Deep inside the pelvis, wrapping around the lumbar spine is the psoas muscle that’s crucial to every movement.
It’s not a visible muscle that gives your torso the defined six-pack, but it’s one you can’t neglect when building a stronger, functional body.
The psoas muscle is responsible for flexing the hips and lifting your thighs. It’s essential for walking, running, and climbing stairs.
When this muscle gets stiff and tight from sitting and binge-watching Netflix shows, you would feel achy and rusty. What’s more, weaker psoas muscles can lead to an unstable spine and cause hip and lower back pain.
It’s certainly one of the most critical muscles that no one talks about.
Neglecting to stretch out this deep core muscle can lead to more falls, injuries, and instability.
Luckily, you can easily stretch out the psoas muscle and keep your lumbar spine and hips healthy and functional.
Here are 3 exercises you can do daily at home to stretch your psoas and prevent back pain.
- Lie facedown on a mat. Place your hands beneath your chest, about shoulder-width apart.
- Press through your hands to lift your chest and torso up and extend your back. Avoid hyper-extending your back. Keep a natural curve in your lower back.
- Tighten your glutes and feel the stretch in your pelvis.
2. Kneeling Hip Stretch
- Kneel down on both knees and bring the right leg out in front of you with control. Keep your right foot flat on the ground and balance your body with your front foot and the left knee.
- Keeping your upper body still and back neutral, press your hips forward with control until you feel the stretch in your left thigh and hips.
- Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and return slowly to the starting position. Repeat a few times and switch sides.
3. Glute Bridge
- Lie faceup on a yoga mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Adjust your feet so they are about shoulder-width apart.
- With your hands resting on the sides of you and glutes engaged, push your hips up until they are in line with your shoulders and hips.
- Feel the stretch in your thighs, glutes, and hips. After holding for a few seconds on top, slowly return to the starting position and repeat several more times.