Psoas Stretch: 3-Step Stretch for Lower Back Pain

Video Transcription

Hi, this is Dr. Brad Holden from HealthFirst Spine & Wellness. Helping you take control of your health by optimizing the core four, which are the spine, mind, food, and move. Today’s topic is going to be the psoas muscle. We’re going to talk about what the psoas muscle is, where it’s located, what it does, and the most effective stretch I’ve found to elongate that chronically tight psoas muscle.

So the psoas muscle is an interesting muscle because it actually attaches to the lower lumbar vertebrae here, and then attaches onto the femur. Its primary action is to flex the hip, or bring the hip up, so it’s a primary hip flexor. A lot of the triathletes that we work with have really tight hip flexor issues, and people who sit a lot have really tight hip flexor issues. So we’re going to demonstrate today how to stretch that muscle. It’s one of the more nuanced muscles to stretch. There’s three different parts we’re going to focus on to do it correctly. Nicole here is going to help us do that.

So Nicole, we’re going to set up to stretch that left psoas muscle. So go ahead and put that left knee down. We’ll extend that right foot out in front. The first part of an effective psoas stretch is going to be getting some posterior pelvic tilt into the pelvis. So go ahead and flatten your lower back, tilt the hips forward, and we’re going to go in the opposite direction. There you go. Just like that right there. We’re going to engage that glute muscle now. So it’s important to tighten up that glute muscle on the same side we’re stretching, because of a law called reciprocal inhibition. Which means if we contract one muscle on the side of the joint, the opposite muscle, in this case the psoas or hip flexor, is going to automatically be relaxed, and be shut off. So we want to make sure we keep that glute engaged throughout the stretch.

Once we get the tilt, which is step number one, we want to engage the glute, which is step number two. Now we’re going to drive that hip forward at about a 45 degree angle, keeping that glute contracted. We’re going to feel stretching along the front of that hip. That in itself is an excellent stretch for the psoas. But we’re not going to stop there, we’re going to put some icing on the cake, if you will. So now we’re going to take this arm here, and we’re going to go straight over this way to flex the lumbar spine away from that psoas. Now we’re going to feel that muscle deep in the abdominal wall here, all the way down into the front of the hip. We want to hold that stretch about 20 to 30 seconds, three to five times. We’re going to do both sides of that. It is a stretch you can do every single day if you want to.

That is going to address the psoas muscle there today. We appreciate you watching. If you like this, and you want to get more of this goodness coming to you, as far as the core four; spine, mind, food, and mood, go ahead and subscribe to our channel today.

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