Top 10 Muscle Imbalances And What To Do About Them #6

May 7, 2016

#6 Quadratus Lumborum Dominates Psoas

The psoas is never a problem in the realm of musculoskeletal injuries. Right? And I rode a Unicorn today to the end of a rainbow, found a pot of gold and I hung out with a leprechaun. Fantasyland! It’s a key player in everything.

The psoas is a chaotic mess for most people. It’s the ‘batshit crazy’ muscle of the body. Most often the psoas is tight and weak. Not always, but most of the time. If your lower back hurts the psoas is involved. If your sports performance is suffering the psoas is involved. I jokingly say that if you come in with a headache the psoas is involved. It’s that important!

What’s the role of the psoas and why is it so important?

It’s the only muscle to cross three zones of the body: lumbar spine, pelvis, and hip. It’s safe to say it’s sort of, maybe, kind of, a little important in stabilization. Its primary role is lumbar spine stabilization, but it’s also involved with hip flexion, hip external rotation, lateral lumbar flexion, trunk flexion and anterior pelvic tilt with the insertion fixed.

Why is it usually a disaster? Think chairs. Sitting kills your ass, your psoas, and your soul.

Feel the relationship? Think Single Leg Stance


Stand on your right foot and raise your left leg up in the air bending at the knee. You’re coming into hip flexion on the left. But you’re also having to elevate your left pelvis. If the psoas is weak you over hike your left hip in the air to compensate or extend your lumbar spine to absorb force. You cheat to make it easier. Extending the lumbar spine and hiking the hip is the quadratus lumborum working overtime.

*One of the biggest reasons for a jacked up quadratus lumborum muscle is a weakness of the psoas on one or both sides

What to do about it?

  1. Foam roll or release the quadratus lumborum. Don’t dig in there too long or you can irritate it
  2. Lie on the ground with legs straight. Bring one knee toward the chest until the knee breaks the waistline. On the downward straight leg slowly squeeze your glute on that side and hold. On the flexed knee try to press back down to the ground with your hands on top of the thigh and resist. Hold for 4 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Switch sides and repeat.
  3. Don’t hold your breath

Next up…Tibialis anterior dominating quads