Foam Rolling Exercises for Your IT Band

Illiotibial Band syndrome can be described as one of the main causes in knee pain for runners. Essentially IT Band is a thick band of fascia on the knee that extends from the outside of the pelvis over the hip and knee.

This band is a crucial part to free movement and overtraining and not stretching may cause inflammation that can really hurt and even cause you stop working out altogether. The good news however is that this tension pain can easily be treated and prevented with the help of foam rolling. What’s very important though is that you use a good quality foam roller and know what stretches to perform to get you back on track STAT.




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Essentially there is only one surefire way of treating your IT Band discomfort as soon as possible and provide almost immediate relief.

IT Band: Foam Roller Exercise

  • Lie on your side resting on your elbow then put the roller under your hip.
  • Roll your body forward so the roller moves all the way down to your knee.
  • Now roll back so the roller stops at your hip again. Do this continuously (at a slow pace) for roughly 40 seconds then switch to the other side.
  • Repeat this on both sides at least 4 times. You’ll find that adding more body weight increases the tension and provides deeper relief.
  • When you get to a “pressure point” try resting on it for about 10 seconds and then continue rolling.

You should always remember that you want to just stretch to the point of slight discomfort, and not complete agonizing pain. Don’t over-stretch the IT Band and aim at doing this routine 3-4 times per week for optimal results. Prevention is always better than cure, so even if you aren’t in any discomfort at the moment, always do your stretches before and after a workout.

People do tend to make a few mistakes when using foam rollers that leave them thinking foam rolling doesn’t work. To get the best results have a look at some of the common mistakes of foam rolling.

  • Don’t exclusively roll on areas where you feel pain – rolling entire sections of muscle will get you better and more relieving results, and often eases out tension where you didn’t even know it existed.
  • Don’t roll too fast – stretching out a muscle takes time. Roll slowly and apply enough body weight throughout the entire length of a stretch.
  • Don’t spend more than 1 minute on a tension point – Spending too much time on pressure points could actually intensify the pain and won’t help solve the problem. One day at a time. Baby steps!
  • Don’t slouch over the roller – keeping your posture firm and in line is key when rolling. If you’re just draping yourself over the foam roller it won’t provide you with results.

Now that you know how to use it, you want to be sure that you have a good quality foam roller. Here are out top 3 picks for getting rid of IT Band discomfort using a foam roller as soon as possible.

LuxFit Premium High Density roller

This roller is very affordable and provides a great relief from IT Band tension. The molded polyethylene foam with its 2 lbs. per cubic foot density supports your body all the way and doesn’t lose its shape even with regular heavy use. It’s definitely built to last and has the same qualities as the rollers used in gyms.

Trigger Point The Grid Foam Roller

The Grid Foam Roller

Okay so this roller has it all in the name. It really helps you work out deep muscle tension and gets the job done in a jiffy. It stretches and massages muscles and tissues in all directions. This is probably the best foam roller on the market.

The great thing about this roller is the fact that its only 13 inches long and will easily fit in a gym bag, making it a handy take-along friend when you’re out and about. It’s also a cute looking roller and with its vibrant colors it’s sure to stand out from the rest. The Trigger Point Deep Tissue roller won’t break the bank and is sure to be a great addition to your workout routine.

RumbleRoller Deep Tissue Massage Roller

Rumble Roller Foam Roller

This roller might be a little more of an “investment” but it has great value for money. The finger like knobs on the roller really target deep tissue and muscle that needs extra care and attention. It serves as a massage tool too so you’ll be getting a relaxing and soothing post-workout stretch that will help you speed up recovery and keep muscles in tip-top shape. This roller isn’t for the rookie rollers, and you might want to start out with a smooth surface if you’re just starting out on foam rolling. What this roller gives is you more advanced massage triggering pressure points. It’s great for everyday use and is extremely durable.

Equipped with this knowledge you should be able to effectively and efficiently get rid of the nagging pain that comes with IT Band. It’s crucial to remember that you should be treating your injury several times per week and be consistent. There are also various other stretching techniques that you can use to give you relieve from IT Band but when you need fast and long lasting results, turning to a foam roller is your quickest and most helpful treatment option.

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