In Physical Therapy this position is known as a half lunge. There are many variations of this pose. This modified Yoga pose (Asana) is an excellent example of specific muscles lengthening and contracting around the hips.
The blue color represents muscles which are contracting and the muscles in red are lengthening. This image is shared graciously with permission from BandhaYoga from their book The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga by Ray Long, MD. To see their amazing YogaAnatomy books, visit their website.
The muscles in blue which are contracting:
1. Left sided Triceps
2. Left sided Hamstrings
3. Left sided Iliopsoas
4. Right sided gluteus maximus
5. Right sided hamstrings
The muscles in red which are lengthening:
1. Right sided Iliopsoas
2. Right sided Quadriceps
This is a great asana posture to stretch the iliopsoas.
•Origin (1st attachment site):
Transverse process of L1-L5 and anterior ilieum
•Insertion (2nd attachment site):
Flexes the hip and trunk. Laterally flexes trunk ipsilaterally.
Involved in sit-ups.
This muscle tends to get very tight and shortened in individuals who sit a lot of the day. Most of us would benefit from regularly stretching this muscle.
Musclces that are very tight or weak can cause misalignment of joints and posture. These muscle "impairments" (such as tightness and weakness) can lead to painful movement or discomfort in certain postures. Physical Therapists (P.T.) are experts in movement and posture. By assessing the body in different positions and planes of movement, a skilled P.T. can determine which muscle imbalances exists and then take the proper steps to correct for the musculo-skeletal impairments. For instance, certain muscles are commonly shorter on one side and longer on the other, while others are stronger on one side and weaker on the other. This can set up a muscular "tug of war" between muscle groups. In the hips, there is often a complex tug of war that goes on between the iliopsoas and it's antagonist, the gluteus maximus.
There are a number of other muscle interactions as well, which will be addressed. Applying out knowledge of functional Anatomy, we gain a deep insight in how to overcome pain conditions of posture and movement.
Physical Therapists who are also trained in Yoga, such as those at Zenergy
PT, utilize their knowledge of Anatomy and Yoga to correct muscle imbalances and
postural dysfunctions using Yoga postures and techniques. There are many other ways to address muscle imbalances as well.
Future blogs will go into more detail about common muscle imbalances and how to treat them using out knowledge of Anatomy, Yoga, and Therapy.
Comments are always welcome!!
Kenneth Mauck, MPT, MS , Manual Therapy Expert