After doing stretches 1-3, it is often advantageous, for those who are able, to do a piriformis stretch.
Many people will not be capable of this stretch, which is why it hasn’t been included in Back For Life.
As the name implies, this stretch targets the piriformis muscle, a muscle which lies deep within the buttocks. There are a number of alternative methods to stretch the piriformis, however for many people the most effective way to do this is while lying on the back. With one leg bent [say the left], and the left heel near to the left buttock, bring the outside of the right ankle in contact with the front of the left thigh just above the knee. Place your left hand on top of the left knee and reach through the gap between the left inside knee and the right calf and if possible interlock the fingers of your right hand with those of your left. It may be necessary to lift the head slightly to achieve this, but if possible, do so minimally.
SLOWLY AND GENTLY draw the left knee and right foot towards you, hold for 30 seconds. [provided this doesn’t cause you to get to or exceed 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. If it does, reduce the intensity and duration, but aim to increase both over time].
Done correctly, you will feel a deep and powerful stretch in the right buttock.
After 30 seconds, reverse the procedure, swap legs and repeat.