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Psoas Muscles

August 23, 2018

These are muscles of the loins that aid in flexing and rotating the thigh



  • Psoas are one of the muscle groups around the hip joint.

  • They lie across the pelvis and connect the upper part of the body to the lower part.



  1. Psoas Minor (smallest) – only present in about half of the population. Not discussed further in this article.

  2. Psoas Major (largest)

  3. Iliacus

NB. Iliopsoas muscle – the Psoas Major and Iliacus are often combined and referred to as such. Their ends merge together and attach to the same place.



  • Psoas Major – Bottom of the spinal vertebrae attachment through finger-like projections of the muscle. It then goes down the spine, over the pubic bone and attaches to the lesser trochanter of the femur.

  • Iliacus – Broad attachments on the inside of the pelvic bowl. The fibres of the muscle then weave with the Psoas Major and attach in the same spot on the femur as the Psoas Major.



  • Important for posture

  • Effects how you move

  • Iliopsoas muscle – as these muscles share the same attachment it allows for the same movement (flexion and external rotation) when the muscles contract and shorten.

  • Balance

  • Breath & Energy

  • Powerful hip flexor

  • Lateral rotation and abduction of the hip


Yoga implications:


The Uddiyana bandha is located on the psoas.

Extended hand to big toe pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana) – raising the leg to grab the toe requires the psoas to be engaged.

Boat pose (Navasana) – Psoas are engaged to keep the hips raised



Further reading:


The Psoas are one of the muscle groups around the hip. Read more about the Hip Joint in a separate article.

You can also read separate articles on other muscles around the hip joint:

  1. The Quadriceps

  2. The Hamstrings

  3. The Adductors

  4. The Gluteals

  5. The Deep Six Lateral Rotators

  6. The Psoas (this article is one of the topics in the series)


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