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How to stretch IT band w/ foam rollers?

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How to stretch IT band w/ foam rollers?

Old 07-31-08, 06:51 PM
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How to stretch IT band w/ foam rollers?

My gym has some foam rollers and I was thinking it might be nice to stretch my IT band with those since, despite normal stretches helping greatly, it still feels tight after a long ride. I did a search, but can't find any good guides as to how to use them. Anybody have some links to sites that tell you how... preferably with pictures? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-31-08, 06:58 PM
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examples

i have done most of these. the IT one they show is good. if you really want to work it rest the opposite leg ontop of the one you are working. imagine the deepest of deep tissue massages then times it by 10. i mean, if the muscle is sore you may cry. later.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:12 PM
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I would buy your own roller. The rollers at my gym are very soft & deformed, maybe yours is better? They do work great though.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:13 PM
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Thanks. I assume you were referring to the one labeled "iliotibia tract" which brings me to another question. The pain used to be just above the knee, but after I learned the basic stretches, the pain left but the tightness is now just below the knee, I thought still part of the ITB. Am I incorrect? Either way, it seems like I should be putting the rollers directly on the tight part.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HillMut View Post
I would buy your own roller. The rollers at my gym are very soft & deformed, maybe yours is better? They do work great though.
I might do that once I learn the stretches, but I'd still have to take it to the gym with me. There is literally no room in my 538 sq. ft. house to use them in, except maybe the hard kitchen floor.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:17 PM
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When I had problems w/ my IT band , the pain was just below the knee cap - to the outside of my leg. I think this is most common from what I've read. The IT band runs from your hip to the knee cap, you want to work the whole IT band on the roller and stretch it after, you will feel the stretch in your hip.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:19 PM
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below the knee? the IT band runs along the side of the leg between the knee and butt. however, a tight IT band can and will cause pain in the different areas, like the knee and glutes.

i say, go to Target and pick up a foam roller for $25 bucks. they are are like 24 inches long so you can take it with you and store it away easy. roll out the IT band and other sore muscles. you will know right aware if the IT band is tight because it will be tender. later.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:19 PM
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Thanks HillMut, that's what I was hoping since all of the IT stretched I do already are felt in the hip. I just figured since it's still the same (what is it? A tendon?) it doesn't matter where I feel it, and I figured since the problem has pretty much gone away, I was correct.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aham23 View Post
below the knee? the IT band runs along the side of the leg between the knee and butt. however, a tight IT band can and will cause pain in the different areas, like the knee and glutes.

i say, go to Target and pick up a foam roller for $25 bucks. they are are like 24 inches long so you can take it with you and store it away easy. roll out the IT band and other sore muscles. you will know right aware if the IT band is tight because it will be tender. later.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I start to think it's no longer the IT band. I know for sure that it was before when the pain was just to the side and above the knee cap and had a sports doc look at it. The pain migrated south and now it feels tight much lower than before, possibly lower than the IT band goes. Feeling my leg right now, it seems like a tendon that runs along the outside of the shin/calf.
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Old 07-31-08, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Either way, it seems like I should be putting the rollers directly on the tight part.
Just be careful to never roll over the joint itself or tendons. Only the muscles. Also, the ITB can be rolled back and forth easily, while others are feasible to only to roll one direction. (Like hamstrings.)
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Old 07-10-09, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
You know, the more I think about it, the more I start to think it's no longer the IT band. I know for sure that it was before when the pain was just to the side and above the knee cap and had a sports doc look at it. The pain migrated south and now it feels tight much lower than before, possibly lower than the IT band goes. Feeling my leg right now, it seems like a tendon that runs along the outside of the shin/calf.
Hi urbanknight, what's happened with your knee since last summer? Did it turn out to be the IT band after all, or something else? (I just started experiencing what I think might be ITB issues, so I'm reading up on it.)
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Old 07-10-09, 12:14 PM
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I use one occasionally but I wouldn't call it stretching, more of a message me thinks. BTW I like The Stick better fwiw.
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Old 07-10-09, 12:21 PM
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You can buy a full length one. Chop it into 1/3 and 2/3. Travel with the 1/3 and use the 2/3 at home (or where you have most room).

A lot of people make the mistake of rolling back and forth alot on foam rollers. That isn't how they work. The stretching part comes about by finding the "tightest" spot and holding there for 20-30 seconds (more sometimes) until you feel a relaxation. The process is called autogenic inhibition - basically fooling the tight muscle into relaxing by exciting the GTO (Golgi tendon organ). This is why it is stretching (through self myofascial release) and not massge (which is what the stick is).
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Old 07-10-09, 12:24 PM
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and to actually help with the OP's question: http://www.nasmpro.com/nasmpro/libra...b.aspx?id=8440
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Old 07-10-09, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tombailey View Post
You can buy a full length one. Chop it into 1/3 and 2/3. Travel with the 1/3 and use the 2/3 at home (or where you have most room).

A lot of people make the mistake of rolling back and forth alot on foam rollers. That isn't how they work. The stretching part comes about by finding the "tightest" spot and holding there for 20-30 seconds (more sometimes) until you feel a relaxation. The process is called autogenic inhibition - basically fooling the tight muscle into relaxing by exciting the GTO (Golgi tendon organ). This is why it is stretching (through self myofascial release) and not massge (which is what the stick is).
good explanation except you forgot to mention it also hurts like hell

unless I'm doing it wrong?
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Old 07-10-09, 01:28 PM
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Ye sit can hurt - but frequent sessions will reduce the pain as the muscle learns to relax. As long as you're on the muscle and not a joint/tendon then the pain is likely normal (I'm not anything like qualified to give you medical advice though). If the pain is excrutiating or persists after several days of foam rolling you should think about seeing someone.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
You know, the more I think about it, the more I start to think it's no longer the IT band. I know for sure that it was before when the pain was just to the side and above the knee cap and had a sports doc look at it. The pain migrated south and now it feels tight much lower than before, possibly lower than the IT band goes. Feeling my leg right now, it seems like a tendon that runs along the outside of the shin/calf.
I had issues with my biceps femoris tendon, which inserts at the bony bump at the top outside of your calf, which is below your IT band. It's a similar friction issue, but in a different spot. The tendon attaches to part of the hamstring muscles. In addition to rolling my IT band with my side perpendicular to the floor, I also rotated my body about 45 degrees so I could work the area between the "meat" of the hamstring and the IT band. That's where I had a lot of tightness.

Of course, I'm no sports doctor, so you should see one if you think you have (or are about to have) an injury.
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Old 07-10-09, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JourneyLightly View Post
Hi urbanknight, what's happened with your knee since last summer? Did it turn out to be the IT band after all, or something else? (I just started experiencing what I think might be ITB issues, so I'm reading up on it.)
Another forum member tipped me off to a free sports injury clinic since my doctor didn't want to refer me or diagnose anything They considered it ITBS but pointed out that it was most likely cause by weak glutes. I got a few stretches and exercises (squats, lunges, heel dips) to do and it took care of my problem. As long as I do them on a regular basis, I don't have a problem. If I flake for too long, I start to feel it coming back. Now I'm doing a century every month and other long climbing rides with no worries... except for endurance.

btw I also had to move my saddle down and back a considerable amount for a while as I built my strength up. Not sure why that helped, but it did, and I'm still not as high and forward as I want to be for full extension, but I've been getting there 1mm at a time.
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Old 07-10-09, 05:13 PM
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The roller definitely helped my IT band issues, but I'd also recommend a regular stretching regimen where possible too. And ice, lots of ice.

I know for mine, the roller alleviated a lot of the tightness and muscle adhesions that had formed, but I'd also thrown my hamstrings and just about everything else out of whack compensating for the tight IT band for years.

Sounds like you're on the right track though.
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Old 07-10-09, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Feeling my leg right now, it seems like a tendon that runs along the outside of the shin/calf.
That would be one of your peroneal muscles, but you do know for a fact that it's your ITBand? Most IT band stretches are always felt @ the lateral hip area. If you have weak gluts, you could always do bridges(lie on your back and lift your hips up as far as you can w/o pain) and @ the top of the range, squeeze your gluts. This will also help with pelvic extension, which we cyclists have very little of, you may feel alittle more flexibility in your lumbar region with bridging.
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Old 07-10-09, 06:13 PM
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For what little it's worth....I bought one and my physical the******, who is excellent (if you don't believe me just go ahead and ask him) scoffed at it. He said it was just traumatizing an area that was already beat up badly enough. He further states that messaging that area is "missing the point", which is usually an imbalance in the hip, for example. Correct the imbalance and the ITB will take care of itself, so he says.

For what it's worth.
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Old 07-10-09, 10:42 PM
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Well, I didn't end up needing the rollers, but I'm sure there are more than one way to skin a cat. All I care about is that as long as I keep limber and work the neglected muscles, all is well.
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Old 07-10-09, 11:16 PM
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Old 07-11-09, 07:02 AM
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