What an honor! Huffington Post just voted me #2 on their “20 Of The Best Fitness Experts Worth Following On Twitter” list!