Part 2 of 2: Activate your Psoas to relieve pain, open your hips, and strengthen your core
Understanding the psoas muscle gives us the foundational knowledge we need to change the way we move. If you didn’t read the previous post on how the psoas is one of the most important muscles in our core, check that out here. It’s important to activate our psoas so we can:
Locate the muscle in our body;
Loosen our hips to help relieve pain (especially in pregnancy);
Strengthen and stretch it properly to keep our lower back and body stabilized in all movements during pregnancy;
Open our pelvis to help create more space for baby to move around and get in the right position for birth to have a more comfortable and shorter labor.
1. Try this psoas activation test:
2. Perform these stretches to continue activating the psoas and then loosening tight hips:
When we deliberaltely engage our psoas muscle, we are giving our bodies the chance to correct unhealthy movement patterns. When we move in an unhealthy way, our bodies tend to compensate by pulling on other muscles or ligaments to adapt to the movements we are trying to accomplish (i.e. walking, sitting, bending over, getting up), thus creating pain because it is unnatural. Instead, when we choose to activate our psoas, our bodies will start to move naturally again and eliminate pain. Even better, if we engage with our psoas before we start compensating, we can prevent compensations and pain.
It starts with a single step.