Your psoas is so…strong?!!
Last Monday, we started discussing the importance of your psoas muscle, the challenges associated with a tight psoas, and reviewed a few ways to improve its mobility. Today, I want to continue that journey and focus on ways to strengthen your psoas.
For starters, how do you tell if your psoas is weak? I’ll repeat what I said Monday: the human body is complicated. The psoas muscle is arguably one of most complicated ones. So, forgive me dear readers, as I oversimplify and gloss over all kinds of stuff. Signs of a weak psoas may include low back pain, pain in the front of the hip, tight/overworked hamstrings, knee pain, and/or sway back. Difficulty lifting and keeping your knee above hip height while standing upright may also signify a weak psoas.
Causes are similarly complicated and may include weak abdominal, gluteal, or pelvic muscles, chronic sitting, and prolonged cycling.
As the psoas lies deep, and works in concert with so many other muscles – especially abdominal muscles and hip flexors – it can be difficult to effectively strengthen. Being aware of where it is, and what it does, when you exercise can be very beneficial. Never underestimate the positive power of the mind-muscle connection – particularly on a muscle that lies so deep. Here are a few ways to increase innervation of a muscle.
Touch the muscle you’re trying to activate:
To palpate your psoas:
- Lie down on your back.
- Bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor.
- Place your fingertips about one inch below your navel and two inches to either side.
- Lift one foot a couple of inches off the ground. If you are touching your psoas you will feel a long, rope-ish muscle tense, deep under your fingertips. You may have to try this a few times moving your fingertips around a little.
Picture what that muscle is trying to do:
- Stabilizes the spine when you are sitting.
- Drives your thigh up towards your lap when you are standing.
- Will bend the torso forward if the legs are fixed, helps side bend the torso to the same side, and rotate it towards the opposite side.
- Adducts the hip when the hip is already abducted or moved out to the side.
- A strong, healthy psoas supports deep, effective diaphragmatic breathing, and may positively impact pelvis floor stability and function.
Isometrically contract the muscle:
Remember an isometric contraction occurs when the muscle activates without moving.
- Side plank off your knees: flex your bottom glute and the lower part of your abdominals so you hold the side plank with a slight pelvic tuck under. Hold the contraction for 3 - 5 seconds as you exhale. Relax out of the position on the inhale and then re-establish the position. Repeat 4 - 10 times per side.
- Modified Dead Bug: Bring one leg to table top, and then bring the knee a little closer to you so the thigh is flexed slightly above 90 degrees. Place the opposite hand on your knee. As you exhale, gently exert force between the knee and your hand for 3 - 5 seconds. Relax on the inhale. Repeat 4 - 10 times per side.
Check out the Trainer Moves today for a few additional ideas on how to strengthen your psoas.
Inspiration of the Day:
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” – Helen Keller
Live Workouts of the Day:
Happy Monday! We've got TWO classes on tap for you today!
METCON WITH XOCHIL
This high energy workout will have you moving your whole body. Combining movements that challenge your endurance, strength, and coordination for a tough yet fun workout. (All levels)
Recommended equipment: Dumbbells
Join Xochil at 8:00am (30 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 821 2903 5416
TOTAL BODY CONDITIONING WITH PENNY
Join Penny today for her Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.
No equipment needed this week!
Join Penny at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Click here to view our weekly schedule.
If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.
Trainer Moves of the Day:
Grab a mat, a chair, and a Theraband and try these simple, effective ways of waking up that deep, mysterious muscle.
For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.
Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.