The Iliopsoas Muscle
The Iliopsoas Muscle or psoas muscle would have to be one of my favourite muscles.
Location: It is the only muscle that connects the upper body to lower body.
It is the keystone of a balanced well–organized body, so when the psoas is tight there is a many physical conditions that are connected to its issues, such as lower back pain, hip pain, groin pain, bladder problems, constipation, poor circulation, leg length discrepancy, scoliosis, bad menstrual cramps and many more issues.
The positon of this muscle means that it tends to stiffen more than other muscles in the body and hence stretching is crucial.
Pain can be worsened by sitting down for long periods of time and/or in certain positions, this is an issue in today's world for so many working in front of a desk.
Lets zoom into the image a bit more an study the area.
The Iliopsoas is situated at the 'lower abdominal area of the human body, on the sides of the lumbar region; psoas minor and psoas major start from the front side of the lower spine and go down to the upper part of the thigh bone'. Along with the 'Iliacus muscle, they constitute the Iliopsoas Muscle.
'Their main function is the contraction of the hips and thighs, enabling the hip flexion.' hence.......it is obvious that stiffness of the Iliopsoas can reduce movement in both the hips and thighs, with evidence that it can affect running and walking whist affecting the coordination of the core muscles such as the lower back, abdoment and obliques.
Stretching is vital and their are many techniques, below is a link to some resources. Please be sure to read the full article and reference to important material before attempting any of these stretches.
This article is purely a guide to stretching you Iliopsoas