IT band stretches - something we could all use more of! The IT, or iliotibial, band is the fascia that connects from the outer hip to the outer knee. It’s very commonly tight and often inflamed in many people, especially runners or other athletes. This can contribute to hip and knee pain, so it’s really important to stretch the IT band to release tension here! This will help reduce pain and improve range of motion.
These are my favorite stretches for the IT band! These have options to modify as well, such as using a block for more support if you can’t reach the floor with your hands. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, breathing deeply to release into the stretch, and be sure to do both sides. If this is new to you, or if your IT bands are extra tight, this can feel very tense, so ease into it, and with time you’ll gain more flexibility!
1 - Stand with feet hips width apart, and fold forward. Bend the right knee and straighten the left knee, as you twist your torso open to the left, reaching your left arm to the sky and planting the right palm on the floor or a block.
2 - Stand up with both legs straight, and cross the right foot outside of the left so that the pinky-toe edges are touching. Keeping both legs straight, fold forward with hands to a block or the floor. For more, walk the hands to the left.
3 - Lie down on your back, and draw your left knee to your chest. Twist through the spine to bring the knee to the right side towards the floor, aiming to keep both shoulders as flat on the ground as possible. You can press the knee down with the right arm. For a deeper stretch, grab the outer edge of your left foot with your right hand, and extend the left leg straight.