Many runners experience Iliotibial band friction syndrome due to inflammation and irritation of a tight, inflexible IT band. To prevent this common cause of knee pain it helps to perform regular IT Band stretches.
There are many different ways to stretch your IT band. This is a more advanced stretch, that is sometimes called the Pigeon Pose in yoga. For a simpler stretch, see the Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch.
Because this stretch is more advanced, it often helps if you loosen the IT Band by using a foam roller before doing this stretch.
- Start in a push up position on your hand and toes.
- Slide your right knee forward toward your right hand. Angle your knee so the outer ankle is touching the floor (see picture).
- Slide your left leg back as far as comfortable.
- Keep your hips square to the floor.
- You should feeling a deep stretch in your right hip and the outer thigh.
- You can either stay up on your hands, or fold forward and let your forearms rest on the floor in front of you or fully extended your arm in front of you.
- Breathe slowly and deeply from your belly. Hold the stretch 30-60 seconds and release. Repeat on the other leg.