Hip Flexor/Illio Psoas
Tight Hip Flexors, also known as ilioPsoas. What does it mean? Where is it at? Why Does it matter?
Can Often be felt as tightness in the lower back. Or a tightness at the very front of the hip joint itself. The psoas is a big muscle that attaches the legs to midsection. Its a large muscle so it likes to work. However, it often over works, resulting in the tightness and causing muscle imbalances, which causes pain and posture imbalance as well. The tightness causes the pelvis to rotate forwards, pushing the sacrum backwards. It may cause a feeling of tightness in the lower back pretty much constantly. You may also notice that directly over the front of the hip joint the muscles and tendons feel like wire cords. This tightness descends down into the very top of the Quadricep complex. (Very top of the thigh) And you may notice in your workouts that you seem to lean forwards more when you squat. You may have a hard time feeling the core working and the glutes working when you squat is well. Its hard to say without actually seeing an individual, but chances are pretty good that if you don't feel the core an awful during your squat, you're leading with hip flexors, which may not be a problem now.....but down the road will lead to Muscle imbalance from that tight psoas, can cause back pain and will keep you from making progress.
What causes it? Can be many things sitting. Lack of properly stretching the hip flexor complex. poor posture habits. Overload of work on the hip flexor complex itself. Possibly even an injury.
What can you do? Here's what has worked well for me....Stretch it and reload it. If you are not familiar with self myofascial release, (SMR), I suggest you become familiar with it. Its going to be your friend here. Also known as foam rolling, coupled with proper hip flexor and psoas stretching. And deload it. If you sit a lot, try to get up and move more. I found a coccyx pillow to be of help when I have to sit. as it helps the pelvis to be neutral and helps so that you aren't sitting on your sacrum. Evaluate your workout. Do you need to take a break from squats and the stair machine. Focusing on the lower core and the glutes can be of tremendous help as you bring those weak opposing muscles into balance. And Patience. You didn't develop tight hip flexors overnight. Seriously. Its going to take a bit of time to get them back to proper length.