Power of Movement

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Hips Don’t Lie

Remember the song “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira? Well, there’s some truth in that statement with respect to how our bodies feel and move. Hip flexors are the muscles that comprise the front of your hip and you use them to lift your knees, bend at the waist and walk or run. They are crucial to how our body moves and they control balance, our ability to sit, stand, twist, reach, bend, walk and step. Your hips connect your upper body and lower body and are at the center of your body’s movement.

When our hip flexors tighten it causes a lot of problems such as:
• Nagging joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
• Walking with discomfort
• Locked hips
• Bad posture

And, the muscle that sits at the center of all this and connects your upper body to the lower is the psoas major muscle. The muscle attaches to the vertebrae of the lower spine, moves through the pelvis and connects to a tendon at the top of the femur (thighbone). It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs.

When the psoas is doing its job, it keeps the pelvis aligned, stabilizes your hips, supports your lower back and gives you mobility and core strength. But, with so many of us spending so much time sitting each day at work, commuting or relaxing, it causes the psoas to become weak and tight. And, a tight psoas can pull on the spine and compress the discs and vertebral joints associated.

It can be difficult to unlock these muscles (they’re also hard to reach) since stretching should also be combined with core strengthening, mobility exercises and strengthening other muscles (hamstrings and glutes). However, the stretch I’m showing you is a good stretch to do when you have been sitting for long periods and it is easy and can be done at the office. I also recommend doing the stretch at night before you climb into bed.

Click here to check out the video.

 

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