The iliopsoas stretch also known as the hip flexor stretch is performed to stretch the psoas major and iliacus muscles. The tight iliopsoas can be associated with low back discomfort and dysfunction as the tightened muscles pull on the pelvis and affect range of motion in the low back and hips.
The two muscles that make up the iliopsoas group are the psoas major and iliacus. The iliopsoas is one of the most powerful of the hip flexor group muscles.
The psoas major muscle
This muscle brings the leg up frontally and helps in curving the spine. It arises from the inner surfaces of all the lumbar vertebrae’s transverse processes and from the sides of the bodies of the last thoracic and all the lumbar vertebrae. It then courses downwards into the pelvic area, getting narrower as it goes, and inserts on a protrusion of the upper rear part of the femur called the lesser trochanter.
The iliacus muscle
The iliacus muscle bends the thigh. It arises from the inner border of the iliac crest of the pelvic bone and from the upper fossa of the ilium of the pelvis. It inserts on the tendon of the psoas major muscle where that muscle inserts on the femur. Other fibers insert just around the lesser trochanter.
Iliopsoas stretch lying
Stretching your psoas muscle lying down can be done on the floor, but it works best on the edge of a training table or bed. To perform the Iliopsoas stretch, lie on back with your knees bent, hanging off edge of bed. Now pull one knee up to chest while keeping the other thigh flat on bed. You will feel a little stretch in the front of your lower abdomen, now hold the stretch for 8 to 10 seconds. Now repeat with the other leg.