Mastering the Banded Psoas March for Total Hip Stability"
We included the supine banded Psoas march in a previous hip flexor blog post and wanted to do a deeper dive on the exercise here.
There's just some exercises that we get a lot of return for our time and the Banded Psoas March is one of them. Great for youth and adult athletes, great for providing lumbo-pelvic stability, and for overall spinal stability.
First a brief anatomical description:
The psoas muscle is part of the iliopsoas group, which includes the iliacus muscle. It is located in the lower lumbar region of the spine, extending through the pelvis to the femur.
This muscle originates from the transverse processes, sides of the vertebral bodies of T12 (the last thoracic vertebra, ie mid-back) to L5 (the last lumbar vertebra, ie lower back), and the intervertebral discs between them.
The primary role of the psoas muscle is hip flexion: which means bringing the knee towards the chest. It also plays a role in spinal flexion and lateral flexion (bending the torso to the side).
The psoas is crucial for activities such as walking, running, and standing upright. It stabilizes the spine and the pelvis and helps maintain proper posture. Can you see how it translates to sprinting, and other athletic movements?
Significance in Movement and Stability:
As a major hip flexor, the psoas is vital for lifting the leg to take a step. It works in coordination with other muscles during activities that involve leg movement.
The psoas muscle's deep location and connection to the spine make it key for lumbar spine (lower back) stability. A well-functioning psoas muscle can help prevent lower back pain.
Frequently, adults might complain of tightness in their hip flexor from sitting too much, which can lead to imbalances.
Postural issues such as pelvic tilt which can lead to compensations.
Most of the time, especially for youth athletes, we notice weakness in this area.
Placing the athlete on their back, with their spine supported and stable, makes it easier to target the psoas.
Place a mini-band around both feet.
Start with both knees bent at 90 degrees
Then, while lower back is maintaining contact with the ground, slowly extend 1 leg
Hold for 2-3 seconds each side, and switch legs
Strengthening the hip flexors: reduces lower back issues, makes it easier for athletes to produce power as they sprint and make quick directional changes.