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www.active.com:8 Yoga Poses and Stretches for a Tight IT Band

8 Yoga Poses and Stretches for a Tight IT Band

  • By Stephanie Ring

Get out your foam rollers and lacrosse balls—we’re talking about the IT band.

Just kidding. You won’t need those two torture devices.

Why is it when we have tightness or irritation in our outer hip or knee, our assumption is often that it’s our IT band, and rolling is the answer? Using rollers and balls can help, but don’t forget about functional fitness and yoga. 

Pain and irritation in the IT band are usually caused by one of two things. First, training too much, too quickly. We believe more is better, so we pile on the miles in the hopes of increasing endurance, speed and fitness. The result is an angry hip or knee. The second cause is general tightness in the band itself caused by lack of flexibility in the surrounding muscles. That tightness begins to pull on the band, and from there, pain is born.

So what do we do to stop and prevent that pain?

Try practicing yoga. The physical practice of yoga is designed to lengthen and stretch the muscles to increase mobility and improve movement patterns. The poses below are a great place to start.

Ankles Crossed Forward Fold

1  of  9 

1. Start standing with your feet together.
2. Cross your right ankle over your left ankle.
3. As you begin to fold forward, create a soft bend in your right knee.
4. Reach your fingertips towards the ground or the shins.
5. Repeat on opposite side.

Figure Four

 2  of  9 

1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
2. Bring your right foot over and above your left knee.
3. Flex your right foot and press your right knee towards the ground.
4. Stick your butt out and then down as you bend your standing leg.
5. Fold forward at the hips and reach your fingers towards the ground or hold on to something.
6. Repeat on opposite side.

Note: You should also feel a stretch in your glutes when performing this.

Standing Quad Stretch

 3  of  9 

1. Stand with your feet hips distance apart.
2. Bend your right knee and grab the top of your foot with your right hand.
3. As you draw your heel in, extend your tailbone down and keep the knee together.
4. Repeat on opposite side.

Note: Hold onto something if balance becomes an issue

Twisted Triangle

 4  of  9 

1. Step your right foot forward about three feet.
2. Turn your back toes in so that you can square your hips.
3. Fold forward at your hips and place your left hand down on the ground about a foot and a half away from your right foot. 
4. Extend your chest forward and lean into your left hand
5. Reach your right arm up as you twist, and press down through your right big toe.
6. Repeat on opposite side. 

Seated Glute Stretch

 5  of  9 

1. Start seated with the feet flat on the mat.
2. With your hands behind you, place your right foot over and above your left knee.
3. Flex your right foot as you extend your right knee away from your chest.
4. Keep your chest up and scoot your butt towards your left heel with the leverage of the hands again the mat.
5. Repeat on opposite side.

Revolved Seated Staff

 6  of  9 

1. Start seated with your legs straight out in front.
2. Bend your right knee and grab the outside of your right foot with your left hand.
3. Sit up tall and straighten your right leg as you twist your torso to the right.
4. Repeat on opposite side.F

Hero’s Pose

 7  of  9 

1. Sit on your heel with your knees together. 
2. Begin to lean back, placing your hands behind you as you reach the knees toward the mat.
3. Sit down between the feet. 
4. From here, only if there is no pain in the knees can you lean back either onto the hands or forearms. 

Note: To deepen the pose, separate your feet wider than your hips

Reclined IT Band Stretch

 8  of  9 

1. Start on your back. Grab your strap and wrap it around the arch of your right foot.
2. Extend your right leg and flex your foot.
3. Keep the left leg in straight on the mat.
4. Grab the strap with the left hand.
5. Flex your right foot and extend your right leg over to the left. 
6. Reach your right arm out and relax the shoulders down.
7. Repeat on opposite side.F  9  of  9

Next Gallery

8 Yoga Poses for Tight Hips

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