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Stretches for Strengthening Psoas : Relieve Low Back and Knee Pain

The psoas muscles are seen on every side of the lumbar area of lesser pelvis and vertebral column. This muscle has the capability of joining iliopsoas and iliacus muscle. Now with the course of time, as you start to age, the condition of the muscle starts to deteriorate and you end up suffering from loads of problems only if you do not follow proper exercises every day.

Things to Know about Psoas Muscles

The psoas major muscles comprise two components – a deep part and a superficial part. The superficial part initiates at the edge of the thoracic vertebrae, near intervertebral discs and the lumbar vertebrae. Additionally, the deep part initiates at the diagonal process of the lumbar vertebrae region.

The group of muscles is called hip flexors and in case, the muscles tighten, one may end up having severe lower back pain. In order to keep the muscles active, it is important for everyone to follow proper exercises. However, if you keep these muscles active repeatedly, the hip flexors can also become stiff and short.

  • The psoas muscles can pull together the torso and thigh toward each other.
  • The fully-functioned psoas muscles can reduce the risks of lower back problems and help you to stand up firmly.
  • The muscles have the capability of making peopleā€™s spine stabilized and keeping up the balance of the entire

Stretches are considered to be most helpful in dealing with lower back pain and making the functionality of the psoas muscles normal. On the contrary, overstretched and weak mules can lead to postural problems, issues with lumbar facet joints and arthritis. In the meantime, if you a get hang of your anatomy, you can find the psoas muscles in your body.

How do You Find Psoas Major Muscle?

When you are stretching or doing yoga, you should know that psoas major muscles are very important for your body and exercises. Many people are not sure whether the muscles are located or from where they are originated. Now know that psoas major muscle is located near lumbar vertebrae and pulls a range of muscle as long as a wrist along every side of the spine.

If you identify the muscles from the front side of the body, you need to get rid of the intestines, digestive system, female reproductive system and few of the muscles of the abdomen. It is important for the yoga instructors and enthusiasts to know the origin before performing the stretches.

Stretches for Improving Functionality of Psoas Muscles

The psoas muscles are attached to the vertebra for being making your thighs and hips. As lower back problems can take place due to the stiffness of the muscles, one should keep stretch and take help of proper exercises.

Lunging Stretch

The lunging stretch offers a wide range of health benefits for all and needless to say, stabilizing psoas muscle is one of them. Lunging squat can enhance the functionality of pelvis, relieve lower back pain, minimize tension, better posture, improve balance and relieve pressure from the lower back.

In order to execute the workout with finesse, you should follow certain steps,

  • The first step requires you to lay a pillow or folded pillow on the floor. Instead of following this method, you can take help of stable object or a chair.
  • Then start to go down and take the position of lunge keeping lower knee on the folded towel.
  • The third steps indicate you squeezing your glutes which are placed on the towel at the time of pushing the knee down into floor surface. However, if you do not feel comfortable, you can move the lower leg while going deep into the stretch.
  • In the meantime, you need to let the hip area sink down.
  • You should not sag outward while keeping abs braced and stabilizing the pelvis.
  • The pelvis must not tilt forward and switch sides before holding for two minutes.
  • Three stretches on every side can show you positive side of doing lunging stretch for psoas muscles.

One of the important things, you should always remember while doing lunging stretch is that it is necessary to keep your back straight throughout the workout.

Paripurna Navasana

The term is derived from the language, Sanskrit and this stretch is followed to strengthen the psoas major muscles. People undergoing the health conditions of asthma, headache, insomnia, pregnancy, abdominal injuries, low blood pressure and diabetes should avoid this particular asana. You can take support if there is an issue with your neck and may consult a yoga instructor before initiating the asana.

  • At first, you need to sit straight on the mat keeping you stretched out before you.
  • Then place the arms on the surface and keep them behind your hips slightly.
  • While breathing out, you need to lift the legs in 45-degrees angle from the floor.
  • Expand your tailbone while moving the hips closer to the navel.
  • Now you need to lift the toes and straighten them.
  • You should ensure that the lower abdomen area remains firm; however, it should not be hard and thick.
  • Keep breathing normally and hold on to the pose for up to twenty seconds. Additionally, you should keep practicing for holding on to the same position for more time.

Paripurna Navasana is a part of the Ashtanga Yoga and the workout can be done for ten to sixty seconds following how you are comfortable in holding the position. This is an intermediate level yoga stretch and focuses on strengthening hip flexors, vertebral column and abdomen.

Crescent Lunge Pose

Known as Anjaneyasana in yoga, the crescent lunge pose completely focused on bettering quadriceps and hip flexors. The lunge initiates from the low lunge pose and drops the back knee to the mat. In case, if one has a sensitive knee, it is advisable to place a blanket under the knee or fold the yoga mat for adding the cushion effect.

Following are the steps that you need to follow for minimizing the risks of lower back pain,

  • After taking the initial step, you need to bring arms to your right knee.
  • Then you need to keep the right knee on your right ankle.
  • While breathing in, you need to raise hands over the head while keeping the arms in the same line as your ears.
  • The next step requires you to breathe out and do a deep a lunge while bending the right knee. During this time, you should not bring the knee before your ankle as it can be the delicate position of your knee.
  • Take your upper spine for doing the backbend only if you are comfortable in doing it.
  • Then take the front portion of the knee back on the ankle and breathe in again.
  • In the end, repeat the entire lunge on the other side.

Form groin, hip flexors and legs to shoulders, chest and torso are improved by following this particular lunge. It aids in extending the body where it can minimize the development of fatigue. Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch can make your hips flexible and relax your hip flexors. At the time of doing this exercise, you must not put pressure in front of your thigh. And you need to keep in mind that the stretch should not cause any pain.

However, you should not do crescent lunge of you have a severe heart problem or high blood pressure. Additionally, people with spinal injury need to follow any other exercise than this.

Frog Pose

The name of this type of stretch in Sanskrit is Mandukasana which refers to the intensive pose which vows to give you relief from the back pain. Benefits of the position include improving posture, alleviating muscle cramps, opening shoulders and chest and stimulating the digestive system.

  • The initial stage of the stretch is to sit keeping your feet under the knees.
  • Make sure that your both of the knees are touching with the big toes. Now you need to breathe in.
  • Keep your spine forward and breathe out.
  • Before keeping your knees wide apart from each other, you need to press the big toes together. You can face injury if you torque or strain your knees.
  • This step requires you to make your feet flexible while making sure that the big toes are touching one another. If the feet move apart, you may ruin the pose resulting in injuring yourself.
  • Let your pelvis sink down. Now you can extend the back of your neck to point your gaze below.
  • Put pressure on your elbow, soften your heart and relax the belly. The shoulder blades need to be drawn to each other and you need to push your hips down.
  • You should not let the pelvis pop up and it is crucial to focus towards the surface at the time of making pushes backwards.

If one has severe knee injuries and ankle injuries, it is best to avoid. In addition to the context, the preparatory poses of the frog pose are reclining hero pose, camel pose and bow pose.

Pelvic Tilt

Your pelvis helps you run, lift weight, walk and keeping you a proper posture. The pelvic tilt workout strengthens your pelvic muscles, psoas major muscles, glutes and abdominal muscles. Additionally, the exercise can correct your posture, lower the risk of hip, back and lower back pain and stabilizing the knee and hip rotation.

  • The first requires you to lie down on the surface over a mat taking a neutral pose.
  • Then you need to bend your legs and point your toes forward.
  • Pull your belly towards the spine and push the pelvis upward the ceiling.
  • Now the glutes need to be tightened and the pelvis must be tilted. For five minutes, you should hold to this pose.
  • Keep doing five sets for twenty minutes.

While doing the pelvic tilt, it is important to monitor the progress because the workout can also correct your spinal position to take a neutral pose.



One of the popular exercises making your entire body strong is the squats. From quadriceps, glutes to your psoas muscles, squats can help you on a large scale.

  • At first, you need to the take position where you will be standing a shoulder-width apart. In the meantime, point your toes forward.
  • You need to lower yourself to take a sitting position till the thighs are parallel to the surface. Additionally, you need to make sure that your abs are tightened and the back stays in a neutral pose.
  • Now you can move your pelvis forward and take the standing position. It is important to tighten your glutes while doing it.
  • Keep doing this exercise for fifteen to twenty minutes.

While doing the squats, the knees should not cross the toes or start to rotate inward. In addition, to which, the curvy area of the lower back must not be flattened. The easiest way to do the squats like a professional is to imagine you sitting on a chair.

Tips for having Strong Psoas Muscles

The yoga instructors have come to a conclusion that the enthusiasts should relax psoas major muscles because it is the central point of energy.

Nobody should ever stretch the iliopsoas before working out even if you have always thought that it is necessary to warm up before exercising. The stretches have the capability of cooking your muscles down. Only when your body is at the normal temperature, you should go for the stretches to reduce the risk of pain.

Go easy on yourself because the muscles do not elongate within two days and proper education on this matter can save you from injuries. You can take help from the instructor to use the lacrosse balls and rollers to enhance the mobility.

Now you can understand how the workouts; especially, the stretches can relieve you from the pain. Additionally, the bladder issues, hip pain, groin pain, scoliosis, lower back pain and severe menstrual cramps can be driven away. With proper medical help and assistance from the instructor, you can achieve your coveted goal of staying fit.

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