This is one of my favorites, and since most people sit during the day, it’s much needed. This Stretch effects a muscle called the psoas found in the front of the abdomen and hip. The psoas connects your spine to your hip and is attached to every single organ in the abdomen and pelvis. The psoas is an important muscle to keep healthy since tightness in this muscle leads to restriction in the organs around it.
Things like repetitive sitting and sports like cycling can create this tightness and possibly lead to low back pain. When the psoas is stretched your organs and back benefit from increased circulation and are healthier because of it. Also, you can create more strength and tone in the buttocks if the psoas is stretched.
This technique is a form of connective tissue stretching which is more effective long term. The reason why is that your body actually creates it’s own space instead of being forced or pushed too far. Instead you create more blood flow to the connective tissue surrounding the joint which naturally lifts restrictions and creates stability. A French osteopath by the name of Guy Voyer originally created this system of stretching and calls it ELDOA.
How to do it:
- Kneel on one knee and bring the other leg in front of you with your foot flat on the floor.
- Turn back foot inward slightly
- Hold both arms out in front of you with elbows straight.
- Turn your palms out and away from (ext rotate) each other while at the same time actively flexing the fingers back towards yourself
- Draw your belly button in and squeeze the buttocks on the side you are stretching, so you do a slight hip tuck, hold this actively.
- As you do this come forward with the hips slightly.
- Bring shoulders back slightly and elongate or lengthen the spine through the top of the head, head is neutral
- You should feel a strong stretch in the front of the hip and abdomen on the side you are stretching
- Hold for 30 sec on each side