The body has all kinds of muscles in it. They all have specific names, and they all do very specific jobs. You can memorize the names and functions if you want. Or you can simplify things and get right to work fixing problems in athletic movement.
Speaking at FilFest 2010, mobility expert Kelly Starrett takes stretching from the realm of the piriformis and gluteus medius and into the realm of simple hip flexion and external rotation. Once you analyze a movement, you don’t really need to know all the muscles involved but can rather start to make simple but effective changes on a broad scale. Then, of course, you can get more complicated.
In Part 1 of this two-part series, Starrett details a few basic stretches anyone sitting at a desk can use to start changing his or her body for the better.
Additional reading: Stretching and Flexibility by Roger Harrell, published Jan. 1, 2006.