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March 3, 2022

The IT Band Stretch

The IT Band StretchI can’t wait to show you how to perform the iliotibial (IT) band stretch on this week’s vlog/blog, a stretch that few people know how to do correctly.

The IT band is a group of connective fibers that extends from your hip downward along the outside of your thigh to your knee. Not only is the IT band the largest piece of fascia in the human body, it can create alignment problems for cyclists and runners.

One of the most common causes of such problems is a poorly functioning inner unit (your pelvic floor, abdominal wall, diaphragm and deep spinal stabilizers).

If the integrity of your core is faulty, your brain will need to turn on other muscles to stabilize your pelvis to give your lumbar spine more stability. That’s why runners with poor core control have chronically tight hamstrings and IT band issues.

Another thing people don’t appreciate: The large intestine has a reflex zone through the lateral thigh. What that can mean for you in the gym is more tension in your IT band and thigh because the colon is irritated, causing tightness and even knots

I’ll show you how to stretch the IT band properly with help from a doorway or a solid wall to brace yourself. Be sure to keep your feet flat, or you’ll lose the stretch.

 

Be sure to pay close attention to these three things!

  1. Don’t perform this stretch before doing any running or you’ll confuse your muscles and set yourself up for injury.
  2. Be sure to come out of this stretch slowly or you’ll shock the muscles into tightening.
  3. Check both sides of your body for tightness before you perform this stretch. If one side is tighter than the other, focus on getting the tighter side to the level of the looser side. (Don’t stretch the looser side further than you can the tighter side either or you’ll throw your body out of balance.)

If you’re experience chronic tightness in your IT bands, monitor your diet and check out my book, How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy, for guidance.

Love and chi,

Paul