UNLOCK YOUR HIP FLEXORS
UNLOCK YOUR HIP FLEXORS
You’ve been practicing yoga faithfully, you eat well…It should be enough to keep you in good health, physically and emotional strong. Yet you can’t seem to get your practice to the next level. You can’t get stronger in standing head to knee. You can’t get into tree pose. You can’t balance in balancing stick. Forget about folding your legs into fixed firm posture! The secret is …that darn tight hip flexors!
Our hip flexors are the engine through which our body moves. They control balance, our ability to sit, stand, twist, reach, bend, walk and step. Everything goes through the hips. And when your hip flexors tighten, it causes a lot of problems in ordinary healthy and active people.
We’re not just talking about a bit of soreness; tight hip flexors are the root cause of problems such as:
• Nagging joint pains in your legs, lower back or hips
• Walking with discomfort
• Hips locking up
• Bad posture
• Trouble sleeping
• Sluggishness in day to day life
• Hold back in yoga practice
• Hold back in performance in sport
AT THE VERY HEART OF THE PROBLEM IS THE MOST PRIMAL AND POWERFULL MUSCLE CALLED THE PSOAS
Your hips are the bridge between your upper body and lower body. They are at the center of your body’s movement.
Sitting within the well of your hip and lower spine is the psoas major muscle, one of the two muscles that makes up the iliopsoas. It’s often called the “mighty” psoas (pronounced so-az) for the many important functions it plays in the movement of your body. The psoas is the only muscle in the human body connecting the upper body to the lower body.
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. It also attaches to the diaphragm, so it’s connected to your breathing, and upon it sits all the major organs. The psoas muscle creates a neutral pelvic alignment, stabilizes the hips, supports the lower spine and abdomen, supports the organs in the pelvic and abdominal cavity and gives you greater mobility and core strength.
Your psoas muscles allow you to bend your hips and legs towards your chest, for example when you are going up stairs. They also help to move your leg forward when you walk or run.
Your psoas muscles are the muscles that flex your trunk forward when bend over to pick up something from the floor. They also stabilize your trunk and spine during movement and sitting.
The psoas muscles support your internal organs and work like hydraulic pumps allowing blood and lymph to be pushed in and out of your cells.
When the Psoas functions properly, it allows you to:
• Help you achieve peak performance day after day after day.
• Rapidly drop ugly body fat that stubbornly clings to your body.
• Train harder, heavier and gain strength faster than you thought possible.
• Hit your peak of sexual health.
• Flood your mind and body with renewed energy and vigor.
7 Ways to Tell if You Have a Psoas Muscle Imbalance
Your body will tell you what your psoas ultimately needs. Here are 7 ways to tell if you have a psoas muscle imbalance:
Leg length discrepancy
A tight psoas muscle can cause your pelvis to rotate forward. This in turn can cause an an internal rotation of your leg on the affected side. The opposite leg will rotate externally in an effort to counter-balance.
This will make the affected leg longer so that every time you take a step, it drives your leg up into your hip socket. This can lead to functional leg length discrepancy.
Knee and low back pain
If you experience knee or low back pain with no apparent cause, it may be coming from your psoas muscles. When your femur is in essence locked into your hip socket due to a tight psoas muscle, rotation in the joint can’t occur. This can cause your knee and low back to torque.
When your psoas is too short or tight, it can pull your pelvis into an anterior tilt, compressing the spine and pulling your back into hyperlordosis or “duck butt.”If your psoas is overstretched or weak, it can flatten the natural curve of your lumbar spine creating a “flat butt.” This misalignment is characterized by tight hamstrings pulling down on the sitting bones, which causes the sacrum to lose its natural curve and results in a flattened lumbar spine. This can lead to low-back injury, especially at the intervertebral discs. You may also feel pain at the front of your hip. Finally, it is possible for your psoas muscles to be both tight and overstretched. In this case, your pelvis is pulled forward in front of your center of gravity, causing your back to curve (swayback) and your head to poke forward.
Difficulty moving your bowels
A tight psoas muscle can contribute to or even cause constipation. A large network of lumbar nerves and blood vessels passes through and around the psoas muscles. Tightness in the psoas muscles can impede blood flow and nerve impulses to the pelvic organs and legs.
In addition, when the psoas is tight your torso shortens decreasing the space for your internal organs. This affects food absorption and elimination. As such it can contribute to constipation, as well as sexual dysfunction.
An imbalance in your psoas muscles can be partially responsible for menstrual cramps as it puts added pressure in your reproductive organs.
Chest breathing. A tight psoas muscle can create a thrusting forward of the ribcage. This causes shallow, chest breathing, which limits the amount of oxygen taken in and encourages over usage of your neck muscles.
Your psoas muscles create a muscular shelf that your kidneys and adrenals rest on. As you breathe properly your diaphragm moves and your psoas muscles gently massage these organs, stimulating blood circulation. But, when the psoas muscles become imbalanced, so do your kidneys and adrenal glands, causing physical and emotional exhaustion.
WHY “STATIC” STRETCHING ALONE ISN’T THE ANSWER
The Psoas is really hard area to reach. It’s buried deep inside your core making it tough to access. It’s a hard muscle to find, let alone train.
There are a number of specific movements beyond simple static stretching you can use to unlock and loosen your hips, legs and back. You need to attack your hips with a variety of movements including the followings:
PNF is an acronym for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It is a technique where you are activating a specific muscle in order to relax the muscles around a joint so you can decrease the stiffness around a joint.
This is where you are activating the muscle around a joint and moving that joint through its full range of motion in a progressive manner. This leads to an increased range of motion around the joint, warming up of the muscle around the joint and improved circulation around the joint. Think of high knees or butt kicks.
3-DIMENSIONAL CORE STABILITY EXERCISES
With these exercises we are targeting the muscle in all planes of movement so the core and abdominal muscles have good activation, endurance and strength in all planes of movement which leads to a decrease in unnecessary damaging stress on joints.
In these exercises, we are targeting the joint and doing movements and exercises that help the joint function optimally. This allows a joint to move more freely.
In this unique technique, we are targeting the tissue that muscles are surrounded in and working on loosening and lengthening the fascia. Few people understand the negative effect this tissue can have on your body.
MUSCLE ACTIVATION MOVEMENTS
With this technique, we’re targeting those muscles that are off and activate them in order to help the body move more efficiently.
UNLOCK YOUR HIP FLEXORS WITH A SPECIFIC SEQUENTIAL EXCERCISE
Like unfolding a sheet or unpacking a parcel, opening up the muscles in your hips requires it to be done in the right order.
We create a special class which include traditional QiGong and Yoga, PNF Stretching, Dynamic Stretching, Core Stability, Mobility exercises, Fascia Stretching. The sequence works with your body to activate its natural healing process, improve flexibility while adding strength and vitality.
Practice the series for 6 consecutive weeks and find the improvement for your hip flexors.
Class Schedule: April 18th through May 23rd – Wednesday from 5:00PM to 6PM.
COST: $120 (Early Bird Discount Through April 10th: $100)