Piriformis stretch with octagon stepping


Orange Belt
Jan 24, 2017
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Octagon stepping in Baguaquan is taking a 45 degree turn in every step to complete a rectangular octagon as follows:

  1. Stand passively with legs together and knees flex 20 degrees then the inner leg slides straight forward one step
  2. Rotate laterally 45 degrees forward to balance on the inner leg
  3. Pivot on the hip join of the inner leg 90 degrees medially and drag the outer leg next to the inner leg to slide straight forward one step
  4. Rotate 45 degrees laterally forward to balance on the outer leg while the inner leg bounced back laterally 45 degrees to its normal position next to the outer leg then stretch to slide straight forward one step
  5. Repeat the process from 2 until the end of one direction
  6. Change direction can be done by pivot on the inner leg medially 90 degree and rotating the outer leg medially 45 degrees to take half a step forward
  7. Pivot laterally 45 degrees on the outer leg now become the inner leg and release the tension on the inner or rear leg and turn 90 degrees laterally facing the opposite direction and take half a step forward and repeat from 2 until the end
  8. At the end just feet together and stand up straight

It is not sure at this moment when facing the centre while doing octagon stepping will have any extra impact on the piriformis as we can rotate our torso to either side of the body when seated. One can certainly turn at a greater angle to increase the tension on the gluteal muscles but in practice this will drag the leg along when it reaches the maximum range of motion while stepping. I think the comparve advantage to the crossed leg and turn stretching is that when standing passively on one leg and turning there is downward pressure acting on the gluteal muscles. This is like pressing the piriformis and turning the hip joint at the same time.

I am just trying to help someone who thinks her piriformis is pressing on her sciatic nerve, therefore your corrections, comments and additional information on the subject will be very helpful, thank you.


Senior Master
Supporting Member
Nov 21, 2020
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This will really help her