Ben Doing A Psoas Release Exercise

Psoas Release Exercises – Help Back And Hip Pain

The psoas is one of your hip flexor muscles. It essentially connects your femur, or upper leg bone, to your spine. It can be a major contributor to lower back pain and hip pain. The psoas is chronically tight in many of us and often just stretching isn’t enough to find release. This very simple exercise is effective at restoring length and relaxation to your overly tight psoa muscles!

Setting The Stage For Psoas Control

This is a bodyweight exercise. You don’t need any equipment, just enough space to lay down. Start by laying down on your back. Bring your knees up so they’re pointing at the ceiling. Keep your feet about hip-width apart. You should be comfortable.

We’re going to learn to control our psoas a little before we move into the exercise. Do this by pushing your lower back into the ground. You should feel your abs contract and your belly hollow a little as your back pushes into the floor. Once your back touches the floor, hold it there for a couple of seconds and then slowly release back to neutral.

While releasing back to neutral, make sure to move very slowly and very smoothly. Really pay attention and feel the muscles working to control the movement. This is a very important step in controlling those muscles. Once you’re comfortable with this step you can move onto step 2. Don’t rush it. If you need more time learning to flatten your back, take it.

The Psoas Release Exercise

Now that you’ve learned to flatten your back we can move to the exercise itself. Start by gently flattening your back to the ground like before. Once you get there, continue to hold the position as you slowly lift your right leg. Start with a very small movement. Only an inch or two is a good starting point. If you’re lower back starts to lift off the floor, either use less range of motion or go back to practicing flattening your back.

Hold the lift for a couple of seconds at the top and then slowly lower your leg back to the floor. As before, make sure to pay lots of attention to the muscles working as you release. Now do the other side!

When you first start with this exercise do only one or two reps on each side. This exercise can really challenge your psoas so it’s important to not be overzealous! As you get better at this movement you can further challenge yourself by first using more range of motion with your leg bent. As that becomes easier, start lifting your leg with less bend.

In a relatively short time, you’ll gain tons more strength and mobility through your hips and lower back. It’s also likely you’ll see a reduction or elimination of pain in those areas as well.

small changes to lose weight

6 Small Changes To Lose Weight

Losing weight can be a complex issue. Today I want to share 6 small changes you can use to lose weight. I want to keep things simple and low tech. Nothing fancy here. Just little things you can tweak that will make it more likely you will drop body fat and improve the health of your lifestyle.

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benjamyn smith doing a one rep max

Your One Rep Max Doesn’t Matter

I’m having fun challenging conventions, so I’m just gonna run with it! Last week it was pull-ups, this week it’s the one-rep max. It’s a staple of program design and a standard test that most everyone uses to test performance and improvement. But for most of us, it really doesn’t matter.

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Ben Avoiding A Workout

Why Do I Hate Working Out?

Have you ever wondered, “why do I hate working out”? Most people know they should get more exercise, but that usually doesn’t help them make it happen. The truth is you hate working out because it’s unnatural. Human’s haven’t need to workout to stay in shape until very recently.Continue reading

Ben Getting Up From The Ground

Are You Having Trouble Getting Up Off The Floor?

Don’t worry if you’re having trouble getting up off the floor. There’s something you can do to regain that lost mobility. Especially for people who are at risk of injury from a fall, safety is extremely important when rebuilding the ability to get up and down from the floor. You may need supervision or help from a professional when performing these movements. Also, check with your doctor to ensure these movements are safe for you to perform


The Workout For Getting Off The Floor

This workout starts from the top and works it’s way down. The movements all start from standing so there is as little risk of ending up on the ground as possible. The first movement is a hip hinge.

This is a simple, foundational movement that retrains the muscles of your hips so that you can engage them correctly again. When performing a hip hinge it’s important to flex at the hips instead of the spine. Start with very small movements and make the movement larger as you get stronger.

You need to find the crease of your hip to ensure you’re performing the movement correctly. The easiest way is to put your finger on your bellybutton and trace straight across to your side until you locate the top of your pelvic bone. Once you’ve found the peak of your pelvic bone, trace straight down until you find the point of your hip.

Now that you’ve found the point of your hip, trace around to the front of your leg and place the side of your hand at that position. Now when you perform hip hinges, try to pinch your hand between your leg and pelvis. This will help keep you from flexing your spine.

For movement number two you’ll need a wall. Stand with your back against the wall and take a very small step forward. There should only be an inch or so between your heels and the wall. Start by performing a hip hinge and as soon as your hips start to flex, push your hips back so your butt touches the wall. Now reverse the movement. As you get stronger you can step further away from the wall.

For the last movement you’ll need a chair. For this movement you’re just going to sit down in the chair using the techniques from above. Make sure to select a chair that’s high enough that you don’t have to use a lot of momentum to get up from and that you don’t plop down into. The movement needs to be controlled all the way down and all the way up.

If you find that you can’t control the movement, either you chair is too low for you right now or you’re not ready to use the chair and need to spend more time on the wall. Take your time and don’t rush the process.

Initially do 3 sets of 10 reps every single day. As you get stronger, you should be performing these movements several times throughout the day. Don’t overdo it at first and make yourself sore. It’s important to practice daily!

Change Is Hard

Change Is Hard – It takes Constant Effort And Attention

If change were easy everyone would have their perfect life right? Unfortunately, change is not easy. It’s often simple but very uncomfortable. We all have habits we’d like to change and often we get off to a good start. But it’s so easy to let those changes fall to the wayside and slip back into old habits.

Don’t Give Up On Change

I know sometimes it’s hard to keep your goals in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to keep pushing toward that new habit you want to build. But understand it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to have setbacks.

Just pick yourself up and get back to it.

Ben With Lower Back Pain

How I’m Rehabbing My Lower Back Pain

My utility company job left me with a little present and it was one of the major reasons I walked away from that job. By the time I quit I had constant back pain from spending so much time sitting in a truck. I’ve since been working to eliminate that pain. Recently I put together a series of movements to rehab all the problem areas.Continue reading

Ben working on neck and upper back strength and mobility

Ground Movement For Neck And Upper Back Strength & Mobility

I’m really enjoying this ground movement series so far. I hope you are too! Back to movement this week. This week I’m focusing on the neck and upper back strength and mobility. The workout is only a few minutes long so if you need more work just go through the sequence one or two times more.

The Workout

This workout uses flexion, extension, lateral movement, as well as rotation. Where the head goes the body follows. It’s absolutely critical that you have a healthy neck if you want healthy movement throughout the body. Unfortunately, most of us spend a lot of time with our heads fixed in a similar position for hours at a time.

This workout seeks to regain the mobility that has been lost due to disuse over time. Don’t force the workout. Take your time and work at it every day until mobility has been restored! I’d love to hear what you think of this one. In truth, this workout is for me too. Neck and upper back are one of my problem areas so I’ll be joining you with this workout on the regular.