Tight hip flexors can cause major issues throughout the body. That’s why this psoas self-massage technique can be so handy. Too much sitting can shorten and weaken your psoas. This can lead to hip, lower back, and groin pain. A tight psoas can also alter your posture even leading to things like headaches!
Massage Your Own Psoas
The psoas can be a tricky muscle to get to. It runs from your upper leg bone (femur) to the front of your lumbar spine (lower back). This means you have to push through your whole abdominal cavity to get to it! But don’t fret, there’s a position you can use that makes it easier to get to.
I prefer to do this massage with my hands, but it can also be done with something like a Theracane or a knobbler. To get into position you first need to lay on your back with your knees up. Then let your knees fall off to one side. Your going to massage the opposite side. So if your knees are pointing right you’re going to massage the left side of your abs.
By letting your knees drop off much of the body mass that sits on top of the psoas falls to the side. This means there’s not as much stuff you have to push through. It also means you won’t be pressing on your intestines.
Now you need to go off to the side of where your rectus abdominis (the six-pack part of your abs). You should be able to feel where your rectus abdominis ends and the obliques start. Push down on this division and toward your spine. Most of you will very quickly find a spot that is extremely tender. Congrats! You just found the psoas.
You may even feel the discomfort radiate into your back, hips, or groin. The technique for this self-massage is to push down and in toward your spine and then slide your hand away from your spine while maintaining the pressure. Don’t try and murder yourself and apply as much pressure as possible. A little bit consistently is more effective.
You need to do this massage 6-12 strokes per session 5 or 6 times a day for a couple weeks. This isn’t a once and done massage. Keep doing it until your psoas isn’t tender to the touch. Healthy muscles don’t hurt when pressure is applied!
You can also use the same technique to massage your iliacus. It’s a related muscle that attaches to the front of your pelvic bone.
Watch the video for a visual demonstration of the self-massage technique.