Stretching – IT Band


Apparently I need to roast some veggies because a lot of you seem to enjoy eating them that way!

Yesterday I enjoyed my first Starbucks holiday beverage of the season! I had a skinny peppermint mocha, and it was fabulous.

I thought I would continue my stretching series today with a focus on the iliotibial (IT) band. What is the IT band exactly?? It’s a long band of connective tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh. It is incredibly important for stabilizing the knee while running, and IT band syndrome is a common injury associated with running, cycling, hiking, and weight lifting.

It’s important to stretch the IT band regularly to help prevent pain and injury!

IT Band Stretches

1. Standing IT band stretch

Cross the leg you want to stretch behind your other leg. Extend your arm overhead (the arm on the same side of the leg you are stretching) and reach toward the opposite side. Put your other hand on your hip and push so your hips move toward the side you want to stretch. At first you will feel this along your torso and as you continue to hold the stretch you will feel it along the outside of your thigh.

For a deeper stretch, bend the knee of the forward foot and keep the back knee straight and place your feet farther apart.

2. Seated IT band stretch

3. Lying down IT band stretch

You could also increase the stretch with a band.

4. Pigeon pose

I’ve definitely done the pigeon pose and sitting IT band stretch before and they both feel fantastic. I can’t wait to try out the other ones!

Keep letting me know which areas of the body you’d like for me to write a stretching post on :). Hope you all have an amazing Friday!!



Do you stretch as much as you should? I know I need to do more!

If you get IT band tightness, how do you relieve it?


About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on November 4, 2011, in Health, Stretching. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Omg! I’m so glad you posted this! I just tweeted yesterday “does anyone know of some new, good leg stretches?” and here you are! Stretching is so important to me and I could do it all day. It feels so good! Do you know of any thigh stretches? (all areas)

  2. I definetly need to strech more! I always forget.. πŸ™‚

  3. I am a horrible stretcher, but I just stretched my IT bands! I really like this stretching series you’re doing. If nothing else, I’ll stretch every Friday! πŸ˜‰

  4. Nope, don’t stretch as much as I should, but when I do stretch I definitely get my IT band. It feels so good πŸ™‚

    Peppermint mocha is my fave Starbucks drink! I love the chocolate mint combo. Yum. Fest.

  5. I definitely don’t stretch as much as I should. :/ Hopefully my goal of doing more yoga will help with that!

  6. I’m a horrible stretcher, I know I need to do it more. Even when I was training for my half marathon, I’d only spend MAYBE a minute or 2 stretching after runs, and only after the long runs. That’s definitely on the top of my goal list for 2011! As for IT Band, I had problems with mine a few years back, and foam rolling really helped a lot!!

  7. I roll the heck out of my itb. for real.

  8. i love the band for that, okay not love, but it totally helps. Oh pigeon, wowza!

  9. Such great tips! Those are my favorite stretches. Funny thing is, my left IT band has been giving me a little bit of pain lately. gotta stretch it out!

  10. These are fantastic tips… and one that every athlete/runner/people that work out…should know about these! I had IT band issues two winters ago, and dear god, did that shiattt hurt! I did some of these exercises and also strengthened the area

  11. Mmm I have never tried a peppermint mocha, but I think I will be trying a soy one!! YUM!!!!

    Great tips, doll!!!


  12. I use one of those bands to help me stretch my IT band, and I really like it!! πŸ™‚

  13. Please tell me that this was just for me πŸ™‚

  14. A friend of mine taught me how to stretch my IT band and I haven’t looked back! Feels SOOO good. I definitely should stretch it more and foam roll!

    p.s. I just found your blog and I LOVE that you’re a grad student in OT! That is my long term goal! (I’m just getting ready to apply to nursing school.)

  15. I def don’t stretch as much as I should- I’m glad you posted this! I typically have a lot of pain in my right leg after certain workouts and I bet if I stretched more it would help.

  16. I am a serious slacker when it comes to stretching. I’m in my first week of doing the Insanity workout program and I love that it includes almost 10 minutes of stretching in every workout. I think this has been the most beneficial part for me so far.

    Starbucks needs a Thanksgiving drink… I am not ready for Christmas yet!

  17. I am loving the red cups at Starbucks, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the holiday drinks quite yet. I’m still hooked on pumpkin spice lattes πŸ™‚ Awesome stretches…I always need these. Thank you!

  18. I DEFINITELY need to stretch more. For some reason, it seems like a nuisance, even though it always makes me feel so much better! I get a lot of tightness in the IT band, so thank you so much for sharing these stretches πŸ™‚

  19. I definitely don’t stretch as much as I should. I love pigeon pose though! I remember the first time I did it in yoga-bliss!

  20. I’m SO glad I found this on Pinterest! I was running today and my IT band started to hurt so badly that I had to stop. No me gusta! I’m so glad you blogged about this! I’ll be linking back to you in my next post. Thanks!

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