What is a psoas? Why is it so tight all the time?

What is a psoas? Why is it so tight all the time?

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This article came about from an email I received from Val about having a tight psoas a month out from her big race. This could be a bit of a setback but when once are aware of the issue, you’re better equipped to you address it.

By the way, I love when people send me questions, not only because it provides me with some great content for the blog but also makes me realize how people learn and what obstacles come in the way.

Just so you know, the psoas is very

According to Running Times, the psoas is a rope-like muscle located deep in the belly, which runs obliquely from spine to the femur. The psoas is joined at the hip, literally, by the iliacus, which travels from hip to thigh. Together, the psoas and iliacus make up the iliopsoas–the body’s most powerful hip flexor.

Why should runners care about a hard-to-find muscle with a funny name? Because the psoas enables you to run. Every time you lift your knee, the psoas contracts. When your leg swings back, the psoas lengthens. For a runner averaging 180 strides per minute, the left and right psoas each contract and lengthen more than 5,000 times during the course of an hour run. That’s a lot of strain on a band of muscle that’s only about as thick as your lower forearm.

I also chatted with a top local chiro about the issue and he mentioned that this is very common. He also recommended a great article from the Yoga Journal, which looks at it all and even has a quiz in it to start. I’m pretty sure you will pass the test too!

Here are a few resources I found that should help. As always, if the problem persists, I would go see a health professional. And here’s a good video for a stretch that should help. A lot of issues seem to come from sitting too much…

Now that you know what it is and what it does, you have no excuse to have it tight, right? I wish it was that easy…

Because it seems the ChiRunning technique can’t be picked up an afternoon and I’ve gotten a lot of requests recently, I’m putting on a refresher/check-in session in Ottawa so folks can get expert feedback in a small-group setting.

See below for the details but act soon since there are only 12 spots!

Sat May 18 from 3-5pm
Mooney’s Bay Park

Click here for more info or to register.

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