Reduce Tight IT Band Through Strength Training
Almost 6 months ago, when I made the decision to do my first Triathlon this past September, I was excited as could be! I started swimming, biking, and running regularly, and was making terrific gains. Then one day, I noticed a little twinge in my hip. It wasn’t a big deal, just a little pain, and it didn’t keep me from training…..But only for another week. In just one week, I went from running 20-30 miles a week, to not being able to move any faster than a walking pace, because I had developed a tight IT Band, it is called IT Band (IlioTibial Band) Syndrome and it caused pain in my Left hip.
Iliotibial band syndrome is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band, which is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip (Ilium) and extends to the outer side of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. The band functions along with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint. Iliotibial Band Syndrome occurs when there is irritation to the IT band, and causes inflammation, and pain. Irritation can be caused by overuse, injury, and structural issues in the legs, hips, or knees.
I tried massage, going to a chiropractor, Advil, and even taking off from running completely. While my pain was getting better, it was not gone completely. One thing I had not done is any kind of strength training exercises. Strength training is a great way to rehab an injury because you are increasing strength in the muscles and joints surrounding the injury. In my case, I had begun to do a lot of running, biking, and swimming, and my body was not yet strong enough to handle this increase in exercise.
As an employee at Vertex Fitness, we make a point to workout in the same manner our clients do. Because of my increase in total body strength, and especially surrounding my IT Band, my injury has gotten much better, and I am able to run and bike as much as I need to for my training!
Written by former Vertex Fitness Trainer