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Piriformis Stretch – Simple seated stretch can help relieve back pain and tension

Sitting can lead to lower back pain and more

Sitting for long periods of time, which is what many of us do in office jobs and during travel, can lead to lower back pain, back spasms, piriformis syndrome (lower buttocks pain), sciatic nerve leg pain, and rounded shoulder posture. These issues can also come from movements within hiking, running, cycling, mountain biking, or other activities.

Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle, which is in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint, compresses the sciatic nerve – a thick, long nerve within the piriformis muscle. The piroformis muscle spasms and causes pain, numbness, and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot.

The following piriformis stretch can be done nearly anywhere and only takes a few minutes.

STRETCH: Piriformis Stretch (Seated Glutes)

HOW IT HELPS: This stretch loosens the gluteus maximus muscles (glutes), opens the hips, pulls the sacrum (large triangular bone at the base of the spine), and relieves low back tension.

WHO IT’S FOR: Hikers, runners, people who sit for long periods of time, people with lower back or buttocks pain, and sciatic nerve leg pain.

Piriformis Stretch


  1. Sit tall in a chair with activated core, your right foot planted on the ground directly under the knee at a 90-degree angle and toes pointed forward.
  2. Place left ankle on right knee. Keep your knee in line with the top of your right thigh.
  3. Lean forward and hinge at the waste, leaving your back as straight as possible. Place a light amount of pressure on your left knee as you fold over.
  4. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, 4 reps per leg.
  5. Return to the upright position slowly and uncross your legs.
  6. Switch legs and repeat.