Best Psoas Muscle Pain Exercises to Relieve Pain Permanently

Exercises & Stretches | Written by Jon Chambers | Updated on 27 December 2021

If you are feeling discomfort in your lower back, hips, groin, or tight—there’s a good chance psoas muscle pain exercises will go a long way in treating your problem.

The psoas major muscle is a complex band of tissue that runs from the base of your spine, over the top of your pelvis, and into your thigh. Because of its location in the body, it is extremely important for helping the hips to behave properly. Its location also makes it a susceptible place for injury.

This happens largely because it becomes tight and shortened from poor posture, extended sitting, or any number of issues stemming from modern life. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for extended periods of time, you can be almost absolutely certain that it is extremely tight and inhibited.

But even if you don’t have an office job or live an inactive life, you can still fall prey to this injury and the discomfort it brings.

This is because another major part of the pain equation is weakness: when your hips are weak in some areas and strong in others, it creates a recipe for disaster. As the stronger muscles continue to grow and the weaker ones atrophy, the imbalance creates more and more pressure—resulting in more pain and the possibility of a horrific injury like the sports hernia.

First: Prepare for Psoas Muscle Pain Exercises

Before starting the exercise, first perform a seated external hip rotation which will provide an amazing, deep stretch to the area. To do so, find a bench or other object such as a table that is a little taller than knee height.

Next, place your tibia on the bench so that it is parallel with the ground and your knee completes a 90 degree angle. As you lean forward into the stretch, make sure that your back heel doesn’t leave the ground—you will also feel a nice stretch in your calf.

If you don’t have a bench or would like to do this from a seated position, you can do so as well (just be aware that the stretch will not work as well).

seated hip stretch done just prior to performing psoas muscle pain exercises for lasting relief

The video below explains how to complete the movement if you are confused.

Once you have done that it is time to move onto the actual exercise.

The Best Psoas Muscle Pain Exercise

While there are plenty of options out there, hands down the best exercise is the supine hold. Just one round of doing these and you will instantly know why.

Performing the movement is simple. Find a place to lie down on the ground and let your arms rest on either side of your body. Slowly bring up one knee to your chest and try to contract as hard as you can while making sure your back stays on the ground and doesn’t come off. Hold for three seconds before releasing. You can either complete all reps for one side and then switch legs, or alternate.

The image at the top of the article shows the movement being done with an exercise band to increase resistance.

Complete a total of 10 repetitions on each side the first time. That is likely all you will be able to do. However, as you get better slowly add in more sets and repetitions until you reach a total of 4 sets of 15 reps.

While the psoas fix is the easiest and most effective way to stop the pain within minutes, performing these exercises over the course of a few weeks will help to relieve your discomfort and put an end to your terrible pain.

About the Author

Squatting 500 pounds on an ohio rogue bar with a sports hernia

Jon Chambers

Jon Chambers is a powerlifter, strength coach, sports hernia expert, and writer involved in the strength training community for almost a decade on a mission to create the best strength and fitness guides on the web.