Spring Stretch: Hip Flexors: The Psoas + The Iliacus
The psoas and the iliacus are muscles that originate from the front of the lumbar spine and the hollow of the hip bone respectively. They share a tendon that ends in the front of the leg and together form the primary hip flexor.
These muscles help bring the knee towards the chest, or, with a planted leg bring the torso towards the knee. They are used in everything from elevating the leg during a walk or run, to delivering power during a swimming flutter kick. They are also, unfortunately, very prone to shortness in our day to day lives. Whether it’s from long hours in a chair at work or huddling in a ball to escape the winter chill many of our habitual activities can, over time, shorten this muscle group causing low back discomfort.
So, we present to you a few variations on hip flexor stretches;
2-Then as you move the front knee forward more you should feel a stretch into the front of the hip and perhaps the front of the abdomen as well.
3-Feel free to inch the front leg forwards to increase the intensity of the stretch, provided of course that there is no pain and that your knee does not pass your big toe – keep your knee stacked over your ankle.
4-To further increase the depth of the stretch, keep your hand on the same side knee, then on the side you are stretching, raise your arm up over head.
Lazy hip flexor stretch:
2-If the surface is high enough that your outside leg can dangle without touching the floor. Then, grab the ankle of the outside leg, bend at the knee as fully as possible then keeping the knee bent pull it towards the ground.
NOTE: First warm up the hips and low back with gentle hip circles in both directions to increase the range of motion and to prepare the tissue. If you are feeling extra stiff try taking a warm epsom salts bath or shower to warm up your muscles prior to these stretches. Hold the stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds, focusing on your breath, repeating 3 times and always stretch both side. Move in and out of each stretch carefully. All stretches should be PAIN FREE. If you feel pain during any of these stretches please STOP performing the stretch.
Hopefully these stretches will help relieve any tension you might be feeling in your body this Spring. Please feel free to contact the team at Therapy Lounge if you have any questions about these stretches, or if you would like to book a treatment.
“Live life in full bloom.”