The cross-legged reach forward stretch decreases tension by stretching the gluteus maximus and the piriformis as well as the gemellus superior and inferior and the obturator internus and externus. These muscle connect the pelvis, hips and torso together.
Don't ever under estimate the importance of stretching and the benefits it holds.
Whist doing this stretch is it important to be aware of the circulation in your legs. A lot of people find it uncomfortable to sit cross-legged becuase it interrups the blood flow to the lower half of their legs, so it important to monitor this.
The sitting cross-legged reach forward stretch can help with piriformis syndrome, groin strain, tendonitis of the adductor muscles, snapping hip syndrome and trochanteric bursitis.
Always remember that while stretching may be recommended to aid recovery out of injury, you should always be very careful when stretching through rehabilitation. Your soft tissues are likely to be more vulnerable to re-injury if you stretch too much or too hard during this time. Always check with your Health Care Professional who is guiding you through your recovery to make sure it is appropriate to start stretching, and please - ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RULES FOR SAFE STRETCHING (The first posting on this stretching blog).
Image taken from "Lower Body Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.