What is the ITB?
The iliotibial band (ITB) is the connective tissue that runs from the gluteus, along the outside of the thigh, to just below the knee. This important structure helps extend and stabilize the knee during running or cycling. ITB syndrome is a common overuse injury that can cause pain on the outside of the knee. Keeping this structure well-stretched is important for preventing ITB syndrome.
How to Keep the ITB Stretched
1. Here is a great stretch to help lengthen the ITB without doing further harm:
2. Lie down on the floor with both legs straight.
3. Place one foot in the loop of a rope, positioning the rope in the arch of your foot.
4. Wrap both sides of the rope around the outside and behind the ankle so that its ends are on the inside.
5. Hold this position for two seconds, then gently release. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
Stretching the ITB in this manner activates the inner thigh muscles, which relaxes the opposing outer thigh muscles. The outer thigh muscles then ease into the stretch rather than being forced. This allows the ITB to be stretched in an effective and safe manner.