Ever had that feeling that your glutes just aren’t firing for you? Wonder what it is that turns them off like a light switch and sends you into your back muscles? A tight Psoas could definitely be the culprit.
What is the Psoas? It’s a super thick muscle that connects from your lumbar spine to your femur (see below). Its primary action is hip flexion (pulls your torso toward your thigh) and secondarily, it assists in lateral rotation of the hip.
How does my psoas have the power to turn off my fabulous booty?
It’s a nuerological thing called Reciprocal Inhibition. To prevent injury, our intelligent body ensures that we don’t have two opposing muscles contracting at once. So when one muscle, the AGONIST, contracts, it sends a neural message to the ANTAGONIST, opposing muscle, to relax. The glutes are the antagonist to the psoas. So say you sit a ton, or love hip flexion exercises (think toes to bar, box jumps, even running), if not done correctly they will tighten your psoas.
You may really have strong glutes and be asking them to fire under heavy loads, but your neural anatomy simply won’t have it because your psoas is in a contracted state.
There are other postural problems that happen when your psoas is chronically tight. It creates an excessive anterior pelvic tilt. While this tilt may enhance your booty, it increases the lumbar curve of the spine and puts pressure on the anterior spine, squeezing the lumbar discs posteriorly.
How to help:
- Mobility work! Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD.com is a brilliant resource for finding tons of great psoas-related mobility exercises. One of my favorites is this: lie down on your back, place a lacrosse ball inside your Anterior Sacro iliac Spine, and then mash it in with a kettlebell as you bend and extend the leg of the hip you are working. Make sure you breathe and find several spots between your iliac spine and your navel.
- STOP SLEEPING ON YOUR BELLY!!
- Sit less (possibly the most important thing you can do for your health and wellness)
- Practice regular back extensions
Get up out of your chair and mobilize your psoas!
Jump off a cliff without a parachute or go deep sea diving without oxygen?
2 Min of Single/Double Under
Agility Ladder - Burpee Challenge
20M Walking Lunge with Twist
10 Leg Swings (Front/Back & Side/Side)
3 Inch Worm Progressions
16 Mountain Climbers (8/side)
Hamstring Stretch Band - Lay on back, band around the foot, leg straight
Thoracic Stretch over PVC
*Set 1 – 5 reps @ 65%
*Set 2 – 4 reps @ 75%
*Set 3 – 3 reps @ 85%
*Set 4 – 2 reps @ 90%
*Set 5 – 1 rep @ 95%
*Set 6 – 2 reps @ 95%
Rest 2 minutes between sets
Metcon (AMRAP - Rounds and Reps)
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
Run 200 Meters
15 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lbs)
15 Kettlebell Swings (32/24 kg)
Cut Season Cash Out
Out of Town WOD
8 ROUNDS FOR TIME: RUN 100M 30 AIR SQUATS