Piriformis Jacked Up? Your Booty Might Be On Vacation

Glutes are really nice to look at. But just because they look nice doesn’t mean they function well. Meaning, they might be on vacation. Sitting on a beach having a Margarita with not a care in the world. When the largest muscle in the body (aka.,’Powerhouse Boss’) goes on vacation everybody else steps up to do more. The smaller guys get their assess kicked. Literally! Guys like the piriformis.


The glute does a ton of stuff and one of its heavy hitter responsibilities is external rotation of the hip. Up to 71% of the powerhouse muscle force created by gluteals can feed into hip external rotation torque! KABAM

“Gluteus Maximus is the most potent external rotator muscle of the hip.” – Dr. Neumann

So question. What happens if the glute is on vacation? Other external rotators are called into action. Who are they?

  1. Piriformis
  2. Obturator internus
  3. Obturator externus
  4. Superior gemellus
  5. Inferior gemellus
  6. Quadratus femoris
  7. Psoas
  8. Iliacus
  9. Sartorius
  10. Biceps femoris

Damn! That’s a ton

Any number of these guys will overwork. Do you think they might get upset? Yep, and when they get upset they tell you by hurting. Pain is a story the body is trying to tell you.

Releasing the piriformis is the easy part. Keeping it happy isn’t. Get your butt turned on after you calm down the piriformis and you just might get harmony back.

It’s all about relationships. Just like life. You need to motivate some and relax others.

Three takeaways:

  1. Focus on strengthening your glute when you have a piriformis issue. After you release the piriformis.
  2. Focus on your Psoai (psoas plural) with a piriformis issue. They are probably on the beach with the glutes. The psoai come from the same neural tissue as the glute. So it’s actually less like an abdominal muscle and more like a glute.
  3. Don’t forget to assess the other piriformis. He’s probably not doing enough either. If one doesn’t work the other is called up. The piriformis is the only muscle to attach itself to the anterior sacrum. So it’s critical to maintain balance stability of the lumbopelvic hip complex.

Test each piriformis muscle. Do left side, then right, then left again. They should be strong and non painful. You might see weakness on the non painful side. Just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean its not involved. Strengthen the weak side.

‘Where you think it is ain’t.’ Ida Rolf

Stay Strong,