Live Better

Piriformis Stretch

Physiotherapist Charissa Fermelis shows you a stretch for your hips.

Woman doing Piriformis Stretch

How to

  1. Lie on your back and cross one ankle over the opposite knee, so your legs form a figure 4.
  2. Using your arms, pull your legs towards your chest to feel a deep stretch in the back of the hip.
  3. Sustain this stretch for up to 30 seconds, and repeat it several times on each leg for optimal benefit.

stage 1: woman doing piriformis stretch

stage 2: woman doing piriformis stretch

stage 3: woman doing piriformis stretch


The piriformis is a deep muscle at the back of the hip joint, which connects from the sacrum to the thigh bone. The action of the muscle is to externally rotate your leg when standing tall, but also provide stability for your pelvis.

In some people, the sciatic nerve actually pierces through the piriformis muscle belly, so if the piriformis is weak or tight, the sciatic nerve can become entrapped and lead to pain or numbness referring down the back of the leg.

Stretch out your whole body with the be. Stretching Guide.

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