The final week of May is here! How are you doing? How is your back? Make sure you check in with yourself, it helps to create body awareness as you stretch. For the last week of May you will have three options for a psoas stretch. I will be giving beginner, intermediate, and advanced variations for this psoas stretch. If you have a history of low back problems stick with the beginner variation.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring the right knee towards the chest and straighten the left leg out onto the floor. Flex both feet. Interlace your fingers, place your hands on the right shin, and hug the knee in towards the chest. Keep reaching through the heel of the left leg to keep the leg straight. Bring the bellybutton to the spine to engage the abdominals here. If you don’t feel much of a stretch through the left front hip then you can move on to the intermediate variation. You may also feel a stretch through the glutes of the bent leg, bonus!
Using the foam roller for stretching is a great tool! To use it in this stretch, simply place it under your sacrum area. The sacrum is located at the bottom of the spine and is triangular in shape. If you look at the photo you can tell that I am not just placing it in my low back curve, I’m placing it right under my sacrum. Placing it here should feel comfortable. If it’s not, you probably have it too high up the spine. Repeat the instructions for the beginner variation while on the foam roller. This will provide a deeper stretch through the left front hip. If you still are not feeling very much in this variation you can move on to the deepest stretch, in the advanced photo.
If you are attempting this variation please be very conscious of how your back feels. If you start to attempt it and get crunching or pain in the low back, stop immediately and only do the other variations.
Sit at the edge of the table or bench and lay down on your back. The edge of the bench will be under your sacrum. Take the knees up over the hips. Then interlace the fingers and pull the right knee towards the chest. Extend the left leg down towards the floor as shown in the bottom photo. Your low back will pop off the table so make sure to engage the front by lifting the pit of the belly. This will protect the low back. You want to be high enough from the ground so you can reach the left foot towards floor and back slightly. You just won’t feel much stretch if your foot is flat on the floor.
In all these variations stay for 30 seconds or longer. Then switch legs. Be sure to check out our other psoas stretches here.
See you next month!