How to assess the piriformis


How to test:

The basic 90-90 position is a great place to begin to assess internal and external rotation of our hip joints.

To learn even more though, we should explore other positions and see what we find. 🙂

We know that joint mobility is to some degree, position-specific. For example, in my program, “Restore: The Hips Program-Mobility,” I look in detail at one other way in which to assess hip joint mobility – in axial rotation. If you’re not familiar with what that is, just think of the popular Pigeon pose/stretch position from Yoga – that pose requires good axial rotation of the hip joints.

In this assessment, we’ll again look a little bit differently at the hip joints to see their individual flexibility and how they’re able to move and rotate freely.

We’ll begin from a position often referred to as a “shin-box.”

This assessment is an effective way to look more closely at the piriformis muscle and the other associated “deep 6” rotators of the hip.


  • The first 4 1/2 minutes of the video are focused on the assessment itself.

  • Then from 4 1/2 minutes to about 11 minutes, I provide some ideas on how to do some self-myofascial release for this region of the hip.

  • At around 11 1/2 minutes, I walk you through one movement I love to “imprint” the new improved flexibility – Bretzel 2.0!