Test for Short Iliopsoas

I have a new video up on You Tube showing an easy test for a short iliopsoas:
Test for Short Psoas

The Quadratus Lumborum – A Wonder of a Muscle

The short, thick quadratus lumborum (QL) is a wonder of a muscle. While the iliopsoas initiates walking, the quadratus lumborum provides the powerful stability so we can walk. Some researchers believe that complete bilateral paralysis of the quadratus lumborum would make walking impossible, even with braces. This magnificent muscle is an essential component in the bedrock of our bipedal freedom.

The two QLs work as a team, along with the iliopsoas and lumbar paraspinals (multifidi, erector spinae) in stabilizing the lumbar spine. Like the iliopsoas, if this fundamental stabilizer is distressed it can be like a hurricane blowing through with devastating effects. Any movement can be painful, including urination and defecation. The pain may be excruciating in any position that increases weight bearing and requires stabilization of the lumbar spine. Rolling onto either side from a supine position is painful and difficult; coughing and sneezing can be agonizing. In fact, bending forward, twisting, and sneezing or coughing at the same time can throw the quadratus lumborum into spasm. If it’s not a full-blown hurricane, an irritated quadratus lumborum can blow an ill wind of persistent aching pain and gradual loss of lower back and pelvic flexibility, range of motion, and vitality.

The Amazing Iliopsoas

I just got back from teaching my Releasing the Iliopsoas seminar in the northwest. A wise and wonderful midwife/massage therapist in Spokane told me two facts about the iliopsoas that I did not know:

1. It’s the first muscle that forms in the human fetus

2. When a woman is giving birth the iliopsoas helps to push the baby out.

I love the elegance of that!

A Brief Overview of the Physiology of Stretching

Stretching starts in the sarcomere, the basic structural unit of a muscle. The sarcomere contains those famous myofibrils, actin and myosin. When a muscle is stretched, the area of overlap between the myofibrils decreases, allowing the muscle fibers to elongate. The muscle fibers are pulled to their full length, sarcomere by sarcomere. Additional stretching takes place in the surrounding connective tissue. The muscle and collagen fibers align themselves along the same line of force as the stretch. This helps to realign disorganized fibers (both muscle and connective tissue fibers) and contributes to rehabilitating scar tissue.

New Book – The Core of the Matter: Releasing the Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum

My new book, The Core of the Matter: Releasing the Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum is almost here.
This book gives you the tools and strategies to restore power, ease, and fluidity to the low back and pelvis. When these muscles becomes unable to perform their stabilizing duties due to injuries, poor posture, extended stints of sitting, or stress, they can alter the biomechanics of the pelvis and lumbar, thoracic and even cervical vertebrae. Discover gentle, effective, and new deep tissue protocols for releasing these muscles using Peggy’s original and innovative Muscle Swimming approach.

“If you are a results oriented practitioner, this is the book for you. Ms. Lamb has once again masterfully condensed the broad field of somatic work into its most effective distillate.  She provides wonderful clarity and insight into an often little understood anatomy of this area of the body.” Tracy Firsching, LMT

Four Functions of the amazing Rotator Cuff


1. Stabilizes the head of the humerus during all shoulder joint movements.
2. Counteracts the upward pull of the deltoid during abduction and flexion of the humerus by exerting a downward pull on the head of the humerus.
3. Decelerates the arm when you throw something or swing a golf club, etc.
4. Provides movement: internal/external rotation and abduction of the humerus.

These are busy muscles that are constantly multitasking!


The sub-occipitals set the tone for the para-spinals (erector spinae, multifidi, rotatores) so release them early in your bodywork sessions.