Hip flexors (also called psoas) are a group of muscles that connect your femur to the lumbar vertebrae. These strong and deep-seated muscles play the biggest role when it comes to all major movements like walking, running, bending and much more. In short, they’re really important to our everyday ability to move around.
If left unexercised, just like all other muscles, will tighten and shorten. When this happens, this causes your disc to compress in a dangerous away, resulting in a stronger pull on your spin, and added strain in your body.
As a result, your body will start to tense up and will let you know something is wrong, affecting your psoas muscles first. Here are some of the main signs:
Pain in your knees and lower back: these are the most common signs something is out of order. Tight psoas muscles are usually reflected in lower back pain due to the pressure on your discs. The pain in your knee is caused when your femur locks in the hip socket and puts strain on your joint as it tries to pull it out of its natural position.
Problems with your posture: short and tight psoas will compress your spine’s discs while at the same time pulling your pelvis into an anterior tilt. The grand effect is that you will start to develop an abnormal posture because your spine will not be able to maintain its natural, straight shape. This is an increasingly common problem among those who sit for long hours and don’t take time to exercise their hip flexors.
One shorter leg: a tight psoas muscle can pull your pelvis and force it to rotate forward. In some cases, this happens on one side of the body only, making the leg on that side longer. The opposite leg may rotate backward in an effort to create a counter-balance. While it may balance you out in the short run, it actually is just increasing the discrepancy in the length of your legs. In addition to having a poor posture, your walking style, and ease will be affected too.
Other pains: hip flexors are surrounded by vital organs, particularly reproductive parts, as well as bowels, adrenals, kidneys, and the rib cage. When your muscles are not flexible, they will exert a lot of pressure on these surrounding organs. This results in your blood vessels being blocked and causing lingering internal pain, specifically to your chest, bowels, and ovaries for women.
Life is difficult enough to get through without adding on extra pressure to your body. Luckily the solution is pretty simple; exercise your hip flexors frequently. It’s easy, quick, and most importantly, makes a huge difference.
One of the best ways to do that is by following the Unlock Your Hip Flexors program. Created by Rick Kaselj and Mike Westerdal, this program is tailored to specifically work your hip flexors so that your body works for you.