It’s Worth The Trouble To Get To Know Your Psoas Muscles


Hi folks,

Anterior hip (pelvic) muscles. From:

Anterior hip (pelvic) muscles. As you can see, the psoas muscles are quite large. From:

Another great dance lesson today, in which no dancing was done or music heard. It was all about exploring and activating my core, whilst working to keep other muscle groups quiescent, and thus allowing my core to do what it does best. Rebecca, my dance and Continuum teacher, informed me that the psoas muscles are central to dance. In the past, I got to know my major hip flexors, the psoas and iliacus, intimately because I kept straining them with my PowerCranks (my fault, I hasten to add). My advice, based on this experience, is “don’t run fast straight after a hard PowerCrank workout!”

If your psoas muscles become excessively contracted or shortened, as they may with lots of sitting, they are less effective functionally and more susceptible to strain. Such strain will be apparent as stiffness or pain in your lower back, and even sharp pain in your groin. Nothing worse than a groin pull for runners.

It is possible to overwork and then strain your psoas muscles, which are needed to lift your knees during the ascending part of the bike spin. PowerCranks used judiciously provide a great way to tone, strengthen, and thus protect these critical hip flexors. Tight psoas muscles can be released by gentle massage whilst lying on your back, but there are many approaches recommended, including the Trigger Point Performance Therapy ball. I prefer to lie on my back and use my thumb to coax a tight psoas into letting go, and it works every time. The real trick is to carefully strengthen and get to know them, and then they’ll provide great life-long service for swimming, biking and running.

Oh! Yes! And dancing!

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.