If you have IT Band issues, you’ll love (ok maybe love/hate!) this technique.
Your IT Band actually needs to be “tight” to a certain degree. For a little more on this and why I’m not a fan of rolling your IT Band like most people do from hip to knee with a straight leg, see this post.
The IT Band is comprised mostly of fascia. In fact it’s more like a giant tendon than a muscle! But it IS a muscle, and because it has so much fascia in it…it is very prone to fascial adhesions (lumps or balls of soft tissue strands all stuck together), sometimes the size of grapefruits!
When these adhesions become too large or tight it can result in inflammation of the IT Band itself, as well as knee pain, hip pain and other issues. In order to create permanent change and release these fascial adhesions for good we need to PIN, stretch and release them through compression and movement that breaks them up. We want to give that ITB fascia the SPACE it needs to function well.
If you suffer from ITBS go get your foam roller right now, try this and see if you don’t feel immediate relief!
If you have a severe case of ITBS or if you’re a runner, you may want to add this to your weekly mobility and injury prevention arsenal. I like to use this before every run because it creates more “spring” and I not only feel like a better runner but a faster one.
Tips for getting the MOST out of this technique:
- Remember: healthy fascia WON’T HURT! If it hurts, you probably NEED this. It will SUCK in the beginning but it will get better! I promise. With consistent (daily) work you should notice a huge difference in as little as one week.
- Use a soft roller if you’re new to this and a hard roller if you want this to “suck so good” and get a better release
- If you need to start at the beginner stage, use the TOE TAP or heel down and work your way up to full body weight
- Look for LUMPS or balls of fascia in your IT Band (this is basically your fascia pulled into a ball or adhesion, which can cause hip and/or knee pain). You may have to HUNT them down. They might be directly in the ITB, or more to the hamstring side, or quad side…if you have ITBS I guarantee you they are in there!
- Try squeezing your thigh muscles (think quad, which will also initiate ITB) and then relaxing. This will often reveal the lumps of restricted fascia. THEN, when you find the lumps…
- If you find one, STAY ON AN ADHESION for a good minute, either doing slow circles or using hip rotation (zig zag movement)
- Try NOT to tense your muscles while doing this, which may make you sore (it’s not a big deal if this happens, it’s just not preferable). If it’s too much, back off by using less bodyweight and/or a softer foam roller and work up to more weight and a harder roller
- Remember to BREATHE!
- COMMENT with your stories or questions! I love hearing from you
- And as always…remember that this isn’t necessarily a FULL solution nor are we looking at the CAUSE of ITBS, knee or hip pain. But this IS the best ONE-OFF solution I can give you right now.