foam rolling for it band pain

3 Exercises to Help Prevent IT Band Pain

By Fara Rosenzweig

If you work out, there’s a good chance your IT band, Iliotibial Band, is tight, especially if you’re a runner, or supplement strength training with bouts of cardio. As you run, your hip muscles stabilize your pelvis and fatigue. When fatigue sets in, the hips become weak, causing your knee to compensate by moving in toward the midline of your body, rather than staying in line with your foot.

This change in form puts stress on your IT band, which runs from your hips down to your knees, forcing it to do more work than it’s supposed to. Tension forms and suddenly you have tight IT bands, which can lead to knee pain.

Because of this, the key to helping prevent IT band and, inadvertently knee pain, is to strengthen the muscles in your hips, like your gluteus medius, so the strain isn’t placed on your IT band in the first place. Add these exercises to your regular routine two to three days a week in addition to foam rolling the IT Band to keep your lower body healthy and strong.

1-Leg Hip Raises

Lay on your back, legs bent, knees in the air. Push on your right foot, engaging your quads, and lift your hips so that your body forms a straight line. Hold for one second, drop back down and repeat on the same side for 10 reps. Do the same with the left side. Repeat for 2 to 3 sets.

Clamshell With Resistance Band

Lay on your right side, legs bent, knees at a 45-degree angle and legs stacked. Wrap a resistance band around your knees, keep your feet together and pull your left leg away from your right. Aim to have a 90-degree angle between the two legs. Return to start and repeat on the same side for 8 to 10 reps, and 2 to 3 sets.
clamshell band closed
clamshell band open

Single-Leg Bridge Hold

Begin on your back, legs bent and feet on the ground. Gently lift your hips up so you’re in a straight line, tucking your pelvic bone under. Once you have your balance, lift your right leg and extend the knee. Make sure your knees are aligned and that your hips are square. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat on the left side to complete one set. Do 2 to 3 sets.

static glute hold