Release your what?

2 June, 2019

anatomy of hips

“Have you released your so-az?" says my daughter, aka the fountain of all knowledge. My what? That sounds slightly rude.

“Your p-s-o-a-s, it’s a muscle” she says. Ohhhhh….

I had been bemoaning the state of my hips, which I always liken to those of an old Labrador.

“Google it”, she says. And this has led me to a week long research into all things hip, so to speak. Runners need healthy hips even more than they need 347 pairs of running shoes.

The psoas is a deep-seated core muscle that attaches your thigh bone to the vertebrae of your lower back. It is one of the hip flexor muscles and when we do lots of running and cycling it becomes shortened. Then we sit all day which doesn’t help.

The release involves lying on a tennis ball, locating said psoas and pressing into it, up and down its length. I consulted a diagram to locate the spot, but it felt an inefficient way of doing things. What if I was just irritating my internal organs?

And then I came across Nikki Naab-Levy Pilates and Fitness. Here are her three best stretches for the hip flexors (Youtube) and here are her three best hip strengtheners (Youtube)

She has a wonderful way of explaining exactly which muscle should be activated or stretched which is so important. We tend to rush through stretches and exercises without ever thinking about which muscles is actually involved and why.

Now that my old Labrador hips are nicely stretched, I need to concentrate on hip mobility and strengthening. Watch this space as they say.

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