Muscle of the Month – Psoas major

Still sticking to  Psoas major as ‘muscle of the month’ as it’s the cause of so many problems.  Time and time again we come across clients who have lower back issues  and on assessment, the Psoas (hip flexor) is very often the culprit. Its amazing how often it shows up as a weak muscle!

Psoas major – The only muscle of the body that connects the top with the bottom. We have 2 of these muscles which come from either side of the lumbar spine, down through the pelvis and attach to the inside of the hip joint. These incredible muscles help control balance, our ability to stand, sit, walk and twist.

If we are in a seated position for long periods of time the muscles shorten and in doing so, pull the lumbar spine into the body causing, amongst other things, lower back problems.

A good working psoas gives a neutral pelvic alignment, balances hips, supports the lower spine giving greater mobility and core strength to the body.

I follow the ‘Core Walking Programme’ and it came up with a great relax for PSOAS.

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat to the floor about a shoulder width apart – that’s it!!!!!!  put on your fav cd and just lie there for about 20 mins.  This totally relaxes the psoas muscle. Remember the psoas needs to be STRONG, LONG and now you can let it totally RELAX.  Considering your lumbar plexus (bundle of nerves) lies within this muscle – this must be a great thing to do!

To stretch off this muscle check out images for yoga forward lunge. Another easy way to strengthen the psoas is to sit on a chair and make sure your back is straight.  Bring one bent knee up to just over 90 degrees and then keep that position whilst trying to push the knee down with hand.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat with other leg.  Make sure your upper body remains upright or other muscles will start to compensate for the psoas.  This is an exercise that can be done at work or anytime you are sitting.

Psoas major should never be underestimated!