How to: Stretch Pirformis

Maybe you’ve spent more time sitting around over the past few weeks, or maybe you’ve been out on the slopes or the rink. Either way, you may find yourself feeling stiff or tight around the low back, hips, or buttocks. And if you’ve been driving more than usual, some sciatic-type symptoms might be showing up. One of these piriformis stretches may be just what you need to ease some of that discomfort. Your RMT can also suggest rolling and other exercises or treatment that can get down into whatever muscle tension is cramping your style.

Body Poets Massage Therapy

Piriformis - Ottawa Massage BlogOne of the more commonly tight muscles, the piriformis, can be a real pain in your …. well, you know. But stretching it out regularly will help reduce pain and discomfort in your … well, you know. The following stretches aren’t just for the piriformis though. They also help with the gluteus minimus and other external rotators of the hip (there are five others!).

Some indications that you may need to stretch your external hip rotators are:

  • sciatic pain
  • SI joint pain
  • stiffness in the hips
  • postural imbalances such as being ‘duck-footed’ (toes pointing out) or weight bearing on one leg (hip jutting out)

Without further ado, here are some stretches and modifications for the external hip rotators. Find one that best suits your flexibility level.

Pigeon Pose: Kneeling on all 4s, bring the right knee forward to the right wrist. Let the right knee sink out toward the ground…

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