Buttocks stretch

Believe it or not, nine muscles make up the buttocks area. And, believe it or not, this lying hip and buttocks stretch lengthens them all — even the smaller, deeper muscles.

If your buttocks is tight, specifically your piriformis muscle, it can pinch your sciatic nerve and cause pain similar to sciatica. This stretch specifically targets the piriformis.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

2. Lift your right foot and place the outside of your right ankle on your left thigh, just above your knee.

3. Raise your left foot off the floor, inhale, and as you exhale, gently pull your left knee closer to your chest with your hands (see Figure 7-4a).

Don't forget to interlock your fingers behind your left knee for support. If it's uncomfortable to interlock your hands behind your knee, try wrapping a small hand towel around the back of your thigh and use that to gently pull your leg toward your chest.

4. With your right elbow, gently press your right knee away from you (see Figure 7-4b).

5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, gradually deepening the stretch with every exhalation.

6. Repeat the stretch by switching legs.

Figure 7-4:

The lying buttocks and hip stretch with your legs crossed.

Figure 7-4:

The lying buttocks and hip stretch with your legs crossed.

A few do's and don'ts for this stretch:

1 Do keep your shoulder blades down and your upper body relaxed. 1 Do be patient and let the stretch deepen with each breath. 1 Don't lift your hips off the floor or lean to one side. 1 Don't bounce or force the stretch.

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