Doing deep squats with heavy weight is a great way to build muscle. If you want to build muscle and lose fat, then odds are you are going to end up doing heavy, deep squats. They are a core component of most major lifting routines (everything from 5x5 to Starting Strength). The deep squat is a compound lift, which means it hits multiple muscles and gives you a huge workout. But if you don't do them properly, or if you over load the barbell, you might injure yourself. Here are some things to do if you get pain or muscle soreness after a big lift.
Determine If Your Form Is Correct
If you are new to lifting, it is quite possible that you are not lifting correctly. You might not be keeping your spine in the proper position when you are dropping down for a deep squat. If you curve over too much, you can cause muscle tension or even a herniated disc. It is vital that you develop proper form before loading up more plates on the barbel. The easiest way to do this at a gym is to use a personal trainer. The other method is to record videos of your squat and post them on bodybuilding sites that have sections for form check videos. You can host the videos on sites such as Youtube or Vimeo and then post a link.
Massage: Foam Rollers Or Massage Therapy
If the pain is a dull ache, such as what you get with sore muscles, then you most likely need to have some sort of massage therapy. If it's a minor ache, and you have access to a foam roller, then you might want to try and roll out the tightness in your muscle yourself. Doing deep squats can cause muscle aches if your quads or glutes are tight. A foam roller can be very useful post-workout. If the ache is severe, then you should visit a physical therapist, such as those at Advanced Physical Therapy, that deals with sports injuries. They will be able to provide you with a better form of massage. In this case, you will likely need to have deep tissue massage.
Beware Of Sharp Pain
If you have a sharp pain, skip the self massage treatment and head right to a physical therapist. It's possible that the injury is not muscle related but is instead related to a ruptured disc. While some lifters will hear an audible "pop" during a lift which signifies the disc rupturing, this is not always present. If there is a ruptured or slipped disc, you need to immediately have that dealt with. Any lifting in the gym needs to be put on hold until a sports therapist ascertains whether or not there is disc damage. They can then determine if traction is necessary or just rest from lifting.