IT Band Syndrome Exercises

Standing IT Band Stretch upright. Cross the affected (hurting) leg behind the opposite leg.  Be sure to place the entire bottom of your foot (from the affected leg) flat on the ground. Shift your hip from the affected leg out and lean to the other side.  You should feel a stretch across the affected iliotibial band.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat 3 times.  Hold for 30 seconds.Some may feel a stretch in the hip region where the ITB starts, while others feel a tightness at their knee during the stretch.

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Lie on your back. Bend the knee of the affected (hurting) leg and grab your knee with both hands. Pull the affected leg towards the opposite shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Lying Hip Abduction

While lying flat on a firm surface, with feet together and toes pointing up, slide the affected leg to the side as far as you can and bring it back. Keep toes and knee cap pointed up and knee straight. Perform 20-25 times, and repeat with other leg. 

Standing Hip Abduction

Stand with hands on a stable structure, such as a counter top or chair. Keeping toes pointed forward and your knee straight, lift your leg out to the side as far as you can go. Keep your shoulders level with the ground (try to avoid leaning to one side and maintain standing up straight). Perform 20-25 times.

Side Lying Hip Abduction

Lie on your side with the affected leg on top (for your left hip lie on your right side).  Keep toes and knee cap pointing straight ahead. Lift your leg up in the air as far as you can.  Remain on your side through the entire movement and avoid rotating backwards.  Perform 20-25 reps

Foam Rolling

Place the bolster on a firm surface such as the ground.  Lay on your side with your affected leg on the bolster.  Cross the other leg over top and slide the affected leg up and down as the bolster rolls back and forth.  This causes a helpful message to the affected areas.  Since the ITB runs from above your hip to below your knee try to roll as much of it as you can. Try and do this for 1 minute.  Once you’re able to do it with your non-affected leg crossed over, try doing it with both legs together.  This can be quite painful at first, but the idea is to break up adhesions and improve the length of the IT band and ultimately reduce pain.

It is highly recommended to take the time to ice your knee after exercises and rest for 20 minutes.  You can purchase an ice wrap from our Knee Kit that provides cold, as well as, uniform compression around the knee.   

In addition, the knee kit contains a foam roll.

Back To IT Band Exercise Introduction