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Hip Strengthening for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Weakness in the hips can be a cause of iliotibial band syndrome. One the flare up has subsided and you feel comfortable stretching, it is time to start strengthening those muscles. Strengthening the hips and thighs is key to preventing another IT band flare up down the road.

The article linked below provides a lot of insight into ITB Syndrome as well as stretches and strengthening exercises. The exercises I’m showing you today were found at this link.

A Runner’s Guide to ITBS

Bridging with Single Leg Raise

Strengthens glutes, obliques, and thighs!

  • Lie on your back with your hands on your hips.
  • Lift hips and shift weight onto one foot.
  • Extend other leg without allowing pelvis to drop–keep it level!
  • Hold for 10 seconds, lower pelvis, and repeat on the other side/leg.

Clam Shell

Improves gluteus medius control and function! 😀

  • Lie on one side with hips bent at a 45 degree angle and the knees at 90 degrees.
  • While keeping your heels together, lift the upper knee by turning your leg out at the hip. Keep your pelvis straight, don’t roll back to lift your leg!
  • Hold for 10 seconds and work up to 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.

Step Downs

Strengthen the quads and improve knee control!

  • Find a stable step. It can be between 2-6 inches high.
  • Slowly step down from the step with one leg. Keep your leg straight (knee following toes, not angling inward towards other knee).
  • Keep your pelvis level! Put your hands on your hips to help you see if your pelvis stays level.
  • Repeat, working up to 3 sets of 10. Do both legs evenly!

Stretching the Iliotibial Band

Since my leg has been feeling usable again, I’ve been researching ways to stretch the iliotibial band. Since it is such a large band, it can be tough to get a really good stretch.

Boy, it sure feels awesome when you find that perfect stretch though! I’ve been using the IT band stretch and the bum stretches for my hip pain. It really makes a difference in my day if I start out with these stretches.

The link below is the original page I found these stretches. It is illustrated with cute little stick figures! I thought I could show you the IT band stretches a little better with actual photos though.

Stretching

IT Band Stretch

Stand on one leg and lean sideways away from that hip. You can put your other leg in front crossways for balance.

Bum Stretch 1

While lying down on your back, cross one leg over the other. Pull the lower leg up towards your chest.

Bum Stretch 2

Sit with one leg bent and cross the other leg over. Press the hip of the crossed leg downwards to stretch.

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