The Psoasinator

The Minotaur said I could keep some of his kettlebell and sports rehab books for as long as I wanted them. He just set five world records in his age class for Olympic lifting and I guess he is in an expansive mood.

I was actually ready to give them back, because the physical therapist whose book I really liked turned out to have a yea useful channel on YouTube, where you can view short four and five minute videos about various ways to stretch, decompress, shear, and otherwise mobilize reluctant connective tissue. I still have this stubborn ass thing going on — I can’t yet do a butt to heel squat, or proper racewalking without hiking poles — and when I’m tired I walk as if I’m on a ship’s deck in fairly high seas. When I am feeling cussed, or am in a position to prepare myself with snakebite medicine, I try some of his tricks. They do work.

Part of it is just a nerve-muscle unit problem though. I crossed the path of Rehab Babe, my favorite trainer at Gold’s, back on Tuesday and unwisely told her how much her last slate of exercises had revived my ability to move snappily on my feet. I did a few hops and twirls, hitching only slightly. An unholy light entered her eyes and she promptly installed me on top of a box platform, ran a couple of resistance bands under it at oblique angles so that they pulled me toward about one and two o’clock and, of course, seven and eight, if I had been standing on a clock face turned toward midnight, which I wasn’t, but you get the picture. “Hoick the bands up to your shoulders so you get steady resistance and squat,” she said.

I squatted. The drag hit me right at the heart of my left butt where a couple of  muscles have been steadily refusing to do their job without complaining and going on strike. I squatted some more, and kept on doing it in sets of about fifteen until my rear end was probably glowing. “They don’t call me the Ass Whisperer for nothing,” said Rehab Babe, proceeding to truss me up with about four more of the things threaded through my lifting belt. I am not sure what happened after that because it hurt too damn much, but after two days I felt pretty damn good and could actually drop into a squat below parallel without my left hip trying to make a break for my ribcage. There is still a lot of stuff gummed up in there though, and I decided it was past time for me to make a Psoasinator.


That is a quartet of tennis balls, held together by duct tape (yes, Hello Kitty duct tape), forming a stable pyramid that will send compression force way deep into your buttock, your quad, your hamstring, or your psoas, which if you have not met it lately is a ribbon of muscle that stabilizes your center of gravity from the front; it starts on your spine just below the diaphragm, emerges from your interior pelvis by crossing your pubic ramus and dives under  muscles to attach on the inner thigh bone. I work it on my clients, which can include gently jiggling chitlins out of the way and doing a slow deep stroke that traps the thing against the front of the vertebrae. You can kind of do it to yourself too, but not with a lot of force since you can’t lean from your own center on gravity on your own center of gravity. This solves the problem.

You park this contraption on the floor, position your pubic bone over it, drop your weight and proceed from there. It is special. This is the best two-bit fix since someone shoved two tennis balls into a gym sock. It’s like having a third elbow that you can jam anywhere.

Never say I don’t know how to have a hot Friday evening.

What was your last new toy?



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