Sitting all day shortens the deep muscles that flex the hip and trunk. When you stand, the angle between your torso and your thighs is about 180 degress. When you sit, the angle is reduced to about 90 degrees. Muscles love to adapt to the positions you put them in, so it’s no surprise that your psoas get tightened by a desk posture that shortens it.
Psoas Stretch #1
If you feel any pain as you do this exercise, stop and consult your doctor.
- Stand in a lunge position with one foot 18-24″ in front of the other and your torso centered between your feet.
- Firmly plant the sole of your front foot on the floor.
- Stand on the ball of your back foot, with your leg slightly bent.
- Bend your front leg and straighten (extend) your back leg to move your hips forward, keeping your torso upright. It is the motion of your rear leg going behind the center line of your torso that stretches the psoas.
- Keep the knee of your forward leg over or behind your ankle. Don’t let the knee of your forward foot go past vertical and over your ankle.
- You should feel a stretch deep in the front of your thigh of the leg that is back. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat 3-5 times on each side.
There are many other ways to stretch the psoas and hip flexors. I labeled this one “Psoas Stretch #1” because we will revisit this topic many more times in the future.
Hip Flexor – Psoas Stretch, About.com: Sports Medicine