T Nation

Squatting Wide and Tailbone Tension

For the past 3-4 weeks I’ve been moving my ‘comfortable’ squat weight from 365lbs to 405lbs. After a few warmup sets (225x10, 275x8, 315x6, 365x4) I’ve been going to 405 and working on a set of 4 or so. I’m not on any type of program at the moment, just trying to go heavy with my lifts and eat/lift/rest/get huge. I’ve been pretty happy with the progress so far, but here’s my problem…

Since 2 weeks ago my tailbone (or the tendons/ligaments/whatever around it) has been REALLY, REALLY tight. Almost to the point of pain, but not quite. I squat wide and I go deep in the hole, so it really bugs me after a while.

I’ve tried various leg and lower back stretches and can’t seem to find anything to alleviate the tension. Obviously it’s not the tailbone itself that’s ‘tense’, I’m just not knowledgeable in this area so that’s the only way I can describe it.

Anyone experienced anything similar? Maybe have some different stretches to try? I’m excited about throwing 405 around like it’s 315 (within the next few months, hopefully) and I hate that my freaking tailbone, of all things, is causing problems. Everything else is solid… knees, hips, shoulders, lower back, etc.

edit: grammar

Well, just got home from the gym and I think I’ve figured it out. One of my buddies commented on my squat form and how I was dropping my ass straight down instead of pushing it out and apparently that puts a ton of pressure on my tailbone/coccyx. After dropping weight and doing some form checks, the pain subsided. Came home and looked up some stretching exercises now that I know what it is and I think I know how to fix it.

Man… do I ever love solving mysteries on my own.

Rev1911,

Do you box squat at all? If not, try it. It is great for learning to sit back (like sitting back onto the john) meaning the hips move back first, then the knees bend. I would start on a high box (about 2 inches above parallel) and progress to a parallel box. Once you’ve mastered the form, then you can do low box work (two-three inches below parallel). However, I wouldn’t recommend doing low box every week or wide squatting below parallel every week just because of the stress it places on your hips and tailbone. I would recommend buying an inexpensive pair of squat briefs ($65 or so) and use these on two out of your four heavy workouts a month. The briefs provide support to your hips and will help prevent injuries that raw lifting heavy a lot, especially wide, will bring in time. It is a way to move heavy weights and have longevity in the iron game.

Hope this helps. I’m 51 and have been in powerlifting for years. Steady, consistent, largely injury free, smart training will produce the results you are looking for in the iron game. Using some gear will help you protect your joints.

Cheers

Yeh I get this from time to time. I normally don’t actually get it during the squats, but when Im done with my squats (I used a fairly wide stance, btw) and move onto something I normally get it. eg Squats followed by Lunges, ill feel it during my lunges

I also felt it really bad one time when I hit a 1RM Deadlift PR - thought my tailbone was going to shoot out my ass during the lift and it was tight after it.

It comes and goes, not sure why :confused:

[quote]Sons of Thunder wrote:

Do you box squat at all? If not, try it. It is great for learning to sit back (like sitting back onto the john) meaning the hips move back first, then the knees bend. I would start on a high box (about 2 inches above parallel) and progress to a parallel box. Once you’ve mastered the form, then you can do low box work (two-three inches below parallel). However, I wouldn’t recommend doing low box every week or wide squatting below parallel every week just because of the stress it places on your hips and tailbone. I would recommend buying an inexpensive pair of squat briefs ($65 or so) and use these on two out of your four heavy workouts a month. The briefs provide support to your hips and will help prevent injuries that raw lifting heavy a lot, especially wide, will bring in time. It is a way to move heavy weights and have longevity in the iron game.

Hope this helps. I’m 51 and have been in powerlifting for years. Steady, consistent, largely injury free, smart training will produce the results you are looking for in the iron game. Using some gear will help you protect your joints.

Cheers[/quote]

Thanks for the response. I haven’t tried box squatting, yet. I think I’m gonna take some time off and let my tailbone cool off and then go back in light and work on getting my ass out. I’ll definitely give some box squats a try, too. I don’t think leg presses will cause a problem for me so I’ll try some of those later this week when my legs recover.

I just hate the idea of not squatting or doing any heavy leg work for a few weeks. The psychological pain of ‘taking it easy’ is worse than the bruised (or whatever) coccyx! On the other hand, I fully intend to be doing this when I’m your age and I appreciate your experience and longevity in the sport. Guess I’ll have to suck it up and let some healing happen and then re-learn how to squat. Not too excited about that.