Self Myofascial Release for Your Piriformis Muscle

Just rounding out the last area of the glutes or butt as it’s commonly called. I go over self-myofascial release for your piriformis.

The piriformis is often difficult to describe it’s exact location. I think wikipedia does a great job.

It’s ideal to have an understanding where the muscle is located so you can adjust your movements accordingly.

My favorite tools for this area are the lacrosse ball and softball. I use the foam roller and PVC roller, but it’s difficult to produce great release with these tools.

The techniques are pretty simple. Take a look at the video and shoot me feedback or questions.

Full Transcript

What’s up, everybody? Justin Hays here from I’ve been talking about Self myofascial release, self-massage, soft tissue work, whatever you want to label it for the glute region, the buttocks, and the glute max, the glut medius here on the outside.

And now I’m going to talk about the piriformis, which is a little muscle here, runs right on the back of the buttocks here, higher up on the hip region. And as far as its location, I would advise you to get on, you know, Wikipedia, Google Image, look it up, see where it attaches, kind of give a look-see of what you’re trying to address, the angle it comes in at. This would give you a better idea of what direction to move in, to roll in, when you’re on this device.

But to be honest, you’re going to tip over to other areas, right? You’re not going to be addressing just the piriformis, you’re going to roll over into other muscles whenever you’re using the foam roller, doing ball work, and that’s okay. No big deal. As long as you don’t experience bad pain, just stick with it. You’re probably providing a release in other areas you need it outside of the piriformis.

I use a couple things in this area, my PVC roller, tried and true, you may use a foam roller and that’s just fine, it’s a little bit more of a progression from the foam roller. I also have two balls here, softball and the lacrosse ball.

Soft ball is a progression from the foam roller, right? It’s a little bit bigger. The lacrosse ball is extremely focal and hard, so it’s kind of like the final progression, you get there after you feel comfortable on the rest of these devices.

Kind of a bridge between these things can also be a tennis ball, so give that a roll as well. The problem is, the tennis ball collapses under pressure, doesn’t really apply as much force.

Let’s give it, let me show you the technique real quick and the technique is very similar for any tool you use. I have not found too many people that teach this different or any different techniques, but if you’re out there, please let me know.

So, left leg here is going to cross over my right knee, right? And one good here is just rolling back and forth. And my right leg or my right arm is off the ground, as you can see, and I’ve kind of leaned or shift a little bit to the left, and you do need to do this to address this area.

And I’ll shift back and forth while I do this to kind of look for nasties, look for bad areas. And at the same time, there’s another technique you can also use, is that think about this as if you were doing a stretch of the piriformis. If you pull this front leg a little closer and you pull this guy up a little closer and you can get a different area, a little bit more of a stretch, right?

And the same thing, if you push this knee down or pull it up a little bit, you’re going to address different areas.

So give all those a whirl. You’re just looking for a trigger point to any bad areas, tackle them there.

So as the foam or PVC roller from this area, it’s going to provide a little bit of release, but you’re going to need to progress, it’s not something that’s going to continue to provide a release after one, two, three sessions, you’re going to have to graduate to something a little bit firmer.

My next graduation point will be tennis ball or softball. Softball, the techniques are identical, so I don’t want to go through them all the way again. There’s nothing different, you’re tipping in and out, maybe tucking this a little bit further forward.

And you don’t really tell the difference when you start moving around to different areas with the ball. And as I said, you’re not always going to address just the piriformis, there’s going to be some carryover, you’ll get into different areas. No big deal, as long as you don’t experience pain, as long as it’s that comfortable pain, you know, good pain, the one that you can tell release is going to happen.

So, that’s my techniques for this area. I do use a good cane sometimes, just some manual work if I’m actually getting in there, but I don’t have any specific techniques, I more just kind of pull, grab, look for a specific area, and spot hold there.

That’s it. I’m very interested, if you have any better techniques for this area, love to hear about them. If not, talk to you next time. See ya!

10 thoughts on “Self Myofascial Release for Your Piriformis Muscle”

  1. Thank you so much for showing this! I have so much pain in that area this is going to be a big game changer for me.

  2. How many times are you supposed to do this/how many times a day? I have an extremely sore piriformis when I roll on the foam roller. My inner adductor a and hamstrings are also tight.

  3. Hey Cheryl!

    You can actually do myofascial release several times a day everyday. It’s a form of recovery.

    However, you are on the right track. When a muscle is sore/tight, you need to look at the surrounding areas and try to determine why it keeps getting sore/tight. Usually a reoccurring tightness is a result of an inefficiency in another area.

    So for you, it’s important to look at how your core and hips are functioning.

    Hope that makes sense. Feel free to ask any other questions!

  4. The pain in my butt has started to disrupt my sleep, so I tried a softball for a few minutes(since I had one handy.) Darn it I don’t feel some relief already. Thanks!

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