HOW TO STRETCH THE ITB

Runner's World (UK) - - Body + Mind -

1. ITB LENGTH­EN­ING

Length­en­ing the ITB is of­ten mis­un­der­stood. The ITB is a thick, tough fi­brous tis­sue whose job is to act as a spring to bring the leg for­wards in our walk­ing or run­ning stride. It is the source of a very com­mon knee prob­lem in run­ners – ITB syn­drome.

Like any elas­tic struc­ture, the ITB is good at stretch­ing but not so good at length­en­ing per­ma­nently, so sim­ple stretch­ing ex­er­cises will not do the job. To lengthen it you must break the cross fi­bres be­tween the sheets of fas­cia that make up the ITB. There­fore, man­ual ther­apy such as mas­sage and foam rolling work best for this type of tis­sue. It may be a lit­tle un­com­fort­able, be­cause the ITB has plenty of pres­sure nerve end­ings, but it’s worth the ef­fort. Rolling or man­ual ther­apy with the ITB in an ex­tended po­si­tion for two min­utes, four times a day (if you can), is the most ef­fec­tive way to lengthen it.

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