A Minor Issue?

by Joy Keller on Jan 23, 2017

Body Lab

Only about half of people have a psoas minor muscle—does it matter?

When you work with enough clients, eventually you notice all the variations in biomechanics and anatomy. You may or may not remember from your fitness professional certification studies that only about half of people have a psoas minor muscle. When it's there, it lies in front of the psoas major and originates from the sides of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12), the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and the corresponding intervertebral disk (Farias et al. 2012).

It is a "weak trunk flexor" that, if present and strained, can reduce range of motion in the hip by as much as 50% (Healthline 2015). However, if you don't have a psoas minor, are you at a disadvantage?

"In almost 30 years I have not seen research or clinical indications that it matters," says Christina M. Christie, PT, president of Pelvic Solutions LLC, in Park Ridge, Illinois. "For the most part, the great majority of the population have tight hip flexors and a tight anterior chain, because we are a population that sits from the time we enter preschool. So no, it doesn't matter, because not one muscle in our bodies functions in isolation. The brain does not know muscles; the brain knows movement patterns."

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Farias, M.C.G., et al. 2012. Morphological and morphometric analysis of psoas minor muscle in cadavers. Journal of Morphological Science, 29 (4), 202–205.

Healthline. 2015. Psoas minor. Accessed Nov. 14, 2016. www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/psoas-mino.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.