Psoas - a lot has been said about this muscle. A deep hip flexor located in the center of the body. It is in close proximity to various organs. It is involved in various functions.
If you want a True (Squared) Front Split, you can't do it with tight psoas. Not going to happen. Many other techniques require a flexible Psoas. It's a rather tight and "hard to get to" muscle. But its flexibility is an absolute must.
But How do we stretch it?
Well... Ask a yoga or dance teacher how to stretch the psoas, and you may get something like this:
This is a typical stretch that stretches the flexors of the hip. But is this a true Psoas Stretch? To answer that question we have to check with the science of Kinesiology.
The stretch shown above simply places the hip into extension. This means all the flexors of the hip are stretched indiscriminatorily. All 10 of them. Yep...
There are 10 muscles that flex the hip, 11 if you really want to get into it
If you are interested here they are, 6 Hip Flexors (they are called hip flexors, so they must flex the hip):
- Rectus Femoris
- Tensor Fascia Latae
- Adductors (Yes, adductors flex the hip):
- Adductor Magnus
- Adductor Brevis
- Adductor Longus
- Adductor Gracilis
And if we want to be very technical, the anterior fibers of Gluteus Medius.
So you are stretching 11 muscles in that stretch! If ANYONE of them is tigher than the Psoas in that position, You are NOT getting the Psoas.
You see the dillema? There are 11 doors. Psoas maybe door 3 or 5 or 10. And you can't even get past door 1 or 2.
Kinesiological Stretching Techniques have an answer
You see, no two muscles do the same thing. Psoas does something no other muscle do:
- It Flexes the hip
- Adducts the hip
- Laterally Rotates the Hip
- Laterally flexes the lumbar spine.
No other muscle does that. Its close relative Iliacus does not even do that. It does everything Psoas Does, except for the lateral flexion of the spine. This allows us to separate the Psoas out.
Of course Kinesiological Stretching Techniques is a lot more than just using the science of Kinesiology to target an individual muscle, as you see on the video. But that will be addressed in the upcoming articles.
If you want to see how Kinesiological Stretching techniques are used to stretch each of the hip flexors, this program have helped many people:
This 45 minute video will target the six hip flexors muscles one by one as well as those muscles which restrict the full extension of the hip. This one also contains additional strengthening exercises making use of reciprocal inhibition techniques, strengthening antagonist muscles thus producing permanent flexibility and strength through the complete hip extension range.
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