Yoga for the IT Band!

The abbreviation: ITB, is thrown around a lot in running circles, sadly usually because so many runners have complaints there! But, just in case you are unaware of what the term actually refers to, the Iliotibial Band, or ITB, is a long band of thick fascia that runs along the outer thigh.

Its main job is to help keep our knees in place when we move, so it needs to carry a certain amount of tension to do this. Plus, we cannot stretch it, even if we wanted to!

But too much tension can be created when the muscle that it attaches to, the TLF (I talked about this last week), itself gets too tight, pulling excessively on the ITB, which in turn pulls on the knee causing pain.

In this video I’ll share a couple great ways to relieve tension in TFL and one simple exercise we can do towards helping to prevent it getting too tight in the first place.

The key take away here is that, if you have ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome), or knee pain, we cannot fix it through sports massage and foam rolling, although these can both help. We need to get to the root of why the pain has come about in the first place.

The poses and exercises in this video can give you a really great indication:

  • we start with the side lying abductions – can you do this easily, for 15 repetitions? Does it get tiring more quickly on one side to the other? Can you isolate the movement to feel the primary engagement coming from the gluteous medius? Or, can you only feel it in the centre of your butt? If it is difficult, fatiguing, difficult to isolate then this could be an indication of weakness that you need to develop. Or, you just need practice in switching on the right muscles! It does take some focus, and this is where yoga is so much more than movement. This is the focus that we take into our running to avoid bad ingrained habits and start recruiting the most effective muscles for efficient running. 
  • we then use the strap to try to find a stretch into TFL – how does this feel? Subtly here is a good thing. If you feel a lot here, and actually I recommend this to everyone anyway – get a LAX ball in here by lying on your front/ side. More on this in a future video 😉

It’s all lying down, so enjoy!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comment just below 👇🏼

Have a great rest of the week,

Helen

PS. Next week we have another brand new video focusing on the hips, in particular piriformis. See you then!

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