If you could work out without experiencing pain, it would be a miracle, right? This is especially true in regards to IT band pain. Most people don’t know that their IT band is tight until they use a percussive massager or foam roller on the outside of their thigh. Yes, the IT band is that connective tissue that runs from your hip down to your knee, and you can bet that almost everyone’s is tight.
Whether you hit the ground running every morning or walk without properly engaging your inner thighs, your IT band gets tight. In fact, many people experience iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) or IT band syndrome. It simply stems from overuse without proper recovery methods. The easiest way to reduce inflammation of the IT band is to foam roll and stretch before and after exercise. While that is a helpful way to reduce tightness, the way you work out also influences how tight the IT band gets.
You can help prevent unwanted aches and pains by engaging in the exercises in this article. Keep your legs fresh and pain-free by practicing the following exercises. Additionally, if you already experience IT band pain, these exercises are great for keeping pain at bay. However, you do need to continuously massage, stretch, and foam roll your IT band to avoid irritation and inflammation. If the pain is really severe, physical therapy may be necessary.
Single Leg Bridge
Lie flat on your back with your arms across your chest. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about one foot away from your buttocks. Raise your right foot a few inches off the ground and maintain that 90-degree knee bend. Engage your glutes and drive the hips up into the air, tightening your lower abdomen to draw your belly button to your spine. This will help keep your back flat during the exercise. Slowly lower your hips to the ground and then repeat until you complete eight repetitions, and then switch sides. Complete three sets of eight reps per leg.
Hip Flexor Flow
Come into a kneeling position, with your right foot on the floor and knee bent at a 90-degree angle. The left knee should be on the ground at a 90-degree bend. Slowly push your hips forward into your right knee, maintaining a flat back. Keep your hips square and hold this position for 20 seconds before returning to the starting position. Extend your arms above your head and reach to the right to bend your torso. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Repeat this motion five times to complete one full set. Switch sides and then complete two more sets per leg.
You are going to need a small resistance band for this exercise. The tension will depend on how much resistance you want during the exercise. Place the resistance band around your legs just above your knees. Bend your knees slightly and center yourself, keeping your back straight as you lean forward slightly. Keep your right leg stable as you rotate your left knee inward, pivoting your left food. Rotate your left foot outward so that your knee points away from your right leg. Think of this as either dancing like Elvis or squishing a cockroach. That is one rep, and you should repeat this motion 10 times before switching legs. Complete three sets of 10 reps.