Good day Kings and Queens! Today I am writing a long-overdue post since this video on hip flexor AKA Psoas muscle stretching.
I understand it is encouraged by Personal Trainers, Therapists, and other individuals in our industry. While they are very right that you may likely need some work on hip flexors, the type of work you do will be most important and in my opinion MUST involve considerations such as the Fascial System and the Nervous System
As most therapists who study fascial work and the nervous system know, the hip flexors (Psoas) are extremely important muscles when it comes to physical and emotional health.
For this reason, it is important to engage in gente, lubricating stretches rather than intensive painful “releases” that the fascial network may not be ready for.
Any “Psoas release” should be accompanied with proper breathing and continuity in other accessory work.
How to Properly Stretch the Hip Flexors
The Psoas responds to multi-directional movements. So, the stretches that we use, must also be multi-directional, rather than the traditional half kneeling, staggered stance, arm up position (if you’re not sure what I am talking about, simply google “Hip flexor stretch” to see what I mean).
Instead of the standard hip flexor stretch, here are a couple of my recommendations:
Master the art of Stretching Stretch Series: Hip video: https://youtu.be/75YtSAXQLYE
This is one of the ways we do it in our Fascial Stretch Therapy sessions (FST): https://youtu.be/UyX1t2lQYe0
Hip Flexors and the Fascial System
The Hip Flexors are are part of all the front fascial line layers.
The layers of fascia that intertwine with the psoas muscles are the same fascial layers that extend down the legs to the feet, as well as up the body to the neck. This is why, during Fascial Stretch Therapy sessions, I always assess peoples hips when they experience neck, jaw, and shoulder pain.
If the fascial layers around the pelvis are tight and rigid, the entire fascial network will experience tension. If we can mobilize the hip joints, pelvis, and hip flexors, then the entire fascial line will experience more ease and less tension.
Here is my recommendation to open up the full line: https://youtu.be/3ybDi9ECZjo
Also this hip mobility flow is an all-time favourite: https://youtu.be/hdC8ZUxpA_k
Here is one of the ways we stretch the Psoas in Fascial Stretch Therapy sessions: https://youtu.be/UyX1t2lQYe0
Here is one of the ways we lubricate the lateral fascial line to promote elongating the hip flexor: https://youtu.be/naV7JxK1fnE
Hip flexors and the Nervous System
The hip flexors are also connected to the diaphragm
Therefore, not only do we want to lubricate the ENTIRE front fascial line, we also want to ensure proper breathing to “unfreeze” the Hip Flexors and Nervous System.
In my opinion, it is mandatory to learn how to breathe, how not to breathe, what to engage, what not to engage. For years, I wasn’t able to find any resources that delivered this information in a simple and digestible way, so I created my own.
Learn everything you need to know in my mini-course found here: https://akfitnessandhealth.thinkific.com/courses/activate-your-breath
In addition, the hip flexors are also known as the emotional core. When we feel overwhelmed and stressed, the hip flexors will directly adopt a state of tightening. It is important to have 1-2 grounding rituals and routines to support yourself in your current season of life.
This is something that is deeply impactful and therefore something i find great pleasure in helping people with in my RE-FOCUS sessions.
I hope this information on hip flexors, the fascial system, and the nervous system will help you take the appropriate action to free up your movements and your mind.
Please reach out with any questions, concerns, queries, and conundrums.
Asma Kassam, BHK, CSNA, CFST
Kinesiologist, Personal Trainer, mobility coach, Certified Nutrition Advisor, Fascial Stretch Therapist, Health & Fitness coach, Animal Flow instructor, and Women’s Health advocate
Active Kinetix Fitness & Rehabilitation
See my Women’s Health & Fitness blog: akfitnessandhealth.com/blog
Book a Fascial Stretch Therapy appointment online: https://activekinetix.janeapp.com/locations/capitol-hill-athletics/book#/staff_member/1
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