What Is The Psoas Muscle And How Do I Stretch It?

what is the psoas muscle and how do I stretch it?

“What it the psoas Muscle?” is usually the first question many people ask when they start to find out about how the body works and then learn about the psoas. The illiopsoas muscle or psoas muscle for short, is the only muscle that connects the spine to the legs.

This muscle may also be called “the gut muscle” since it sits so close to the intestines so when you stretch it, it feels like you’re hitting your insides with 1000 needles. But fear not, it’s a good pain!

what is the psoas muscle and why does it hurt so good?

What Does the psoas muscle do?

In short, the psoas muscle is responsible for walking, jogging, running, or any other physical activity where the leg moves up or down.

By Improving the strength of the psoas muscle, we are able to improve flexibility, balance and power.

The reason for tight Psoas muscles points back to being seated for so long. When we sit, our Psoas activates and stays activated for the duration of our seated position.

When we lay down, it becomes fully relaxed.

What are the signs of a tight psoas

According to somatic movement centers website, Some symptoms include:

Tension and pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, pelvis, or groin

Lower back spasms

Snapping hip syndrome

Radiating pain down the leg

Sciatica

Lumbar disc problems

Limping

Functional leg length discrepancy

Idiopathic scoliosis

Hyperlordosis

Instability in the core of the body

Limited flexibility in the lower back

While there are many other symptoms of psoas pain, these are some of the biggest ones that we have seen.

What having a tight psoas muscle lead to

 Having a tight psoas leads to uncomfort, a harder time while squatting and lifting with your legs, and sleeping problems. 

As you can imagine, most of these problems compound because the pain leads to the muscles not performing at their highest level, and your body starts to lose muscles in those areas because they’re not optimized. 

Learning proper psoas muscle pain relief can greatly improve physical activity comfort.

The psoas muscle is unknown to the vast majority of the population, but learning about it here can greatly improve your day today activities. knowing how to handling overcome a tight psoas will improve your lifts, athletic performance, and sleep.

A tight psoas muscle test

  1. Start by laying on a table with both legs hanging off the edge. 
  2. Gently bring one of your knees to your chest.
  3. Maintain a neutral spine. you like it your thigh that’s on the table rises up in the air you have tight hip flexors and a weakened psoas.
The Thomas Test Muscle&Motion

psoas muscle stretches

There are many stretches that can get your psoas, but we will only cover some of the most beneficial and easiest to perform. 

By properly stretching your psoas, you can heavily reduce lower back pain, back spasms, and overall reduce injuries throughout your body.

Please perform these exercises with caution. If any of these stretches cause significant pain, please consult with a physician before more serious injury occurs.

Here is a short video that quickly outlines how to unlock your hip flexors in a series of stretches.

Hip Mobility & Flexibility Exercises for Athletes

Hip Mobility and Flexibility for Athletes | 8 Exercises
 Click The Text To Learn How To Unlock Your Hip Flexors! 

Deep Lunge Stretch

  • Start by simply placing one knee on the ground with the other at a 90 degree angle in front of you.
  • Then place your hands on your hips.
  • Sink your hips forward towards your front leg.
  • Keep a nice tall posture.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds as needed.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
What is the psoas muscle and what deep lunge stretches to try.

If you want to increase the stretch, raise your arms in the air and then gently rotate side to side to get a full range of motion stretch.

What is the psoas muscle and what deep lunge stretches to try.

Another way to do it is grab your back leg with your hand opposite from that leg and rotate your leg in and out. (left leg right hand, right leg left hand)

deep lunge stretches

If done properly, you should then feel a deep stretch in your lower abdomen muscles and this is it good sign that it’s stretching your psoas.

Lacrosse ball stretching

  • Lay on the ground stomach side down
  • Place a lacrosse ball just to the side of your belly button and a little bit below it right there is your psoas.
  • Gently rotate back and forth on this spot for about 30 seconds then switch to the other side .
  • Breathing is very important so make sure to take a nice long deep breaths while performing this exercise.

personally, I like to hold this ball on my psoas for minutes at a time while watching TV so I can at least be productive in some way. When you finish, this psoas muscle release feels incredible after 10 minutes of stretching.

foam ball stretches for psoas

 kettlebell stretches for the psoas muscle

  • Lay on your back and grab kettlebell and gently place it on the psoas muscle. (just to the side and below your belly button)
  • Gently press down on the weight and moves the Kettlebell and small circles so it can hit all parts of the psoas. As a result, this will be almost a mini semi torture psoas muscle massage for you.
  • start with a lighter weight because this really hits your psoas muscle hard.

once you started to get more advanced and want a deeper stretch, increase the Kettlebell weight.

Using a Foam Roller

A foam roller is another great way to get into the hip flexors and psoas to unlock your inner strength and reduce back injuries.

Here is another short video that goes over different stretches with a foam roller:

Foam Roller Stretches for Athletes

How to PROPERLY Foam Roll the Hip Flexors
 Click The Text To Learn How To Unlock Your Hip Flexors! 

What is the psoas muscle’s worst enemy

Honestly, the psoas muscles worst enemy has to be consistent stretching and lacrosse balls. 

Those little suckers will make you feel numb due to the intense stretching that’s going on.

I remember the first time I stretched my psoas I didn’t really know what I was in for until it was too late. There I was holding back tears as my muscle which I’d never been stretched before was being put through an intense stretching routine. 

But then the next day I felt lighter, faster, and stronger than I’ve felt in months or even years.

What is the psoas muscle’s best friend?

Being consistent with a stretching routine might be one of the best things you can do to loosen your psoas muscle.

Currently I’m in a deep lunge position writing out this article to show how convenient stretching can be especially when it comes to something as unnoticed as the psoas muscle.

Take care of your muscle, and it will take care of you.

Instead of sitting down to be on your phone, or doing homework, try to find ways to stand up so that your muscle isn’t being shortened to all the time. 

Because when we sit, our psoas muscle is contracted and active. Imagine half of your day you have your arms in a curl position while your biceps are activated. Imagine what that would do to you after years of no attention. You think they would be pretty tight? Same thing goes for one of the most important muscles in your body that almost no one knows about.

How you can create a stretching routine for your psoas

Resistance bands are going to be a great way to create strength from your psoas. Psoas Stretching Yoga might be worth a google search.

Ultimately, a good Pilates class can do just the trick. These will be some of your best psoas muscle exercises.

I recommend going on YouTube and searching for Pilates classes.

It really comes down to being consistent with your stretches and strengthening. Because if we think that if we can do a plank for five minutes straight that makes us a  person with a very strong core, you’re most likely wrong. You can find out the strength of your psoas just by doing a class in Pilates.

They really work on getting that deep deep strength in your inner core worked. Try one out for yourself and see what you have to say.

What is the psoas muscle’s best equipment to stretch with?

As mentioned earlier there are multiple ways to strength strengthen and stretch your psoas:

CoreSelf // Pilates Form Fundamentals!

There are a few more but instead of focusing on a hundred ways to strengthen your muscles, why don’t we just focus on the top five? Sound good, great!

Just know that if you truly want to be a more well-rounded athlete, you’re Psoas needs more love. Pay attention to it and it will reap benefits for years to come.

Conclusion

The psoas muscle, while small, packs a mighty punch. Knowing how to use its power for athletic performance, or just physical activities, will become greatly appreciated throughout your body.

You will soon notice how much of a difference it makes when you use your psoas and can strengthen it versus just letting it get tighter with each day.

If you guys enjoyed reading this, leave a comment, subscribe to the newsletter, and let me know what I should post next!

I really do appreciate everyone who’s been following this blog so far. We are far from over but we do want to thank everyone again for being there and contributing to the community. It really does mean a lot and we hope you guys have a great rest of your day!

Also if you do want to learn how to strengthen your hips and reduce your chances of injury, click this link.

Other than that, enjoy the rest of your day and stay amazing!

– Eric

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