Stretch It: Figure-4 for the Piriformis

Ever feel like you have a sore tight bum, be it from running or sitting for too long? I think being generally tense can lead to over engaging the glute muscles (there’s reason the expression "tight a**" exists).

Here is one of my favorite stretches. It is simple to do and will alleviate some of that deep booty tension you might be feeling. It is called the Figure Four because of the shape of the number with your legs to get into the stretchy. It targets the piriformis, a pear shaped muscle that runs from your sacrum (the back of your pelvis) to the outside of your upper femur (thigh bone).

Here's how to do the figure-4:


Lie on your back with both legs in the air. Place your right ankle on your thigh above your left knee. See the shape of the number four? It is there, just upside down.an>



Reach your right hand through the open space created by your right leg and grab your left hand that is reaching around the outside of your left thigh. Slowly bend your left knee. You should fee a stretch on the outside of your right hip.

Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

Variations:

Try to release your pelvis into neutral, by reaching your tail bone toward the floor, creating a little arch in your low back. This should either emphasize the stretch in a different area, or increase the stretch.

To increase the stretch, twist just the pelvis a bit to the left and the stretch should intensify.

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