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Keeping My IT Band Happy: The Stretching Edition

Hopefully, I will not jinx myself with this post but I do want to share what has and has not been working with my IT band problems. If you follow my training you know I went from running 50 miles a week to 20-30 miles a week. I also went from running 6 days a week to running 3 (maybe 4) days a week. Eventually I would like to get back to 50 mile weeks and 6 days of running but for now I am going with what works and keeps me injury free.

You will be surprised to learn that not only did foam rolling not help but actually made it worse. My IT band was to a point where it was too inflamed and every roll on the foam roller just flared it back up. Think of it like having a scab that you keep picking and then won’t heal. I had to wait months for my IT band to calm down before I could foam roll again. When I do it now I do it gently to loosen myself up, no digging until it hurts. If you do not know how to foam roll just look at some videos on youtube.

self_myofascial_release_itbandSome of my favorite stretches are below. The one of the right I do at work a lot. My coworkers probably think I am a weirdo. Especially because I try to pretend like “I’m not stretching just picking up a pen.”

IT_stretch     TFL_ITB_stretch_1

This is probably my all time favorite one to do at home. It’s looks a little confusing but feels really good.

it band stretchesI’ve been going to Bikram yoga at Prana Bodhi (and shhh don’t tell anyone I suddenly like yoga!!!) But this one particular stretch my IT band has a major crush on.

FYI Mine looks nothing like this.
FYI Mine looks nothing like this.

If you can find someone to stretch you, this one is great. It’s more of a quad/hamstring stretch but it works.

fwStretching07Thigh

This is another popular stretch for IT bands. Really nice because you can do it almost anywhere.

Super sexy shorts dude

I have a few more stretches but can’t find any pictures of them and it was too challenging to get a picture of myself doing it.

What is your favorite IT band stretch?

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