ITB stretches

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Flexibility (Muscles) > ITB Stretches

(Main muscles Involved: Iliotibial Band (ITB), Tensor Fasciae Lata (TFL), Gluteus Maximus, Quadratus Lumborum, External Obliques, Internal Obliques)

The following ITB stretches are designed to improve the flexibility of the ITB and TFL muscle (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.

To begin with, the ITB stretches should be held for 15 seconds and repeated 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free. Generally you should choose one or two ITB stretches that are comfortable for you and perform them 3 times daily. As your flexibility improves, the stretches can be progressed by increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of the stretches provided they are pain free.

ITB & TFL

Figure 1 – The ITB & TFL muscle


ITB Stretches

ITB Stretch

Cross the leg to be stretched behind your other leg, taking it as far as you comfortably can. Then push your hips to the side of your leg to be stretched until you feel a stretch in your outer thigh / hip. Keep your back straight (figure 2). Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free.

ITB Stretch

Figure 2 – ITB Stretch (left leg)


ITB Self Massage Exercises

The following ITB self massage exercises are designed to improve the flexibility of the ITB and are an excellent addition to the above ITB stretches. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.

Foam Roller ITB Release

Place the foam roller under your ITB (outer thigh) as demonstrated (figure 4). Using your arms, slowly move your body up and down the roller allowing it to massage the outer thigh. Breathe normally keeping your leg relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain.

Foam Roller ITB Release

Figure 4 – Foam Roller ITB Release


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