For the month of July, we will focus on “IT Band” Stretches. I use quotations because the IT band is not really a muscle, it’s a connective tissue. The muscle that really gets the benefit of these stretches is mostly the vastus lateralis. In most cases if you have an outer knee issue or “tight IT Band” it’s coming from this lateral(outer) quadricep muscle. Sometimes it’s the biceps femoris, that’s the lateral(outer) hamstring on the back of the thigh, as well. So if your having generalized IT band issues those are the muscles to focus on. And these stretches should help!
You will mostly likely need a strap or belt to reach the foot. You will also need some wall space. Please use a belt if you have issues in this area or are very tight!
1.Find some wall space and lay down on your back in front of it. Place the feet into the wall and make the legs straight. The heels stay on the floor as well as into the wall.
2. Bring the right knee into the chest. From here grab the big toe with your left hand or place a strap around the ball mound of the foot with the strap ends in the left hand. Then straighten the leg. Inch the left hand up the straps until you are as close as you can get to the foot with keeping the shoulder on the ground. If you are grabbing the toe with the hand and can not straighten the leg fully, use a strap! The right hand can extend palm down to the floor in line with the shoulder.
3. From here slowly start to bring the leg towards the left, keeping the right hip on the floor, as shown in the photo marked yes below. Only go as far as the right hip will stay on the ground. Keep the left foot on the wall with the toes facing the ceiling. Be mindful! You may not go very far to the left here, that’s ok, you only go as far as the body will allow.
4. If the left toes start to turn to the left, or the right hip pops off the floor come back to the right until the hip comes back down. You do not want to look like the No photo. It may put strain on the low back.
5. Keep the belly button to the spine to keep the abs engaged the whole time, as well as keeping the left heel into the wall. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute and then switch sides.
Questions? Email Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org