The Simple Psoas Muscle Stretch Guide
The Iliopsoas (or more commonly just called the “Psoas”) muscle is a muscle that connects your lower back to your inner thigh. Most people have no idea what this muscle is until it starts to cause them trouble. Learning a good Psoas muscle stretch or two will help you deal with one of the primary causes of lower back pain and sciatica, a tight Psoas muscle.
You see, a tight Psoas muscle can cause your back to go out of alignment. Aside from causing you to feel a little stiff or giving you a back ache, this may compress the vertebrae and your lumbar discs to bulge, herniate, or begin to degenerate.
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you are already suffering from the pain of a tight Psoas and you’re in need of a Psoas muscle stretch to help get you back up to full-speed.
A good basic Psoas muscle stretch is to place one leg forward and place the other leg behind you while resting on your knee, sort of like a very deep lunge but you rest your knee on the ground. If it helps to take strain off of your knee, place a towel or pillow under your knee. Then begin to move your hips forward.
Your Psoas is contracted when you lean forward, so this stretch is the opposite motion. This will help open up your Psoas and relax your back. Just move your hips forward until you feel a good stretch in your Psoas.
For an added stretch, you can rotate your back and try to reach back to your rear foot with your hand. But the most important thing is that you keep your spine erect.
If you know anything about yoga, you might also know this next psoas muscle stretch as the saddle pose. It isn’t too difficult, but it may require some flexibility.
Simply sit on the heels of your feet and then lay back so that your back can rest on the floor. Spread your legs slightly and focus on holding this position until your muscles stretch and lengthen.
Doing this Psoas muscle stretch continuously over time will help you begin to open and relax your Psoas. However, it may be difficult for you if you are not very flexible, so start slowly and don’t push yourself past your limit or you may end up hurting yourself.
You may also want to work on stretching exercises for Piriformis muscles too since often times if one muscle group is tense to the point of causing pain, then there is a good chance that other muscles like the Piriformis may also be overly tense and in need of a good stretch.
Your Psoas muscle is shortened when you are in a seated position, so if you work at a desk, or sit for long hours on a regular basis, it is a good idea to practice the two Psoas muscle stretches above. They can ease pain, restore alignment, and just plain help you fell better.