Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iliotibial band exercies

So in the last post we talked about one of the more common causes of IT band problems. So in this post we will get into some actual steps to dealing with it.

Step one: Activate the glute med.
Step two: Strengthen the glute med.
Step three: Work the tissue quality of the IT band

Activation, the name of the game. Get what you got firing! The clam shell. Lie on your side, knees bent, feet together. Slowly and consciously raise your knee up while keeping your feet together. With one hand feel the muscles on the side of your hip working. This will allow a better mind body connection. 2 sets of 20 reps.
Side shuffle. Upper body erect, slight knee bend. Slowly step straight sideways. Repeat 10x in each direction. As this gets easier you can add a theraband around your ankles for increased resistance.

Strengthening. You get muscles stronger to cement the motion. Single leg lunges. Take a long lunge step forward. Really work to stabilize and keep your balance. Stay errect. Single leg deadlift. Standing on one leg. Reach down with a dumbell in the opposite hand, slowly lower it and raise back up again.
Pretty much anything done on a single leg will recruit the glute med.

Tissue quality is of utmost importance. I really like foam rolling the IT band. You can choose how much of your bodyweight you want to put on it, I recommend as much as you can, that doesn't lead to wincing pain. Slight uncomfortableness is expected though. Look to do around 2-4 minutes 2-3x a day.

So there is a prescription for fighting the IT band syndrome. Let me know if you have had success and what other strategies you've used.


Peter said...

I have been dealing with IT problems for years as a cyclist and this post is extremely helpful to me. Can you provide any other guidance on reps/sets for single leg deadlifts and lunges?

Jason Ross said...

Single leg deadlifts I would work in the 3-5 sets with 8-12 reps per leg. It's not using a lot of weight, but learning to stabilize using the glute med/adductors together.

Lunges would be using a long stride and start with bodyweight. 3x20 yards and add a set till you can get up to 6 sets without much residual soreness.