The Psoas : The Bridge or the Road Block
The Psoas muscle is one of and possibly the most important keys to the Crossroads of the body. The Psoas originates at the Lumbar spine and attaches in to the lesser trochanter of the femur. When the Psoas is of normal length , it is the bridge and conduit of force and motion transformation : bridging the occurrence of lower extremity motion to allowing normal motion at the lower spine up in to the mid spine , scapula and shoulders. All allowing loading of the core and normal gait mechanics to occur.
BUT when the Psoas has become tight and overactive ; it becomes a road block to normal motion.: locking up the lumbar spine, shutting down the strength of the large gluteal muscles and shutting down the abdominal muscles.
Some of the causes of psoas shortening are:
1- Sitting the majority of our day
2- Slouched standing posture
3-Calf tightness which results in shorter stride length in gait.
To lengthen the psoas: see the picture. Notice the use of the TRI-STRETCH® device under the back(stretching leg) foot. By placing the TRI-STRETCH® backwards, the calf is put on slack. This allows greater lengthening of the psoas. This is especially important when there is calf tightness. Calf tightness can prevent excursion in to dorsiflexion and prevent further excursion at the anterior hip; thus lessening the lengthening ability at the anterior hip. When this is the case, the client/athlete will feel stretch at the calf and not be able to feel stretch at anterior hip. This problem is solved with performing the stretch as pictured with placing the foot on the TRI-STRETCH backwards.
Click here to learn more about functional stretching to improve sport performance and life performance.