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“it is an organ of perception composed of bio-intelligent
tissue that embodies our deepest urge for survival”
-Liz Koch, author of “The Psoas book”
What it the Psoas?
The psoas is deep-seated core muscle AND a powerful hip flexors that brings torso to the thighs. This muscle(s) is responsible for holding us upright and allows us to lift our legs in order to walk. A healthily functioning psoas stabilizes the spine and provides support through the trunk, and allows movement to the legs.
The psoas is a general term, but refers to the combination of two muscles, the iliacus, and the psoas major muscle.
Psoas Major is the only deep muscle that connects your spine to your leg. It runs from your lower back through your pelvis, passing to the front of your hip where it attaches to the top of your femur.
The iliacus is a flat, triangular muscle that lies deep within your pelvis. It attaches from your pelvis to your thigh bone (femur). Its primary action is to flex and rotate your thigh
What causes a tight psoas?
If you spend a lot of your time sitting at a desk, driving, or repeatedly work these muscles in activities like bicycling, weight-training or sit-ups, the psoas can become short and/or tight. Common manifestations of a tight psoas:
Lordosis- when you stand up, it pulls the low back vertebrae forward and down toward the femur
sore lower back
cramping or clenching sensation in the muscles of the upper leg area
Emotional side to the psoas
The psoas runs along the lines of the solar plexus down to the root chakra. In turn, it can effect a whole lot of aspects in your life, like your confidence, creativity and your entire being. The psoas is a place we like to dump emotional traumas. It is deep in the body allowing us to hide from what we don’t want to face.
The psoas responds to the sympathetic nervous system during the flight or fight response in the body. If your fight/flight is triggered into constant arousal, eventually you lose contact with your inner world leading to anxiety, sadness, fear and constant exhaustion. It is so important to release some stress daily to keep your psoas healthy and happy!
What we are going to keep in mind while stretching?
Notice how the hips are positioned
Actively noticing were your hip are in space, allowing movements to create space within the hip joint and muscle
Energetically thinking about the core
Think about the psoas lengthen up and down along the torso
Just because a muscle is tight, doesn’t mean we neglect strengthening it!
Poses for stretching:
Leg swings forward and back (emphasize back swing)
Cross body swings
lifting up a leg putting it on ground, other leg bending into chest
rotating legs over one side then the other
with back leg lifted
internal rotation (baby circles)
Cat cow with one leg out
knee to chest
chest on ground
Poses for Strengthening:
supine, leg out at 45 degrees lateraly
Rotates, lift and lowering
Leg lifts (supine)
be mindful of lower back, ready and active but not engaged
Leg lifts (standing)
emphasis on the forward movement
Figure four leg swings
https://feelingsoulgood.com/psychology-of-the-psoas-and-exercises-to-help-relief-pain/ https://www.yogajournal.com/practice-section/the-psoas-is https://www.wikihow.fitness/Stretch-the-Psoas-Muscle https://youtu.be/H4-gDXnyGDA://youtu.be/H4-gDXnyGDA https://bodydivineyoga.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-psoas-muscle-of-the-soul/ https://coreawareness.com/4-good-reasons-not-to-misuse-your-psoas-by-liz-koch/ https://www.yourpainismypain.com/blog/4s4s9fjjpd9pxkktehwj6wr62dtbcb https://www.yogatoday.com/blog/hips-dont-lie-releasing-stored-up-emotion-through-hip-openers https://www.drnorthrup.com/psoas-muscle-vital-muscle-body/