Muscle series 6: IT Band

Posted on October 11th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

This is the last week of the muscle series. It’s been great covering commonly used runner’s muscles. The Baltimore Running Festival is tomorrow and approximately 25,000 runners will run the streets of Baltimore and will command each of the muscles covered in this series to perform.

This week is the IT band. Not necessarily a muscle, but equally important when running. The IT band, iliotibial band, is a thick band of fibers. It runs from the outer most prominent bone at the pelvis down the side of the leg attaching at the shinbone.

In running inflammation of the IT band is common. Pain is most severe with the heel strike of walking or running and may radiate from the knee up the leg to the hip. Pain may also be felt with knee flexing, especially going up or down steps.

An effective stretch to this area:

* Stand near a wall or a piece of sturdy exercise equipment for support.
* Cross your one leg over the other at the ankle.
* Extend your left arm overhead, reaching toward your right side. You’ll feel a stretch along your left hip.
* Hold for about 30 seconds, breathing while stretching
* Switch sides

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