ITB or iliotibial band is a tendon that runs along the top of your pelvic bone to your knee. It is a thick elastic tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Iliotibial Band Syndrome commonly occurs in runners when the ITB swells or is irritated due to excessive movement. Few movements and stretches can help get rid of the pain and reduce further damage. However, it is important to consult an expert or a medical professional before starting new fitness or exercise routines. If the pain persists or aggravates do seek medical attention.
Seated spinal twist: Sit on the floor. Sit crossed legged. Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee and keep it flat on the floor. Place your left foot just below or near your right buttock. Now place your elbow to the outside of your knee while twisting your body right with your palm facing forward. Exhale as you twist your lower body to the right. To stretch more, you can push your right knee upright with your right palm. Gaze over the right shoulder. This twist will stretch your tendons and increase flexibility.
Side walk: As the name suggests, this entails walking sideways. For example, if you are walking towards the right side, the right leg leads the left leg. The important thing to remember here is to keep the feet straight and not slant them in the walking direction. This motion can also be performed in a semi-squat position with the knees bent rather than an upright position to involve the gluteus maximus and medius muscles (hip muscles). Adding a resistance band makes it more challenging. Repeat for 10-15 steps in one direction and then the other. Perform two-three sets
Standing ITB stretch: Stand straight, cross right leg over to the left. Raise both arms above your head. Pull the right arm with the help of your left arm on the same side as your front leg. Avoid twisting at the hip. Keep your hips neutral throughout the stretch.
Side-lying leg raise: Lie straight on your right side. Keep your left hand on the floor for support. Use your right arm or a pillow to support your head. The heel should be slightly higher than your toes. Slowly raise your left leg. Pause for one or seconds. Slowly return to the starting position. Do two to three sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side. To increase the intensity, use a resistance band around your ankles.
(The writer is ACSM and Yoga Alliance certified personal and group trainer)
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