IT Band Syndrome tends to affect runners more frequently due to the repetitive use of the lower leg and gluteal muscles. So what is IT Band Syndrome and how can you either prevent it or help combat the pain?!
The IT Band is a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh. It originates from your gluteal muscles and tensor fasciae latae and connects just below your knee. Pain is commonly experienced on the outside of your knee.
Because the IT Band is so intricately connected to the gluteals, a weak buttock can contribute to decrease stability in the knee. When you are fatigued, your hips and gluten are less able to compensate and the knee can rotate excessively inward or outward. A flare-up of ITBS can come on abruptly and may feel like a stabbing sensation on the outside of your knee.
Both prevention and treatment of ITBS come from strengthening the hip and gluteal muscles. Why is this so effective? Most of us have weak gluteal (buttock) muscles. Sedentary jobs and lifestyles contribute to this weakness, but strength training is a simple way to help overcome it.
1. Lying Hip Abduction
Lie on your uninjured side with the bottom leg bent and the top straight (you may want to do this on both sides to help strengthen the muscles bilaterally). Slowly raise the top leg about 45 degrees, then lower. To make this move more challenging, use an exercise band around your ankles to increase resistance.
Try repeating the exercise for 3 sets of 15
2. Clam Shell
Lie on your right side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your feet together, use your glutes to slowly open and close your legs like a clamshell. Keep the motion controlled, and don’t allow your pelvis to rock throughout the movement. Use an exercise band just above your knees to increase resistance.
Repeat on both sides! 3 x 15
3. Hip Thrust
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, bend your knees keeping your feet on the floor. Pushing your heels into the ground, use your glutes to raise your pelvis up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower slowly, then repeat. For a more advanced version, raise one leg into the air and perform the same exercise with each leg individually.
3 sets of 15
4.Single Leg Raise (Straight and Turned Out)
Lying on your back, bend the right knee first and raise your leg roughly 45 degrees then lower. Repeat 10 times. Then turn your leg so your toes point outward and lift your leg roughly 45 degrees again and complete an additional 10 reps.
3 sets of 10 each leg
5. Pistol Squat
Stand on your right leg with your left knee raised out in front of you. Slowly lower yourself, balancing on your right leg and allowing your left leg to straighten out in front of you. Try to lower yourself until your quad is just about parallel with the floor, then slowly come back up.
6. IT Band Stretch
Loop a belt around the affected leg’s foot and grab hold of the opposite end. Lay flat on your back bringing injured leg up into the air holding onto the belt. Allow your leg to cross your body feeling a stretch on the outside of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds
Repeat 3 times for 30 seconds
For a printout with pictures click on the link below and enter UKXQ7HH