This week in the Roll It Out Series of killer massages we’ll focus on the ever important IT band (otherwise known as the iliotibial band). This tender band of fascia tissue that runs from the outside or lateral part of the knee and up the femur to the pelvis can always use a little rolling action. Because the IT band is so large and attaches in so many places it can wreak a ton of havoc if it’s tight. A tight IT band can create imbalances in the knee by pulling it laterally out of alignment. Which means, it’s super important to maintain a flexible, tension free, IT band to prevent injury- especially runners and other athletes prone to knee problems.
So let’s roll it out! Beware this massage can be painful since most people have really tight IT bands.
Iliotibial Band Roll Out:
- Set yourself up with the side of your right thigh on the roller. Bend the left leg in front of the right for balance.
- Support yourself with your upper body and push yourself from just above the knee all the way to your hip.
- Roll up and down a few times and switch legs.
- For more intensity stack your supporting leg on top of the leg you’re rolling out. This will add weight allowing you to dig deeper into the band.
Bonus Stretch: Get rid of the foam roller and extend your right leg straight up to the ceiling, left leg long on the floor. Hold on to your lower leg or thigh and pull your straight leg across your body. At first try to keep the right side of your pelvis on the floor. Then as the muscles start to relax take your leg as far across as possible ultimately touching the floor. Add more intensity by pointing your toe toward the floor. You should get a nice stretch from your ankle all the way up the side of your leg. Oh yeah… that’s a doosy… now switch legs. Plus you get some nice rotation in the spine!
I can’t tell you how much I love my foam roller. Look at all the awesome easy massage you can do with it. If you’d like some more quick massage ideas check out the rest of the Roll It Out Series. Pretty soon we’ll all be walking around with nice tension free muscles. What a great way to reduce stress and feel good in your body. Happy rolling!