Want to learn the best psoas strengthening exercises? Please read on…
Little muscles are more important than you might think when it comes to getting stronger and more active. These muscles help support your primary muscles, such as glutes, chest and quads.
Psoas is the muscle that wraps around the pelvis from your lower back to the lower part of your pelvis at the inner thigh of both legs.
Psoas is an active muscle that is used in an individual’s everyday activities – this includes most movement and static function. Walking, running, climbing, and cycling involve the psoas. This muscle brings the hip into flexion, so you can strengthen them using stretch exercises.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most effective psoas strengthening exercises in the article below.
What Is the Psoas?
Three significant muscles connect the spine to your legs. They are piriformis, gluteus maximus and the psoas muscle.
The psoas muscle connects with the vertebrae of the human spine and wraps the outer edge of each pubis near the pelvis. Then, it joins with the iliacus muscle at the groin region (inguinal ligament). It finally attaches to the femur.
This muscle helps you stand upright and walk as the spine’s curve transfers the weight above it. It also plays an essential role when you walk and run. It initiates the alternation between the front and back leg as you walk or run.
Why Should You Care About the Psoas?
Psoas when compared to major muscles, is an often-overlooked muscle. When you ignore it, it can cause many issues that can negatively impact your lifestyle. It can even cause your spine to round if it is weak or short since it attaches to the femur and the spine.
It may even cause pelvic pain and poor posture when it is weak. Further, some evidence suggests that weak psoas can impact the CNS and digestion negatively.
Furthermore, people who perform a lot of jumping and plyo exercises can suffer from psoas syndrome. This condition is a result of injury in the psoas muscles. However, it can occur in people who do not perform these exercises.
Hence, you should take care of these muscles if you suffer from pain in the lower back while standing upright and in the pelvis or groin region. If the pain is persistent, it is important to consult a doctor before starting any stretching or strengthening exercises.
Furthermore, psoas muscle can impact the stability of your spine. This factor can hugely affect your posture and everyday activities.
Best Psoas Strengthening Exercises
We have listed below five excellent psoas strengthening exercises. These exercises help you build stronger hips and aesthetics.
1. Frankenstein Walk
It is a bodyweight exercise that works your psoas and hamstrings. It is a moderate yet effective exercise that can strengthen your lower body and upper legs. Additionally, it does not require any equipment.
How To Practice Frankenstein Walk?
Stand upright with your legs together and extend your arm. Step and kick the other leg straight and try touching your toes with your hand. Then, return as you walk forward and repeat the steps with alternating sides.
Benefits of Frankenstein Walk
• It helps you improve a wide range of hip motion
• Frankenstein walk is an excellent warm-up exercise for high-intensity workouts like sprinting or deadlifts
• You can develop better balance if you perform this exercise regularly
2. The Psoas March
It is a simple exercise that helps you strengthen your psoas considerably. You will have to elevate both your feet as you lay down and draw your knees to your chest. This exercise requires a resistance band loop.
How to Practice the Psoas March?
Place your heels on an elevated surface and point your toes up as you lay straight. Then, loop a resistance band around the balls of your feet. Bring one knee towards your chest as you keep your other leg completely straight.
Then, return the leg slowly back to the straight position and continue this by alternating your legs. Also, remember to avoid the hips sagging your butt and engage your core.
Benefits of the Psoas March
• You can develop psoas strength within less time
• Improves your core muscles as well
• Improve your grip during performance
3. Romanian Chair Leg Raises with Dumbbell
It is an exercise that can be easier to perform once you get the hang of it. You can approach this exercise even if you are an entry-level lifter. It is very effective than other exercises since it adds weight and makes it a total core exercise.
How to Practice the Romanian Chair Leg Raises with Dumbbell?
Keep a light dumbbell between your feet and position yourself in a roman chair. Press your lower back against the backrest with your torse upright. Rest your forearms on the pad as you do so.
Then, lift your legs by flexing at the hip as you place your knees straight. Slowly go back to the starting position and repeat the process. Also, make sure to lift your legs until its parallel to the floor.
Benefits of Romanian Chair Leg Raises with Dumbbell
• It improves the strength of your grip
• You can increase the strength of all your core muscles in addition to the psoas
• It can improve your posture by targeting your lower back and core
Apart from these three exercises, you can also go with many similar exercises for strengthening your psoas. Clamshells, Pelvic Curl, Russian Twist, Hanging Leg Raise, Scissors, and Static Wall Squat are some of them.
How to Stretch the Psoas?
You can also benefit from stretching out your psoas muscle regularly. You can stretch before perform psoas strengthening exercises or when you do not have to do so.
We have mentioned some simple stretches that can loosen your psoas.
• Table stretch: You can use a sturdy table or bench to perform this stretch. Lie on your back and hang one leg over the edge and stretch it out
• Lunge stretch: Rest your back knee gently on the ground in a lunge position. Keep your chest upright as you do it, and you will feel a stretch across the forward hip
• Yoga poses: You can use several yoga poses to stretch out psoas. You can try a warrior pose, camel pose, tree pose, or king dancer pose
• Frog stretch: Lay flat on your stomach and bend one knee at a right angle. Then, extend it opposite with the leg flat on the ground, with the knee at 90 degrees calf parallel to the straight leg
Benefits of Strengthening Your Psoas
Now that you know psoas plays a vital part in activities like walking and standing upright, you may be aware of its benefits. In this section, we shall take a closer look at the benefits that accompany you when you perform psoas strengthening exercises.
Reduces Lower Back Pain
Psoas is one of the vital muscles that connect the lower body to the upper body. It also stabilizes the attachment between the femur and lower back.
If you have short or tight psoas, it can pull the lower back and cause complications. It can cause your pelvic muscles to tilt and make your back prone to pain and injuries.
Therefore, by performing psoas strengthening exercises regularly, you can reduce lower back pain.
Better Hip Mobility
If your psoas is tight or short, it can impede your hip’s mobility. Hence, it can prevent you from performing various exercises at the gym.
Therefore, performing psoas strengthening exercises can improve your hip’s mobility as it strengthens the lower body. It can also lead to greater potential for hypertrophy.
You Can Run Faster
Regularly performing psoas strengthening exercises and stretches can improve your athletic abilities. The psoas directly affects the hip’s extension and strength. Hence, if you have a weak hip flexor, you can not go into full extension, which slows you down.
These exercises will loosen and strengthen your hips which will make your hips more explosive. This way, you will have a better ability to drive off the ground and run faster.
Psoas strengthening exercises can also strengthen and stabilize your spine. It has numerous benefits, including an improvement in your overall strength and athletic abilities.
Spinal instability can cause stiffness, muscle spasms, and lower back pain. This instability can make performing simple activities like bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects difficult. Hence, it is vital to maintain spinal stability.
Spinal stability also ensures your muscles around the spine are working properly. It can relieve neck and back pain, and it can be very effective in cases of acute pain. (Source)
It is better to spend a few minutes before the psoas strengthening exercises warming up.
Stretching, quads, and foam rolling your hips can be a great way to boost your performance. Remember to focus on your sore spots and tight spots.
You can also experiment with different exercises under your trainer’s guidance. Choose the one that works the best for you and incorporate them into your fitness regime.
Once you start doing these exercises regularly, you may be surprised to discover how they can resolve several of your problems!