The psoas (so-az) muscle is part of the muscle group most people know as hip flexors. The psoas has become a hot topic in the fitness and wellness industry with the increase in desk jobs (sitting), time sitting in traffic, or if you're a new or experienced runner. If any of those relate to you, then you may have fallen into the risk of experiencing tight psoas muscles.
What is the psoas muscle?
The psoas muscles starts from the 12th thoracic vertebrae to the 5th lumbar vertebrae and runs down to your femur. Its a very deep set muscle that you won't often hear cueing for during exercises but it is crucial for proper core and pelvis stabilization. This is a crucial muscle for any activity you do (run, walk, tennis, yoga, etc..) as its the primary muscle that connects the upper body to your lower body. Because this muscles run over the hip joint, any tightness or disfunction of this muscle can cause low back tightness, stiffness and improper body mechanics which can then lead to the surrounding muscles over compensating.
The psoas allows you to bend your thigh to your chest and helps you move forward when you walk or run and is also a major spine stabilizer. As you can see, the psoas allows us to do many different types of activities and if we are not diligent keeping it strong and lengthened, then we may experience pain or discomfort from the hip.
Maintaining a Healthy Psoas
If you're looking to avoid any future psoas related injuries or alleviate psoas pain you're experiencing right now, there are a variety of different exercises you can do.
Pilates, for example, is an excellent exercise to add to your routine to maintain healthy and happy hip flexors. As Pilates focuses on strengthening your psoas, it also focuses on lengthening them as well creating this fantastic balance required to balance and stabilize your core and hips.
Head over to our YouTube Channel to learn a few exercises that can help you.