3 Stretches to Relieve Piriformis Syndrome While Running

As I hinted during yesterday’s weekend run recap, I have a good amount of experience with piriformis syndrome — both in experiencing the hip and glute pain, and in then working to set it free.

At least for me, piriformis syndrome tends to flare up on days when I incorporate hills into my route. Like on Saturday, when Noah and I decided to run over the Williamsburg Bridge. As any runner knows, bridge runs naturally tend to involve a pretty significant uphill, in this case, in order to get over the East River.

Fortunately, I haven’t allowed piriformis syndrome to hold me back for too long — at least, not in a while. When I feel like a bridge run, I go for a bridge run. What’s essential is to be super conscious of the affected area — how it feels at various points of your run and, perhaps more importantly, why.

For runs like those, I keep tend to keep these three mid-run stretches in my back pocket.

Standing Figure Four

Figure Four

Cross-Legged Toe Touch

Stretch 2

Pigeon Pose


  • Some days, it’s important to listen to your body and stretch mid-run in order to keep on keeping on. Do you listen to your body? What stretches do you keep in your back pocket?

4 thoughts on “3 Stretches to Relieve Piriformis Syndrome While Running

  1. Love these stretches! They’re some of my favorites. I also like to add some moving lunges, rotating my torso while in a high lunge and going from high lunge to warrior II to triangle and back again. Basically just trying to loosen up the hip area.

  2. These are great! You can also eliminate piriformis by doing some simply strengthening exercises. My physical therapist had me doing leg raises (lay on your side with hips stacked, legs extended straight and lift one leg to 45 degrees, repeat for two sets of 15) and clams (lay on side with hips stacked, legs bent and raise your top knee while keeping your feet together, repeat for two sets of 15). I graduated from PT in just one month by doing little exercises like this, and I haven’t had any piriformis flare ups since!

    • Oh I am ALL over those. This is the one time I’ve ever submitted to physical therapy — and it worked! Amazing what the little stretches and strengthening exercises can do.

  3. Pingback: The Broad Street Run: A Philly First Filled With Ups and Downs | Glitter Runner

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