The Piriformis Stretch
Fifth in a series of specially designed stretches from Motion Dynamics.
Seated on the bike, draw the right knee up towards your left shoulder. Pull gently on the femur with your right hand and hold the tibia lightly in your left. Open up and extend the lower leg (tibia) to around 70-80 degrees and then gently pull down on the tibia, in effect rotating the hip which in turn will release the piriformis insertion point. This may feel quite sore and irritated at the start but with a gentle pull and a 2 second hold at the end of range and a full release back to the start position, this muscle will gradually release and open up allowing a full 45 degrees of range The objective is to be able to create a more centralised hip where the knee, the foot and the hip are all pointing forward.
Do not pull too hard when performing this movement as the myotatic stretch reflex system will over engage and try and protect the tissues from being overstretched.
Structurally situated right behind the piriformis runs the largest neural sheath in the body; the sciatic nerve. So releasing the piriformis also releases this nerve bundle, hence the optimisation of neuromuscular engagement and thus power and speed.
When you have performed 10 repetitions on one side proceed to the other side.
Due to common muscular imbalances, one side will be considerably tighter than the other. If that is the case with you then do 3 times more on the tight side to one on the lesser tight side.