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Excercises for an ITB Syndrome


As one of  the Woodstock mates, Bron who had ITBS earlier than I did said she did a research of stretches and excercises for the ITB during after recovery.

So I did.  I tried my best to put all images as a one-stop-shop for those who share the same injury as I have.  During the routines, don’t forget to breath normally. :p

Warning: I am not a Physio/sports-medical practitioner. Only do this on your own risk! All stretches should be gentle. If it hurts, it’s wrong.

1. ITB Stretches

a. ITB Stretch with rope:

b. Passive IT band stretch.
* Use a bench or couch
* Extend the leg back behind the body
* relax the muscles a let gravity pull the leg down
* Ten to fifteen minutes should result in a good stretch
* If needed ankle weights can be added, or another person can help by applying gentle pressure
* Like all stretches, if done right it should NOT be painful.

c. Lying Iliotibial Band Stretch
* Maintain a strong zip and hollow, and don’t let the pelvic “clock face” look down!
* Keep the scapulas anchored.

d.Hip / outer thigh stretch – ITB Stretch
Sit and cross your legs. Pull your knee to your chest and hold for ten seconds – Switch and repeat with other leg.

e. ITB Stretch 5

*Cross injured leg behind and lean towards the uninjured side. This stretch is best performed with arms over the head, creating a “bow” from ankle to hand on the injured side (unlike how it is depicted).
*Cross injured leg over the uninjured side and pull the leg as close to your chest as possible.

f. ITB Stretch 6

*Pull foot up to back of buttocks. Cross the uninjured leg over the injured leg and push down, hold for 30 seconds.

g. ITB Stretch 7
Stand with the right leg crossed in the back of the left leg. Extend the left arm against a wall/pole/chair/other stable object. Lean your weight against the object while pushing your right hip in the  opposite direction. Keep your right foot anchored while allowing your left knee to flex. You should feel the stretch in the ITB muscle in the right hip and along the outside of the right thigh. Hold for 30 sec. Relax slowly.

h. ITB Stretch 8

1. Stand with your right side towards a wall, an arm’s length away, feet together.
2. Extend your right arm sideways at shoulder height so the flat or your hand is against the wall and you are leaning towards it.
3. Place your left hand on the side of your left hip.
4. Exhale, keeping your legs straight, tightening your buttocks, and pushing your right hip in towards the wall until you feel the stretch down the outside of your right leg.
5. Hold the stretch and relax.
6. Repeat for the other side.

2. Leg Flicks
Sit on leg extension machine with legs out straight, with a 5-10lb weight flick legs up and down with movement from the hips making sure not to bend the knees.

3. Knee Push Backs
Leaning against a bench raise and lower alternate heels off the floor in a walking motion. When heel returns to floor ensure that knee is pushed back out as straight as possible.

4. Calf Stretch
Measure 3 foot-lengths away from the base of a wall and place feet together with hands on wall. Lean forward until chest touches the wall making sure that heels do not
leave the ground. You should feel a stretch in the back of the calf

5. Quads Stretch
Standing with support nearby to maintain balance, bend one knee back and hold fully flexed with hand for 30 seconds, repeat each leg.


Quadriceps exercise (Stage 1)
The quadriceps is the front knee muscle (the thigh). Tighten this muscle to make your kneecap move- hold this contraction for 5 counts and then relax. This exercise is done with the leg straight and can be performed standing, sitting or lying down.

Terminal Knee Extension (Stage 2)
Lie on your back and place a rolled up towel under your knee causing it to bend slightly. Bend other knee to support your lower back. Lift heel in order to straighten your leg. Hold for a count of 5 and then relax.

Straight Leg Raise with Heel Lift (Stage 3)
Lie on your back and place a rolled up towel under your knee causing it to bend slightly. Bend other knee to support your
lower back. Lift your heel so that your leg is straight. Once straightened, lift straight leg to the height of your other bent leg. Hold for 5-10 seconds and then relax.

Straight Leg Raises (Stage 4)
Lie on your back with opposite knee bent to support your lower back. Tighten your knee muscles (quads) and point you toes upwards. Slowly, lift your leg straight up slightly lower than your bent knee. The leg should be straight throughout the lift. Lower and relax leg between each lift.


Perform: 8 sets of 10
3 times a day

6. Hamstring Stretch
Place one leg on a table or bed while standing next to it. Straighten both legs and slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch at the back of you knee. Hold the stretch for 10 counts. Remember to keep your chin up and your back straight. Do not bounce during this stretch.


1. This exercise requires a doorway.
2. Lie flat on your back, through a doorway, positioning your hips slightly in front of the doorframe, with the inside of your lower left thigh against one side of the doorframe.
3. Keeping your left leg straight and flat on the floor, exhale and raise your right leg up until your heel rests against the doorframe. Do not bend your right knee.
4. Hold the stretch and relax.
5. To increase the stretch, slide your buttocks closer to the doorframe, or lift the leg away from the doorframe to create a right angle.
6. Repeat for the other side.

Note: If you have any lower back problems, it is acceptable to keep the non-stretch hip and knee slightly flexed.

Alternate Stretch

1. Stand with your right knee leg slightly forward of the left.
2. Keep your weight evenly distributed.
3. Lift your right toe keeping your hips, knees and feet ‘in-line’.
4. Tip or lean forward from your pelvis bringing your abdomen towards your thigh, keeping your back straight.
5. Repeat for the other side.

7. Piriformis Stretch

Sitting on the floor, straighten your right leg in front of you and place your left foot, sole on the floor, on the right side of your right knee. Reach your right arm over and to the left of your now vertical left knee, placing your elbow against the outside of your left knee and your hand on (or as close as you can get it) the right knee. (Val is right, this is a tough one to explain 🙂 ). Gently push the bent knee across the body until a stretch is felt in the buttock. Reverse and repeat for the left buttock.

8.Gluteal Stretch

1. Lay on your back.
2. Bring your right knee up to your shoulder; guide it across the midline of your body with your right hand.
3. Using a gentle pull, bring your right foot across your body with your left hand. Ensure that your knee stays across your midline.
4. As you exhale, gently apply increased pressure at your knee to increase the stretch.
5. You should feel the stretch in your right buttocks.
6. Repeat with the other leg.

9. Tensor Stretch

In a standing position, cross your left leg over the other, with your feet about 1 foot apart. lean to the left until a stretch is felt over the outside of your right hip. I’ve found that I get a better stretch if I try to keep my shoulders parallel to the ground. Reverse and repeat for the left hip.

10. Groin Stretch
*Sit on the floor keeping your back straight, you may even want to sit with your back against a wall.
* Bend your knees up then let them fall to the sides with the soles of your feet facing each other.
*Grasp your ankles with both hands and pull your heels towards your buttocks.
*Rest your elbows on the inside of your thighs.
*Slowly push your knees towards the floor until you feel the stretch in your groin.
*Hold the stretch and relax.

11. Hip Abduction- Tband
* Secure the band with a knot in the bottom of the doorway and loop the opposite end around the ankle.
* Face the door side ways, keeping the knee straight pull the band away from the door.
* Balance on the opposite leg and keep the back straight.
* Slowly return to start position. Resistance should allow smooth and normal hip motion without losing balance or trunk position.
* Work both legs.

12. Hip Extension- Tband
* Secure the band with a knot in the bottom of the doorway and loop the opposite end around the ankle.
* Face the doorway and pull the band straight behind you keeping the knee straight. Balance on the opposite leg and keep the back straight.
* Slowly return to the start position. Resistance should allow smooth and normal hip motion without losing balance or trunk position.
* Work both legs.

13. The “Clam”

Start in side-lying position, knees bent, feet together, keeping your hips “stacked.” Lift the top knee, keeping the feet together. Repeat 10x. Do not roll forward. This warms up your hip (gluteus medius), making the stretch more effective.
The position: Move the bottom leg forward, slightly.  Keep the top knee bent and the thigh pushed back, to extend the hip.  Keep your abs tight, to avoid arching your back.
The stretch: Place the ankle of the bottom leg on the top knee and gently press downward, while you are pressing upward with the bottom leg. Hold for 6 seconds, relax, but keep the position. Your leg should be able to drop toward the floor a bit more. Check your position and repeat. Do this 3 times. Then repeat on the other side. Be sure to start with “The Clam.” The goal is the inside of the upper knee touches the ground. This may take weeks of effort with real tightness. *If you don’t feel any stretch, you need to adjust your position and be sure your abs are tight!*.
14. Lateral hip drop: This requires a stool 3-12 inches high. Stand with the affected leg on the stool and while keeping your knee straight, allow the suspended leg to drop as far as possible. Keep the knees straight. Then raise that side of your pelvis as far as possible. Repeat 10 times, then reverse the leg on the stool. Repeat the set 3 times. See the illustration above. This exercise is actually considerably harder than it seems. You may find that you have to progress slowly to the recommended 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Realize that if the ITBS is too severe to run without pain, you may need to substitute deep-water running for your run until the symptoms subside.

15. Lateral Foam Rolling

Begin by laying perpendicular to the foam roller. Your body position is a side plank, using your elbow to support your body weight. Lay gently onto the foam roller. Make sure you are balanced before rolling. Avoid falling back onto your buttock. The IT band lies on the lateral section of the upper thigh and therefore you must apply the foam roller to that area specifically. Once you have found this position of balance, begin to slowly roll up and down the entire length of your thigh. You may find this quite painful. Try to use your breathe to manage the pain and keep your focus on the lengthening of this area. Begin with 5-10 rolls.

All photos are borrowed from different sources.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/08/2009 2:46 pm

    Wow. Nice collection of stretches. Although some looks difficult to follow and I wonder if it may create new injuries if I follow them. 😀 Thanks for sharing.

    Your welcome! Its just getting around gathering this stretches and putting it on one page. Just be careful when doing them

  2. cruisec0ntr0l permalink
    02/08/2009 12:33 pm

    thanks for sharing this chaia, this will be very helpful. have a few friends who’s experiencing itbs also, parang uso yata ito ngayon eh hehehe…hope you recover soon. 😉


    salamat bobby at alang anuman din! yea i am hoping for fast recovery too

  3. gingerbreadrunning permalink
    02/08/2009 9:37 pm

    Thanks for posting this! Saves me the trouble of an article 😛 I have been trying to pull of some of those, although a lot look like sheer yoga to me 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂


    No worries! Yea its Yoga/Pilates action 🙂

  4. 03/08/2009 3:59 am

    thank you very much i really needed this especially to fix my hamstring injury. im very very grateful. regards

    my pleasure Pat! Hope to run your event next year when I get home and hope you recover soon too!

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