Stretching the Psoas

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I’ve never done yoga. Actually, that isn’t actually accurate. 20 years ago, when I had a place in Boulder, I went to an advance yoga class a few times with Andy Hampsten. The woman that led the class was one of the girls that got out of the hot rod in the ZZ Top video, Legs. I didn’t go too many time because I had no ability to participate. She could stand on one leg and bring the other back over her head.

Anyway, after reading a comment by Double D on yesterdays post, I did a little research and did some yoga like stretching to my psoas muscles.

I’m 60% sure that it helped a ton. Yesterday was the first day in a few months that I didn’t have a big problem with my left leg. The problem is I changed a lot of stuff right at the same time, so I can’t necessarily say the psoas stretching is the reason. I did run for the first time in ages, doing hills sprints. Then I didn’t eat any wheat for two days. Man, is that a hassle. It will definitely cut into my cinnamon roll consumption if I keep that up. Then the stretching.

I assume as cyclists, these psoas muscles get pretty short. Mine seem to be extremely short. I’ve been having lower back issues while racing cross and the psoas can be a cause of that. So, maybe, just maybe, I’m finally on the right track to fix one of my ailments.

I’m a little crippled from the hill sprints, but not nearly as bad as I thought I’d be. I hope the running isn’t the reason my leg felt good. I don’t like that sport nearly as much as most others. Right now I’m sticking with the psoas stretching. I’m sure I’m nearly the last one to this party, but if not, you should try it some. It can’t hurt.

12 thoughts on “Stretching the Psoas

  1. SalRuibal

    I have been lucky to have massage therapists who were Psoas pros. The first time I had mine manipulated, I almost levitated off the table. Thanks for reminding me about that little “launch switch” buried down there. Time for a long pre-winter massage and stretch-out.

     
  2. Fergie

    Oh this is freaky. For the last 4 wks I have been battling what seems to be a sever Psoas strain and I just sat down to the computer after coming back from trying to stretch it. I am not 100% sure how I did it. It has been BAD. 3wks ago it was going to spasum everyday.

    Steve could you please post or send me a link to a couple stretches for the Psoas? I’m having trouble getting good ones without someone else asisting.
    It would be much appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Fergie

     
  3. Gina Poertner, CHES

    Steve,

    Remember more than a year ago at one of the CX races when I was stretching you on the ground and you said it helped? One of the things I worked on was your psoas and told you way back then that work in that area and a couple of other key points would help. I’m glad you’re finally taking it on to give it some attention, I want to see you feeling better and stronger. Give me a shout if you want some more help with this.

    Gina

     
  4. G

    When I first started racing (mtb xc), a sore lower back was the most surprising thing I noticed. It was a real performance limiter. Something about going at race pace without letting up causes this, I guess. It never happened in regular rides (for me, anyway) but pretty predictably, 35-40-45 minutes into a race, lower back pain would flare up and just get progressively worse. Eventually I figured out about core strengthening and psoas stretching. Later on I noticed that another way to trigger it was to just ride hard on the road for 45-60 minutes; do a 45 minute continuous hard effort on/off the drops and see how your back responds.

    I think this page was the most useful thing I found as far as stretching:

    http://feedbacksportsracing.blogspot.com/2010/01/low-back-pain-cycling-and-iliopsoas.html

     
  5. Aaron

    Hey Steve,
    Enjoy your blog, usually don’t comment but on this post thought I’d chime in. I would highly recommend checking out Kelly Starrett’s mobility wod website. He’s a fellow PT with some great insights on self managing the aches and pains most althletes encounter. Get yourself a lacrosse ball and get after it.
    Here’s a link to a good self psoas release technique.
    Aaron
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=Xcx9P5KFNk8&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DXcx9P5KFNk8

     
  6. Leo Smith

    I lived there 20 years ago as well. Gunbarrel, CO. Great place back then. MMM Nancy’s Kitchen had the best cinnamon rolls. And I don’t even like them that much. Gonna have to look into that stretch. It sounds like just what I need.

    By the way, Jenna Elfman (Dharma and Greg) has claimed to be one of those three girls too.

     
  7. chris

    “20 years ago, when I had a place in Boulder, I went to an advance yoga class a few times with Andy Hampsten. The woman that led the class was one of the girls that got out of the hot rod in the ZZ Top video, Legs. I didn’t go too many time because I had no ability to participate. She could stand on one leg and bring the other back over her head.”

    Honestly, this is the most epic paragraph written in any blog or on the entire internet today. I literally heard a needle scratching off the edge of an LP record when I read it.

     
  8. dt

    You should check out Muscle Activation Techniques, it is a type of therapy that will find what the cause of the tight psoas is and address the cause because if you don’t find what is causing it to be tight then you will always have to stretch it. Stretching is no different than taking a pain pill, it is address the symptom rather than the cause. I’m a therapist for it but I don’t live anywhere near you or else I’d check you out. You probably have many compensations going on considering your injury history. You can find a specialist on http://www.muscleactivation.com and if the practicioner is good then you should notice a huge improvement in 1-2 sessions. Also, there was just an article in sports illustrated about Peyton Manning talking about how MAT was a huge part of his comeback and one of the reasons he moved to Denver, the guy who developed the techniques lives there and works for the Broncos.

     
  9. Gina Poertner

    DT,

    You’re getting at what he really needs. I practice Dynamic Motion Therapy, which is a muscle release technique and I worked on him at a couple of races a while back, then talked to him about it again recently. With a little help plus some things he can do on his own, he could be feeling better pretty quickly.

    DT, where are you located? I have athletes all over the country and like to have practitioners to refer them to when they can’t make it to KC.

    Gina

     
  10. dt

    I live in Luxembourg but thanks for the offer for referrals. MAT looks at the body in the opposite way from any release technique in that the tight muscles is secondary to an inhibited/weak muscle and once this imbalance is taken care of then the tight muscle will release naturally.

     

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