Today’s muscle is the psoas, the main muscle providing hip flexion.
“Psoas Major muscle” by Anatomography – CC BY-SA
Origin: From the bodies, transverse processes, and discs of the lumbar and 12th thoracic vertebrae
Insertion: Lesser trochanter of the femur
Actions: Flexes the thigh at the hip and flexes the trunk at the vertebral column and the hip.
When you bring your knee up while marching, or bend down to touch your toes, you are using your psoas muscles! They are often the culprit if you have lower back pain that doesn’t get resolved after a low back massage. Because of their location, they are often neglected or passed over. Although sometimes the area can be quite tender, psoas massage can be a lifesaver! It can be done safely and slowly, which ensures comfort while still achieving pain relief.
To prevent problems in the psoas, make sure you keep an eye on your posture. Stooping and slouching cause the muscle to be continuously contracted, as does sleeping in the fetal position, or sitting a lot (especially with the knees up). If you are a long distance driver, or you have to sit all day for work, make sure you take frequent breaks to stand up and walk around.