Stretch Your Piriformis/Periformis! This info below has been a lifesaver for me!
The following is from http://www.theironsamurai.com..
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If you keep saying that you want a big squat, but every time you get serious about it, you begin to develop either back pain or the symptoms of sciatica, then I may have a solution for you. This used to happen to me, too, before I realized the importance of stretchin’ that butt! Now, I squat AT LEAST 5 times a week most of the year, sometimes up to 9 times a week.
Don’t be stupid! If you have back pain, you’re best off seeing a doctor and finding out what it is. It may be that you have a real issue that needs addressing that a blog-article just can’t help you with.
But, if you’re like me (and like most serious lifters) one of your problems might be your uber-tight periformis muscles in your glutes.
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The periformis is a small muscle in your buttocks. And unfortunately for you, it butts up (wink!) right against your sciatic nerve. So every time it gets inflamed and swollen (like after you squat), it puts pressure on the nerve and makes you feel like something is wrong with your back.
There are a couple things you can do to deal with this problem. The first is simply to “roll” it out.
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Take a tennis ball (or if you’re hardcore, a lacrosse ball) and mimic what the woman in the pic above is doing (If you’re doing it right, you won’t be smiling like she is … it hurts, people). Another way to do it is to take the tennis ball, while standing, and place it between a doorjam and your glutes. Press. Hard. I do this in the morning when I wake up, and at night before I go to bed.
The next thing you got to do is to stretch out the periformis ALL THE TIME. I do twice a day, at least, every day. If I do, I can squat all the time. If I don’t , I can’t squat at all. It’s that important.
Here’s a vid by K-Star, with the cyclist Levi Leipheimer, showing a good stretch for this pesky muscle (it also gets the old IT band, which is another pain in the arse for heavy squatters):
BTW, if you don’t already do so, check out K-Star’s mobility workouts of the day. Many of these will make your lifting life a lot easier, keep pain away, and allow you to train your butt off (almost literally) every day. Maybe now you can get that triple (or quadruple!) bodyweight squat that your Mamma always wanted you to have.
To quote K Starr:
Take a good look in the mirror and make a better decision. There is always more power to be had.
Author: Nick Horton, coach of the PDX Olympic Weightlifting team in Portland.