Your psoas muscles are the most vital in your body. Whatever you do, you use your psoas muscles. They connect your torso to your legs, and affect your posture. So whether you are walking, dancing, climbing, biking, or simply sitting down, your psoas is involved.
The psoas muscles are the body flexors. They are very deep core muscles which attach from your lower ribs, through the pelvis and out on to your inner legs.
These psoas muscles allow your legs and hips to bend towards your chest, and are essential to walking and running. They flex your torso when bending forwards, when you bend to pick up something from the floor. They support your internal organs and help to stabilise your spine.
Psoas and Concentration
There is a direct fascial connection between your psoas muscles and your diaphragm. A psoas muscle which is tightened and not working well can affect the ability of the diaphragm to extend fully and breathe deeply. This can result in insufficient oxygen reaching muscles and brain, in turn affecting your ability to concentrate. The psoas muscles therefore connects to your breath and your sense of well-being.
Fight or Flight
The connections between the psoas muscles and the diaphragm literally connect your ability to walk and breathe. The psoas will contract if you are startled or under stress, hence how you respond to fear. It has a direct influence on your fight or flight response. Prolonged periods of stress will result in tightened psoas muscles.
Your psoas muscles will also tighten if you:
- Sit down for long periods
- Do excessive core training, in particular sit ups
- Sleep in a fetal position
- Exercise without stretching.
Often people are not consciously aware of their psoas muscles. The first indications of any problems may well be a persistant lower back, hip or knee pain or discomfort, which is a postural result of tightened psoas muscles. Tight psoas muscles can also be a reason for menstrual cramps and also for constipation. This can be addressed with some good deep tissue massage and myofascial release treatments. An awareness of your psoas muscles and how to stretch them will keep them strong and restore balance.
Happy strong psoas muscles are key to strong flexible torsos, better breathing, concentration and sense of wellbeing.