Pilates

The Mysterious Psoas

May 20, 2013

Psoas

Do your clients have trouble understanding what you mean when you talk to them about their psoas? Everyone has heard the word Psoas used when referring to core muscles or hip flexors but what, really, is the Psoas?

The Psoas muscle is an incredible muscle that helps us move, walk, dance and live. The Psoas can be considered the core muscle of the human body. It is the only muscle to attach the spine to the leg, thus allowing for the movement of walking. The Psoas major is a large muscle that attaches at T12, the bottom of the thoracic spine continuing along the lumbar spine to L4. It then runs through the pelvic bowl and over the front of the hip, finally attaching to the top of the femur.

The Psoas is traditionally thought of as a hip flexor, which means it is a muscle that brings the trunk and leg closer closer together or closes the joint. There are new Psoas experts that want to change our interpretation of the psoas. They believe this important muscle should not classified as a flexor because in doing so we then want to stretch or strenghten it like we would any flexor, but the Psoas is different.

Liz Koch, psoas expert believes that the psoas becomes exhausted instead of tight and we must learn how to relax and release the psoas as opposed to stretching and strengthening. Focusing on proper alignment, stabilizing, and good posture supports the psoas, giving this mysterious muscle the chance to be the responsive, flexible connection between the spine and the lower body.

Stay tuned for Pilates exercises that you can have clients do to assist the Psoas in strengthening and lengthening.
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    Paul Kramer
    April 16, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Very good. More demo photos please. Prone position, isolation and assisted techniques.

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