Psoas: our primary posture muscle

tight Psoas affects your posture dramatically

If you could look deeply into the abdominal core from the front of your body, the final layer of muscle attaching into the anterior portion of your lower back or lumbar spine is the Psoas major, part of the hip flexor muscle group. This anchor for our lower or lumbar spine is coupled in the lower back by our spinal erector muscle group, which gives our very vulnerable lumbar spine support and stability. Like everywhere else in our body structure, balance between both sides of the joints is always key to achieving optimal position, mobility and function.

What happens when our hip flexors are tight?

Some are calling it “muscular amnesia.” In this scenario, the Psoas adaptively shortens and the poor lumbar muscles adaptively weaken. Postural control in the lower back has all but ceased to exist. The Psoas affects your mobility, especially stride length. It also is key to structural balance due to its left/right tilting and rotational components. As the Psoas has several attachments into our diaphragm, it also affects our breathing and ultimately our oxygen uptake.  Sitting, tight clothing and narrow shoes distort our posture, curtailing our natural movements and further constricting our psoas. The lifelong chronic stress put on the psoas can lead to many problems like back, hip, or knee pain and even digestive issues and dysfunctional breathing. It could also be a major cause why people suffer from chronic physical pain. In addition to its function to help keep the body upright and moving, the psoas is the link and connector between our upper and lower bodies, creating a smooth distribution of ground reaction forces from toe to occiput. Lengthening the psoas, whether for increased speed or improved breathing, will make you feel more grounded and more aware of your lumbar pelvic pivot point, often referred to as your centre of gravity. In our opinion, almost all back pain and knee pain is linked or associated with constricted and dysfunctional Psoas movement. When you are made aware of where the psoas is, what it feels like when touched and how, when released, it can reset the whole of your body structure you will realize how free you really can be.Just let it go and see what your movement potential is and how your mental stress just fades away.

How can you relieve tighness in your psoas?

Whilst deep tissue massage might give you some relief, stretching is the most effective way to relieve tightness in our hip flexors. By lengthening the fascia around the muscle, stretching will help correct some of the postural imbalance that are the source of agravated strain in the lower back. Daily practice of certain stretching yoga poses, like the Crescent Lunge pose or the Ustrasana (Camel Pose) will help. However, few men have the time, the inclination or even the patience required in a regular yoga practice. So those with little time to spare will greatly appreciate the assistance of a well trained and experienced Stretch therapist. The team at Stretch Asia is the first, the biggest and most experienced team of Stretch Therapists is the whole of Asia. For the past 16 years, Stretch Asia has specialized in the safest and most effective form of assisted stretching, known as Active Isolated Stretching. After helping over 15,000 clients, you can trust our expertise.

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Chris Watts

About Chris Watts

Chris co-founded Stretch Asia with Sylvie in 1999. He left the company in 2011 and later set up Motion Dynamics, a fitness program that promotes corrective postural and bio-mechanical movements. It encourages and inspires an active lifestyle by learning to move your body intelligently. Pre-habilitation and prevention of injury is its focus. Chris teaches his program to private clients in Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore. Whilst not directly involved with Stretch Asia anymore, he is one of the main contributors in our Editorial Team, sharing his extensive knowledge of the body mechanics with its readers.
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Chris Watts

About

Chris co-founded Stretch Asia with Sylvie in 1999. He left the company in 2011 and later set up Motion Dynamics, a fitness program that promotes corrective postural and bio-mechanical movements. It encourages and inspires an active lifestyle by learning to move your body intelligently. Pre-habilitation and prevention of injury is its focus. Chris teaches his program to private clients in Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore. Whilst not directly involved with Stretch Asia anymore, he is one of the main contributors in our Editorial Team, sharing his extensive knowledge of the body mechanics with its readers.