Part 3: IT Band Syndrome – Fixing and Preventing
Welcome back from a long weekend friends! I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends! I spent a lot of time running, in fact, I did about 5 different runs because that seems to be the best way to get caught up with friends these days and get all my miles in! (Helps me counter all those Easter chocolates that were at my family dinners!)
If you have been following along in my blog series, you know that I am tackling some of the biggest runner injuries. I started with looking at Causes and Symptoms of IT Band Syndrome and last week, we looked at Treatment and Therapy. This week, I wanted to look at how to get proactive and show you some of the best exercises and stretches for fixing and preventing IT Band issues.
Roll it out: Like we discussed, a foam roller is one of the best tools for stretching out your IT Band. Lie on your side with the roller under your leg and roll it from your hip to your knee, using your body weight to knead the area. The pressure will help loosen the tendon and the fascia, almost like a self-massage. Do this at least once a day for several minutes, and make it a permanent part of your exercise activity. I do it after every run and before bed if I can.
Strengthen your glutes and hips: Weak butt and hip muscles contribute to ITB impingement syndrome. Make sure your lower-body work includes squats, especially single-leg squats, as well as multidirectional lunges.
Build up your glutes to reinforce the body’s largest and potentially most powerful muscle group. The stretches and exercises here all help build up your glutes and hip flexors, and can be added to any workout.
I have had requests for short videos of exercises rather than pictures to make sure you are doing them correctly. This is my first attempt so I am open to feedback – and I already know that a cramped hallway is not an ideal place to do therapy. Personal experience:
Lying Glute Stretch
Lie face-up on the floor with your knees and hips bent. Cross your right leg over your left so that your right ankle sits across your left thigh. Grab your right knee with both hands and pull it toward the middle of your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch in your glutes.Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat twice for a total of three sets—and several times a day if you’re really tight.
Bridging March Lying on your back, lift your hips to a full bridging position. Lift one foot off the mat while maintaining the bridging position. Do not allow your hips to drop. Return to start position. Now, lift other foot. Continue by repeating exercise.
Scorpions: Lay on your stomach and chest with your arms extended out to the side. Lift your right leg (using your gluts) and touch the ground on the left side of the body. When you do this, your hips will lift off the ground. Be careful with your lower back. Try to keep your chest on the ground. 10-15 per side.
Sidelying Hip Abduction – Lying on your side, bend the knee of the bottom leg while keeping the upper leg straight. Lift the upper leg again, isolating motion to the hip. Don’t lift too high and keep the spine stable. You want to focus on keeping your leg in line with your trunk and your foot parallel to the ground.
It is important to be patient when you are healing from an IT band injury, but if you stretch and strengthen the area, you are well on your way to being injury free in no time!
Check back next Monday for the final instalment on how to get back to running from an IT Band injury.
Any other exercises that you have done to strengthen your IT Band?