The ilium or iliopsoas psoas is a muscle whose proper function depend on many of the most essential movements we do every day.
Located within the abdominal cavity, the iliac psoas intervenes in the flexion and extension movements of the hip that help us lift weights, do sit-ups, squats and a host of other tasks; This also means that it has constant wear and tear.
For this muscle to function properly, it is necessary to strengthen it by taking care of different aspects: having a good posture, in addition to a good sleep habit and a variety of exercises that break monotony, are essential factors.
What is the structure of the iliac psoas?
The iliac psoas is made up of two minor muscles: the iliac psoas major and the iliac, two of the most important muscles within the major group known as the hip flexor . Some people have a third muscle, called the psoas minor , but it is not very common.
These are some specifications about the anatomy of the iliac psoas :
- Psoas major : inserted in the lesser trochanter, it is located within the abdominal content, and its function is to flex, make us turn laterally and lead to the hip joint.
- Iliacus : located in the iliac fossa and also inserted in the lesser trochanter, it fulfills a function analogous to that of the psoas major.
- Psoas minor – About only 40% of the human population have it. When it appears, it is inserted in the upper part of the pubic bone. Its function is to assist in the curvature of the spine known as lordosis.
What are the causes of iliac psoas wear?
The wear of the iliac psoas is directly linked to our daily habits. These are some common causes:
- Poor back posture that puts pressure on the hip.
- Lifting an excessive weight in an inappropriate posture.
As a result of the wasting of this muscle, many athletes feel pain in the abdomen and back, which is why they are prevented from performing lifting exercises, as well as other lower impact exercises.
What exercises strengthen the iliac psoas?
The best exercises for the iliac psoas are those that combine stretching in the hip area with body weight.
1. Unilateral leg raise
- Lie on the floor on your back, with your legs extended in front of you and your arms at your sides. You can support yourself by placing your hands under your buttocks, but your back should remain firmly on the floor.
- Starting from this position, raise both legs to a 90º angle.
- Drop one leg at a time, without touching the ground, and bring it back to its starting position so that you can repeat the exercise with the other.
- Do this exercise about 15 times for each leg.
2. Hanging leg raise (knees to elbows)
- Start by hanging from a chin-up bar.
- Raise both knees at the same time, as close to your chest as possible.
- If you can, try to get with your knees to your elbows, but without hurting yourself.
Do about 15 repetitions of this exercise.
- Start sitting on the floor, with your legs tucked up and your hands resting on the floor.
- Raise your legs at a 45 degree angle. Your back should also shift at a similar incline, so that your body forms a V.
- Raise your hands and keep them straight, parallel to the ground, to create balance.
- Hold the position for about 15 seconds and then rest. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times.
4. Low stride
- Start in a lunge position, but with your back knee flat on the ground.
- Raising your arms in the air over your head, stretch your upper body back, without hurting yourself.
- Hold the pose for about 20 seconds and then rest.
- Repeat the movement 5-10 times.
5. Bridge pose
- Start by lying on the floor on your back, your knees bent and your feet tucked close to your buttocks.
- With some pressure with your glutes and hamstrings, lift your back off the ground so that you are supported on your feet and shoulders.
- Hold that pose for about 30 seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Rest for about 15 seconds and then repeat the movement about 5 or 10 times.
6. Inverted iron
- Start sitting on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you and your arms behind you, with your hands resting on the floor.
- Generating light pressure on your glutes, lift yourself off the ground, forming a sloping line from the balls of your feet to the top of your head.
- Hold the pose for about 20 seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Rest 15 seconds and repeat the exercise about 5 times.
- Larsen, Amber. Everything You Need to Know About the Iliopsoas. For Breakingmuscle. [Revised January 2017].