Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Regime for IT Band

So at least three or four people have asked me how to either (1) get their IT Band to stop hurting or (2) what exercises should one perform in order to strengthen your Glutes. Since (1) and (2) are inevitably tied to the other, I figured I would shed some of the knowledge that I've gained over the course of the past two weeks to help my running friends either prevent an injury or cure an injury.

The keys to improving your IT Band ailments are to:
1) Foam Roll for 3-5 minutes 3x daily (Perform Better has the best one here)
2) Perform Body weights 3x a week (I only do legs, plan below)
3) Ice 20 minutes every hour
4) Stretch your glute

*Remember, if it hurts, do not run through it. There is a difference between pain and discomfort. Make smart decisions and stop running if it feels like someone is stabbing you in the knee, if it feels like your leg is going to blow up to pieces, or if you are limping. Taking one or two days off is much better than running through pain and having to take 4-12 weeks off.

Most IT Band problems stem from an inherent weakness in your gluteus medeus or your hamstrings. In order to test the strength of your glutes, you can do 20 single leg hops on each leg and count to the number that you begin to feel fatigued on one leg compared to the other. This will tell you if one leg is weaker than the other and then you can tailor your lifting program to incorporate 2-3 more reps on the weaker leg (ex 3x10 on left leg, 3x12 on right leg).

A lot of the exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a bench, a theraband, and a rope. I've included some of my exercises below with a youtube video that demonstrates basically what the exercise is.

3x15 each leg Clam Shells
3x15 Fire Hydrant Exercise (dog peeing on a bush)
2x20m Side Walk with Theraband
3x15 each leg step-ups
3x15 walking forward lunge (don't let your lead knee go over your ankle)
Side leg lift with circles each leg

For the stretches, just ask me on a run because those are harder to explain, but basically you want to do any stretch that stretches the side of your leg or your glutes. Or you can youtube stretches and you can find some physical therapist that has posted a video with good stretches...Hope this helps!


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