Move like a kid again


If you have tightness or pain in your low back and you work at a desk you probably have tight hip flexors. Learn how to test for tightness and the correct stretching form to regain range of motion and move like a kid again.


Muscle anatomy


The psoas and iliacus are deep, powerful muscles. The psoas originates on the front side of the lower vertebrae, runs down the front side of the pubic bone and attaches to the inside of the upper femur. The iliacus originates on the front, top portion of the hip bone and attaches to the inside of the upper femur.


Pictures by Anatomography

Psoas Iliacus


Causes of tightness


The muscle is shortened by any activity that flexes the hips for a long period of time such as sitting.


Symptoms of tightness

  • Ache or pain in the low back

  • Pain in the groin or the inside of the thigh

Flexibility test

  1. Lie on your back with both legs straight and on the floor

  2. Bring the right knee to your chest and hug yourself until your low back is flat on the floor

  3. The left knee should not raise up

  4. Make sure the left foot doesn’t turn outward

  5. Repeat other leg

If you knee raises off the floor your hip flexors are tight and need to be stretched.


Stretch

  1. Lie on your back on a firm surface - table or bench

  2. The edge of the surface will be equal to your tailbone

  3. Bring both knees to your chest and hug yourself - make sure low back is flat against surface

  4. Slowly let your right leg extend until it is hanging in the air

  5. Make sure low back is flat against surface

  6. Stretch for 10 seconds by relaxing the hanging leg

  7. Actively stretch the hanging leg by pressing the leg towards the floor using the right buttock muscles and hold for 10 seconds

  8. Resist by lifting your right leg toward the ceiling for 5 seconds

  9. Deepen the stretch by relaxing the contraction and letting the leg fall slightly more toward the floor and hold for 10 seconds

  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 two more times

  11. Repeat other leg


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Enjoy!


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