Should You Foam Roll Your IT Band?

Here is a solution to this common question!

To start, the IT Band (ITB) is not muscle, it is fascia. It does not develop trigger points like muscle tissue does. So, why might it feel like there is tightness in that area?

1) Overative TFL - Your TFL uses the ITB as a tendon and if it is overative then it could be causing the feeling of ITB tightness. If this is the issue, then focus on releasing/lengthening the TFL and the tightness should subside.

2) Overactive Vastus Lateralis - This muscle slips into the ITB and releasing it could relieve some tension.

3) Weak Glutes - Most likely if you have ITB tightness and an overactive TFL, you may have a glute weakness. Strengthening your glutes will go a long way in improving hip function and reducing and ITB issues.

In summary, if you feel like your ITB is tight, I would not recommend foam rolling it. At most, this will provide a temporary solution. The best thing would be to release/lengthen your TFL and Vastus Lateralis, then work on some glute activation exercises.

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