Anatomy of Psoas
There are 2 Psoas muscles: Major & Minor.
The functions of Psoas minor are: flexion & side flexion of the lumbar spine while it assist the upward rotation of the pelvis. Its origin is T12-L1.
The function of Psoas major is the external rotation & bends of the lumbar spine as well as hip flexion. It originates from T12-L5.
A comprehensive flexibility assessment of the psoas involves the function of the muscle in the following movements:
• hip extension & abduction
• spine extension & side flexion
Of equal importance is the strength of the psoas (and other hip flexors) in the full range of movement.
If you wish to assess your hip extension for this week’s classes you can do that by performing this test.
A good indication that someone has weak psoas is that when performing the ab scissoring exercise his/her hip flexors start burning very soon, often fatiguing before the lower abdominals have even “start working”.
Lower Abs Assessment
Due to the proximity between the two, it is not easy to isolate lower abs from psoas. For those with flexible enough hip flexors; hip lifts in a supine position (3rd exercise in this sequence) is a good exercise to achieve that. One minute uninterrupted hip lifts (with the legs going straight up & NOT towards your head) should be achievable by anyone alive (do not worry if the knees bent but try to keep them straight).
Warm-up prior to class
• Lower abs: Hip lifts. I suggest prior to class you perform 3 sets of hip lifts for 30 secs each. Focus on sending your legs up towards the ceiling & not towards your head.
• Also, I would like you to stretch your quads by performing x2 2 mins stretches on each side of a: Knee against the wall lunge.
A 10 mins class
(you can follow along or pause when you need to hold poses longer)