Meet your psoas muscles
They are held responsible for:
Your anterior pelvic tilt
Your posterior pelvic tilt
Your lordotic low back
Your flat lumbar spine
Your glutes being sleepy
Your glutes being tight
For your over pronation
For your under pronation
For Anakin Skywalker turning to the darkside
For your neck pain
For your overactive sympathetic nervous system
For lower cross syndrome
You get the idea.
According to every Yogi on instagram, as soon as you release the psoas you will reach nirvana, all your chakras will align and your inner child will
will do whatever inner children do.
That’s all a load of horse shit.
While the psoas is an important muscle in a key location in our structure, it is still only one muscle. And it doesn’t work alone.
It’s part of a team of hip flexors. Or, as they are also known, hip extension decelerators.
If you read the recent post on Kicking where I talked mostly about the glutes, which are extensors you can reverse engineer what the flexors do.
They flex the hip, which is to say they oppose hip extension
They internally rotate the hip, that is to say they oppose external rotation
So when you run, the only thing stopping that rear leg travelling too far back is the stretch load building up in the hip flexors as the leg swings back. A spring load that will propel that leg all the way through to in front of you in time to catch your weight as you hurtle gracefully onwards.
Read that paragraph again.
Stretch load Springs Graceful
Are these words that you would currently use to describe your hips and hip flexors?
If you’re like most people, probably not.
If you’re like most people you’re probably stretching them frequently to no avail.
And that’s likely down to a poor choice of hip flexor stretch, this is how it should be done:
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#OMT The hip flexor stretch as done by just about everyone is shit. Most will feel a very precise stretch in the front of the hip and go “Ooooh, that hurts, must be a deep stretch! Must do more!” Swipe across and look at the image of the psoas muscle you’re targeting. How much of it is in the front of the hip? Fuck all. The huge majority is in the pelvis and up beside the lumbar spine. So to get an effective stretch, you must include spinal movement, and the easiest way to acheive that is to simply have the angles of the shoulders oppose the angle of the pelvis. Now, don’t hold this stationary. Pulse, contact- relax or squeeze the glutes (contrast), all work, some better for some, others better for others. If you have questions, as ever, get in touch #wgfamily #irishfitfam #oneminutetutorial #hipflexorstretch #psoas #psoasstretch #mobility #BJJ #judo #kyokushin #karate #kettlebellsport #girevoy #girevik #iukl #aiklf #aksi
A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Nov 7, 2018 at 3:36am PST
Make sure to read the text as well as watch the video.
Notice the instruction not to keep it static? This is important.
To be “springy” and in order to recoil from a stretch load, you need strength, not just length. So use a pulsing action to wake up the muscle. Or Actively try to drag your knee forwards along the floor with the hip flexor for a second then relax, this is contract relax work and helps develop end range strength and allows new range to develop.
Next, these bands drills that I shared in the kicking post are excellent warm ups / activation drills
Once you have felt the hip flexor moving, through the active stretches and the pulling on the bands, now I want you to look for them in your gym exercises. Specifically any squat action, be that Barbell, Goblet, Single Leg, Lunge, it doesn’t matter. Use them to pull you into that squat, feel them open out as you come out of the squat, be sure to lock the squat out at the top, squeezing those glutes for all you are worth!
No muscle is magic. No individual muscle has the power to completely ruin your life. But as I said earlier, the central location of the psoas does give it precedence to being a bit of a princess, so do give it some love in your training.
And if you need help, I’m currently taking online clients, simply get in touch for details on that. And don’t forget to drop a comment or hit the share buttons if you have read this far…..