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Stretch It: Iliotibial Band and Outer Thigh

Running can take its toll on your knees and having tight muscles and soft tissue around the very important knee joint can increase the toll we runners pay. That is why stretching is so very important.

This stretch targets the iliotibial band (ITB), the thick band of fascia that runs down the outside of the thigh, and it is important because when the ITB gets tight it can pull the knee cap out of alignment causing all sorts of pain. This simple move is one of my favorite post running stretches. As an urban runner, I particularly like it because I don't have to touch the ground to do it. So stretch it!

Here's how, via the Foot & Ankle Institute:

Iliotibial Band Stretch

  • Cross your right foot behind your left, so the toes of both feet are almost even.
  • Turn your right hip out, so your toes will be almost touching with your heels apart (sounds weird..so just stand up and try it).
  • Side bend to the left allowing your head and neck to bend to the left too!.

Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on both sides at least two times

Fit's Tips: This stretch is for your outer thigh/abductors. You might feel it on the sides of your glutes too, and you might feel that area stretching first. The ITB is fascia, which is challenging to stretch. If your ITB is really tight you should invest in a foam roller and try rolling it out.

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