IT band stretches can help relieve pain when there is an inflammation of the muscles surrounding the IT band. Too much running and other rapid activities can increase tension in the IT band, which causes pain in the hip or knees. To relieve the pain, you have to stretch the muscles around your IT band. Additionally, strengthening the hip will also help balance the muscles surrounding the IT band, which will also decrease tension. Here are some IT band hip pain stretches you can try to relieve the pain caused by tightness in the IT band.
7 Must-Try IT Band Stretches for Tight Hips
1. The Basic Stretch
One of the easiest IT band stretches you can try is the basic stretch. All you need to do is stand straight as you cross your right leg over your left leg.
- Start leaning to the right side towards your front leg. Once you feel the stretch on your left leg, you’ll know that you’re doing it correctly.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
- After this, you can switch the position of your legs and again, hold for 30 seconds.
Tip: Do these IT band stretches 5-10 times while deeply breathing. You’ll know these are working fine once you feel an actual stretch in your leg muscles.
2. Wall Stretch
Stand at an arm’s distance from the wall. Be sure the wall you’ll be leaning on is sturdy enough to avoid losing balance while doing this stretch.
- Put your feet together. Put your left arm against the wall.
- Place your right arm on your hip.
- Without moving your feet and hips, move your left hip towards the wall.
- Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Tip: Be sure to squeeze your glutes when moving towards the wall.
3. Cross-Body Stretch
In doing the cross-body stretch, you’ll need an exercise band. To do this, you have to lie down facing up.
- Move your left leg up as you wrap the strap over the ball 0f your foot. Make sure to flex both of your feet while doing this.
- Try to pull the strap as you slowly drag your left leg to the right side. Your hips must be touching the floor as you work on the strap.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds then switch sides.
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4. Clamshell Hip Stretch
- Lie on your left side and place an exercise band around your legs. Pull it up so it will be just above the knees.
- Next, bend your knees slightly, one leg on top of the other. Make sure your heels are in line with your spine. The goal is to lift your top knee with the exercise bands on and make it parallel with your hips.
- Repeat the open-close movements of your knees and do these for 15 times.
- Switch sides after finishing the set.
5. Forward Fold Stretch
- Stand tall and place your dominant leg over your other leg.
- Keep your feet as close as you can and start bending forward, keeping your back flat and knees slightly bent. Try to reach the floor with your hands as you bend your knees a little more.
- Gently reach the right side while keeping your forward fold position.
- Hold this for 30 seconds and place your hands back to the center and slowly stand up.
- Do these over again and reach your left side.
6. Stretching with Foam Rollers
After using the exercise band for your IT band stretches, it’s now time to learn stretching with foam rollers.
- To do this stretch, you have to place the foam roller on the floor and sit on it with your left leg crossed over your right knee.
- Place your left ankle on your right leg as you put your hands behind your back for support. Slowly slide the foam roller forward and backward while keeping your position.
- After 30 seconds of doing this, switch sides.
- For the second part, lie down with your front hips touching the foam roller.
- Place your right hip under the foam roller and start rolling in this position for about 30 seconds.
- Do the same with your left hips.
7. Band Walk
Let’s now go to another challenging stretch for your IT band. Grab an exercise band that can support your thighs and legs.
- Place the band above your knees and do a semi-squat position.
- Lean a little bit forward as you carry your chest and put your arms on your sides without touching your body.
- Start shifting your hips by taking a small step using your right leg and then your left leg. Try to walk slowly with the bands on as you push your hips back.
- Walk 20 steps to the right then do the same to the left.
Try out the iliotibial band stretches above and you’ll feel how your hip muscles strengthen after a few sets. These can also relieve IT band syndrome symptoms. If you think your pain or other symptoms are worsening, be sure to visit a doctor to prevent further damage to your IT band. We hope this guide has helped you understand more about it and the stretches you can do to strengthen your hip muscles and relieve pain caused by too much tension to the IT band.
Do you know other IT band stretches that weren’t mentioned in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!