The Piriformis is a small muscle located deep behind the gluteals and is one of the muscles responsible for external rotation of the hip. Many folks who run/bike/row or engage in other forward-moving activities are particularly susceptible to developing Piriformis Syndrome, where the piriformis spasms and strangulates the sciatic nerve… total pain in the butt.
Keeping this area free of adhesions and restoring elasticity to the gluteus region is our focus today.
You’re going to need a lacrosse ball or Trigger Point Therapy ball or a Rumble Roller (the knobby foam roller).
The set up:
Sit on the ground, and place the ball into the “back pocket” area between the gluteus region and the ground. Avoid rolling over any bony areas. With one leg outstretched and your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, use the opposite leg for support by placing the heel flat on the ground with a 90° bend in the leg. Position the ball in the “back pocket” region of the extended leg, and shift your body onto the ball.
- Once the ball is in place, raise the foot off the ground and externally rotate the hip by letting the knee fall toward the floor. Make sure the foot follows the knee as you rotate outward from the hip.
- Breathe deeply as you rotate the hip and bring it back to the starting point.
- Once the leg is back at the starting point straighten the leg slightly to form a larger angle and rotate the knee inward and externally rotate as you breathe.
- Repeat on the opposite leg.
posted by aki for thursday, july 12th, 2012