T Nation

ITB Stretches/Strengthening


Hi All. I have had some issues with my right knee. It was very intermitent, had no pattern to it etc. but it started to affect the workouts and cardio.

I was at the sports doc about my shoulder and asked while I was there about the knee. He did some movement, prodding, stretching and say it was the ITB (ilio tibial band?) and friction, which I believe is called ITBFS.

He showed me 2-3 stretches to do to sort out the tightness and to improve strenght and stability, said if wasn't very accute. But I wanted to ask anyone here who has had similar injuries what stretches or drills they did. Do you have an websites which showed some good routines I could use?


PS. It only affects my right knee, should I do the stretching for both? Should I do more for the right than the left?


You might want to ask Mike Robertson in his thread in the Author's Locker Room.


I used to run and had the same problem. The stretching cured me as well as avoiding running on concrete for surte and avoid asphalt as much as possible.


I had IT syndrome so bad...

You need to release the fascia where the IT band connects, above the hip joint. You'll find one or more sensitive areas around there. Either do this yourself or self a pro.

The article here about the foam rollers; really good. I took a pool noodle toy and slid a piece of metal pipe inside it, so it is squishy to a point, but much firmer like a proper foam roller.


This may help. The standing stretch for the IT band is no good. Release of trigger points and fascia is the way to go. AFter you have it beaten try lying stretches for prevention. You should have no problem beating this


I agree!!! Myofascial relief is the answer. Get a real foam roller first of all. I suggest you take a tennis ball and roll (and hold) it on your TFL until there are no more trigger points.


Thanks for the great info guys. I have read that Feel Better For 10 Bucks article and have dying to try it. i am busy organizing a foam roller (have to import it to South Africa!!).

About those pics: are the targeted zones the ones highlighted in red or the ones marked with an 'X'? And, which exact stretched should I use. Are there any sites you know which demonstrate the particular stretches you are referring to which helped you so much?

Thanks again for the great help,

PS I pretty much never run, only cycling, elliptical etc. But I read it could be from heavy foot pronation too, which I suffer from but am getting orthotics (insteps) made for this.


Bumping the topic :wink:

Foam roller now on order, should be here in 2-3 weeks.


I had a problem with my IT bands- they hurt so badly I could not squat anymore. Obviously- they have now become a focal point of my stretching routine. The foam roller is great. I roll up and down each side of my legs a few times before every workout (whether I'm doing legs or not).


I just went to a course a couple weeks ago, and learned that you CAN NOT stretch the IT band. Your pain and the foot pronation could be a sign of a problem in your trunk/hips. You should look into muscleactivation.com and find someone certified in your area to check it out.


Alas I wish it were so easy :frowning:

Living in South Africa is a great limitation. Not just in finding equipment (such as foam rollers, elastic bands etc.) but also specialised medical practitioners such as muscle activation and ART etc.

What all the docs said though is that it is the pronation in the feet (severe in my case) which is the likely root of my knee, hip and lower back issues.