The piriformis muscle is responsible for many functions we carry out each day. It is located deep in the glutes and is one of the key muscles responsible for helping the legs rotate at the hips. The health of this muscle comes into play when running, cycling, or performing other sports as well as when sitting for eight hours. Tightness in the piriformis muscle can be painful. For some people, tightness can lead to an even more painful condition — sciatica — which occurs when inflammation compresses the sciatic nerve.
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Lift the left leg, bending at the knee. Gently grasp the outside of the left knee with the right hand, and draw the left leg toward the floor on your right side. The left hip will lift off the ground. Hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds. Release and repeat with the other leg, then repeat again on both sides.
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