Simple & Sinister IT band Stretches

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pronounjim

Level 1 Valued Member
S&S has been making me feel like a million bucks, but I have noticed that my IT bands have been reluctant to join me on this journey.

A few hours after a session and in the night I get a huge tightness that pops up anywhere from my mid thigh all the way down to my arches. It isn't painful but it isn't normal either. After chasing it around with a lacross ball and roller and looking up symptoms, I'm sure it is my IT band.

I found the reverse cossack in RIS, but my attempts have not yielded any tension or relief in my legs, I mostly feel something in my sides/shoulder pressure. Can anyone offer any cues to help get the positioning right?

I'd also love to hear any other movements that might help, either the IT band directly or the contributing muscles. I'd like to add something to my S&S stretches to address this opportunity for improvement.

Thanks in advance!

-pronounjim
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Well... years ago (before the Internet) I had IT band syndrome. The pain was localized in the side of the knee. My recommendation is to have it checked by a doctor. There were a variety of physiotherapy stretches and strengthening exercises that were prescribed.
 

natewhite39

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@pronounjim IT band tightness is a tough one. I have trained many runners over the years with this symptom and universally the issue is related to a combination of

  • Weakness in the glutes
  • Massive amounts of quadriceps dominance
  • Tight ankles and calves
  • Weak Ab's

With your S&S practice, you are ideally firing the glutes strong with every swing. Although, and this can be difficult to feel, you may only be recruiting 50% with every pull. The body is a master at compensation in order to complete tasks and that is all exercise is, completing tasks.

How often do you move in the frontal plane (laterally)? Moving laterally assists in turning "on" the glute medius which is largely responsible for externally rotating the femur during hip extension and thus stabilizing the knee downstream when moving. You could also perform the hip bridge with a band, pushing the knees out with every rep.

Try some lateral band walks and bridges when warming up and see if that turns the glutes "on" a bit more before training. If the symptom persists over the next few weeks get it looked at by a therapist that treats athletes.

Mini Bands - 4 pack (L,M,H,XH)

Product: Mini Exercise Bands (Mini-Bands)
 
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pronounjim

Level 1 Valued Member
@offwidth good advice, even if it isn't what I wanted to hear!

@natewhite39, I am undertrained and overweight, so tight calves, underdeveloped glutes, quad/ham imbalance and weak abs read like a to-do list for my body. The acute tightness occurred at about session 6 of my training and the day before I had been standing/walking/child carrying in a mall for 6 hours, so I attributed the tightness to that day.

I'm so early in my journey, still switching between hinges and deadlifts - really trying to nail the pattern. I have noticed my hinges can get squatty if I am not 100% focused. Even though I am at most DLing a 16kg bell, I can FEEL my hams and glutes working better day to day with stairs, picking up the kid, etc so I know I am moving in the right direction.

I'll try the banded bridges and see if I can't get more out of my glutes. Thinking about it tonight the standing out of the goblet squat seems to be what aggravates my it band the most, I remember from S&S the suggestion to sit back from the squat if you're not strong enough to rise. Maybe I should try that for a few sessions to give it a break. Looking at the list (tight calves/ankles, weak hams/glutes, weak abs) it seems like getting to the swing safely would be the best way to bring those in line, while keeping the goblet squat since that has made my ankles feel better than they have since I was a kid.

Edit to fix spelling error.
 
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pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@pronounjim
I would do lateral stretch and one or two day of rest. Then if you do not feel better, maybe it would be good to see a doctor to fix that.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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