The psoas stretching device that Joe Rogan discusses on one of his JRE episodes, is the pso-rite
Someone has also designed a DIY version to save a few $$£. You can see the design here.
It doesn’t look like PSO-Rite available in the UK yet. My poor-man’s-version is to use a plastic dumbbell, placing it so that that top of one plastic weight is inserted/releasing my psoas and the other half of the dumbbell is out, at my side.
A foam roller doesn’t do quite the same thing, as you can’t palpate the psoas and get the same ‘depth’.
Here’s a gif of flexibility legend Kelly Starret using a kettlebell and a lacrosse ball to act in the same way as the PSO-Rite
What is the Psoas Muscle?
The psoas muscle basically helps to link the lower and upper sections of the body. It is often referred to as a “hip flexor” muscle, as it’s prime-function/movement is to flex the hip i.e. bring the knee towards your chest.
What Issues Does a Tight Psoas Muscle Cause?
The main issue caused by a tight hip flexor, is related to posture. The now infamous “pelvic tilt” – causing your bum to stick outwards, is often caused by a tight psoas muscle.
Yogis often state that stress and other emotions are stored in the psoas; a tight psoas can lead to emotional issues – allegedly – I don’t think there is evidence for this, but I do actually believe it. When people are stressed in the office, you often see their leg bouncing up and down.
How Can I Stretch the Psoas Muscle?
You can stretch your psoas on a bench, as shown above. Bring your right knee forwards and pull your left foot behind you whilst keeping hips straight and aligned. It also helps to tense your glutes. Obviously, you’ll need to swap legs and stretch to other side. Hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.
Here’s a whole yoga series dedicated to opening and stretching the psoas:
How Can I Strengthen the Psoas Muscle?
You’ll need a band and/or a stability ball to effectively strengthen the psoas muscle.
Are There Any Strength Building Exercises that Stretch the Psoas?
Yes, shoulder/back bridges and single leg bulgarian split squats are great strength exercises that are also good for mobility and psoas flexibility.
Be very careful with back bridges however, you can seriously injure your spine.
Shoulder/glute bridges which strengthen the glutes, also stretch and strengthen the psoas.