Piriformis Stretching

The piriformis is a muscle that lies in the buttock area. This muscle is part of a group of muscles that help rotate and lift your leg laterally (outward). This helps you stabilize your leg as you walk, run or leap.


Following are three positions to stretch your piriformis and gluteal area muscles. All three are demonstrating stretching of your right hip.


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Progressions to Increase the Challenge


For individuals first starting this stretch, use small towel to help perform the exercise. Using the towel will allow you a supported level of stretch without placing extra stress on your neck and shoulders. You can also bend the non-stretching leg to decrease stress to your low back.


Remember to stretch gently. Pull your knee across your body gently until you feel a gentle lengthening through the buttock area.


Hold the stretch, practicing slow full breaths, for approximately 30 seconds.


Pirformis Stretching of Your Right Hip


When you complete stretching on your right side, perform the stretch on your left.


Pirformis Stretch with Towel  
Pirformis stretching with towel To alleviate stress on your neck and shoulders, use a towel wrapped around your shin to gently pull your knee across your body
Pirformis Stretch  

Pirformis Stretching

Increase the challenge by using placing your right hand on your knee and your left hand on your ankle when stretching your right leg.
Variation Challenge   
Pirformis stretching For the greatest challenge, cross your legs with your right shin resting on your left thigh. Reach and gently pull your left thigh towards your body.