Quick Tip: Is that psoas muscle causing you grief?

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Exercises, Health and Wellness, Stretches


As you know, we love the psoas. Connecting the bottom and top halves of the body, it is an essential (and at times mysterious) muscle. Deep within the core of the body, close to the spine, the psoas works tirelessly to help us walk and move in all sorts of ways. If we spend a lot of time in hip flexion, our psoas can get tight and cause a variety of issues: from lower back pain to overly pronated feet. In this week’s Quick Tip, Scott Schwartz will help you locate the psoas in the body, and Alex will give you instructions on how to safely and efficiently work the psoas through self-massage. I, for one, have been feeling the effects of sitting for long hours every day, and in addition to daily stretching, this week’s Quick Tip has helped me significantly alleviate tension in my lower back.

The psoas responds best to deep work sustained for a couple of minutes, and for a lot of us this can be pretty uncomfortable. Don’t worry though; it’s totally worth it. To get started, lie on your back with your right knee bent. Place a lacrosse ball next to your right hip and let it slip into place between the hip bone and the abdomen. Press down slowly until you feel significant, but not painful, pressure on the psoas. Then work with gently massaging up towards the ribcage. For a lot of us it’ll be enough to just hang out here for a minute or two, but if you are looking for more loosening, slowly extend your leg down and out, allowing the leg to rotate out from the hip before lifting it back up to a bent knee. Once you’ve spent a minute or two on the right side, repeat on the left, and let us know how it goes!