Listen, we know that not every exercise is for everyone, but this recovery technique is a must. For anyone. Truly.
Your IT bands (or iliotibial bands) are thick strands of fascia that run from your hips to your knees on the side of your thighs. If your IT bands are tight — as in, you've never rolled them out or stretched them before — they can pull on your knees and can even pull the knee out of alignment, causing pain and inflammation in the joint. No good! But this is so preventable. Like, a few seconds a day preventable.
We'd recommend it for anyone who is active at all, running and beyond. It's an essential recovery technique and feels like a deep-tissue massage but doesn't come with the deep-tissue massage price tag. In fact, you can get your very own foam roller for less than $10.
Take 30 to 60 seconds out of your day (seriously, that's all you need!) and roll out your IT bands. It's for your long-term health, as well as pain and injury prevention — you can spare yourself so many painful moments and missed workouts by taking this small amount of time! Here's how you do it.
- Lying on your side, similar to a side plank position, place the roller on the outside of your thigh just below your hip.
- Place your top arm on your hip or in front of you for balance, and using your top leg for stability, roll the length of your thigh, stopping just above the knee. Go slowly, and do not roll over the knee joint. Keep your bottom leg lifted, or lower it down to the floor if you can. Chances are high that this move will be painful, which is a sign that you really need to do this!
- If you find an especially tender point, try rolling forward and back to release this spot.
- Roll for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides.