Pilates and the Psoas: A Powerful Partnership

Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and balance. It is an excellent way to strengthen and activate the psoas muscle while improving posture, alignment, which supports the psoas and reduce the risk of injury.

Anatomically the psoas is a deep core muscle that connects the lumbar spine in the back of our bodies runs diagonally forward through the viscera to attach to the thigh bone (femur). It is responsible for hip flexion and rotation, as well as stabilizing the pelvis and spine. 

If you are new to Pilates, it is important to start with basic exercises and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones. It is also important to find a qualified Pilates instructor who can teach you proper form and technique.

Here are some Pilates exercises that are specifically beneficial for the psoas:


Thigh Lift:  lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat. Lift one leg up keeping it bent at the knee. Draw your knee towards your chest till it is at a 90-degree angle to the hip. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat with the other leg.

Roll-up:  lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Engage your core muscles and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time until you are sitting upright. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly roll back down one vertebra at a time. Note some people really struggle with roll ups, if this is a challenge for you, place your hands around your thighs for arm support and maybe a small hand towel under your sacrum.

Plank: in quadruped position (cat position) extend your legs out behind you making sure to line up your ears, shoulders, ribs, hips, knees and ankles. Inhale and exhale to engage your core muscles and hold the position for ten seconds or as long as you can. Note you can do it on your forearms if it bothers your wrists.
Pilates is a safe and effective way to strengthen and activate the psoas muscle. It is also a great way to improve overall fitness, flexibility, and balance. If you are looking for a way to improve your health and well-being, Pilates is a great option. 

Please check with a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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