My Hamstrings Are ALWAYS Tight. Is There a Fix?

by SELF Staffers

Riccardo TinelliRiccardo TinelliSELF's deputy editor and certified trainer, Meaghan B Murphy, tackles all your urgent fitness questions.

Shocker: I'm not going to tell you to stretch. If it's a chronic problem, your iliopsoas, or psoas for short, could be to blame. (FYI, when you impress your friends with this explanation, the p is silent.) These muscles run from the front of your spine down both hip bones. When tight, they pull your spine forward. To balance that, your piriformis, a muscle attached to the base of your spine -- still with me? -- tightens up.

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To release the psoas and everything else in the process, Jeff Bramson, a certified massage therapist at the St. Regis in Park City, Utah, recommends this: Lie faceup with legs straight and raise your right knee to a 90-degree angle. Feel for your right psoas with your fingers--to the side of your belly button, about 2 inches down. The muscle will be knotty. Nice to meet you! Knead outward toward hip while dropping your knee out to your right side, then back. Repeat for a minute. Do the other side. Hammies, relaxed.

Got a question for Meaghan? Tweet her @meghanbmurphy using #FitQ!

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