How to Stretch your IT Band

Trainerjon's picture

Sep. 01, 2014

I get asked by you guys how to stretch your IT Band - so today Im going to go through some ways you can stretch you can do that to help relieve some of your knee or hip pain. Often times runners and cyclists get IT band syndrome from the repetitive motion of running or riding a bike. IT band syndrome manifests itself in terrible knee pain or even hip pain that can radiate right down the side of your leg along the IT band. I do have some personal experience with this, since this is what sidelined me from doing triathlons a few years ago. Its not fun. So, here are some ways you can stretch your IT Band and get you back on the road again!The first stretch you do lying on your back with a towel. Hook the towel over your foot and pull toward your body, stretching your hamstrings, then pull your leg across the body. You should feel this down the side of your leg and hold for about 30 seconds. While we are on the floor, theres another one I like a lot using a foam roller, or Im going to use this Body Wrench to do some self myofascial release by rolling the IT band out like dough. If you find a spot that really hurts that means you are doing it right and just stay there for a bit until you feel it release. You can put more or less pressure on the IT band by using your fists and feet to add or remove bodyweight from the bodywrench. If you have some knee pain from your IT band, I have found the bodywrench very effective to pinpoint a spot toward the knee. It hurts so good, but be sure you dont mutilate your muscles by rolling them out. You dont want to bruise or damage your muscles, just apply a bit of pressure to tell the brain to relax the muscle. Dont over do it! ON a side note, this bodywrench is a very versatile tool for many stretches and exercises. Another way you can stretch your IT band - stand up and place the right leg behind the left and you are going to side hinge your hip and reach over your right ear toward the left. After a bit of a hold, then switch sides. After this, reach to your toes with that right leg behind your left. Then step your left leg behind your right and hold on to something like a TRX and lean forward to stretch that hip out on the right side. In addition to stretching, be sure to Ice and rest to reduce that inflammation. You cyclists also may need to check your fit on your bike and runners, you want to make sure you are running with good form on good shoes. So, there you go, that should help you get your knee or hip pain sorted out.