Stretch: figure of 4

A stretch for the gluteal muscles

Particularly useful if you suffer from piriformis syndome, the figure of 4 exercise stretches the muscles in the buttock.

Sitting on a chair, rest the outside of the shin on the opposite knee. This position in itself will probably give you a bit of a stretch if the muscles are tight, but it can be strengthened in two ways:

  1. Leaning forwards
  2. Pushing down on the leg you’re stretching

One of these is normally sufficient, but you can do both together if the muscle is relaxing off nicely.

Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then return to a normal sitting position. Depending on what we’ve said during treatment, you may like to repeat the stretch alternating between left and right.

For people with limited hip movement, you can rest the stretching leg below the knee of the other leg. This will mean straightening the other leg a bit so that you don’t just slip down. If you still can’t get the stretch to work, let me know at the start of our next appointment and we’ll revise it.

Main muscles targeted: piriformis, gluteal muscles.


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