Have you heard of the psoas? This is a major hip flexor muscle located deep in the core, connecting your spine to your legs. Due to the nature of our sport, tight psoas is very common amongst climbers. Tightness in the psoas will greatly affect your posture, causing pain in the lower back and pelvis.
King Arthur is a wonderful pose to help you to stretch the psoas as well as the quads and other hip flexors.
Getting into the pose
- Place your mat near a wall, making sure you lay a blanket or fold the same mat on the near side to the wall to cushion your knee.
- Get into a tabletop posture with your feet towards the wall. Place your right shinbone against the wall, so your right foot is pointing up.
- Carefully, bring your left foot between your hands, keeping your left knee in a 90º degree angle.
- This might be enough for you. If so hold here for 5-10 breathes.
- Otherwise, place your hands on your left knee and lean with your back against the wall.
- You can either keep your hands on your knee or bring them up against the wall, which will feel more challenging.
- Bring the bottom ribs in, slightly tilting your pelvis back to avoid shortening in the lower back region. This will also deepen the stretch.
- Hold for 5-10 breathes. Do the other side.
Use a couple of blocks for support, helping you to keep a nice and long spine.