6 Exercises to Beat IT Band Syndrome

The IT band is the ligament that runs down the outside of the leg, from the hip to the knee. IT band syndrome is one of the most common running injuries. Often due to overuse, it results in an irritated and inflamed IT band which can make running difficult. Stretches and icing of the IT band can help relieve some of the associated pain. However, many runners find that as soon as they continue their running routine the condition comes right back.

Symptoms often include pain located on the outside of the knee. This is often an indicator of misaligned femur movement pattern. How do we fix this? Exercises that target glute strengthening and pelvis alignment can be great combaters for IT band syndrome. The following offers 6 exercises you can do to help get you back on track and counteract that annoying IT band syndrome that just won’t quit.

3 Injuries That Could Be Causing Your Hip Flexor Pain

Hip flexor pain is often an injury that is hard to ignore. Our hip flexors, which lie at the front of the hip, are used in just about every movement that involves the lower half of the body. When you have hip flexor pain you feel it anytime you bend, kick, sit, run, or change directions while moving.

Typically, there are three types of injuries which result in pain to this area of the body: overuse injuries, muscle tears, and direct hits. If you are feeling hip flexor pain, consider the likelihood that one of these reasons may be the cause.

6 Resistance Band Exercises to Prevent Running Injuries

In the past few decades, running has gained speed as a popular cardio choice. Fun runs, such as foam runs, color runs, and mud runs, have made it accessible and inclusive to all. It is a great option for anyone just starting out or wanting to get back in shape. No gym equipment or membership required. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and workout clothes, and you are good to go.

However, running injuries can be discouraging, to say the least. Poor running form, muscle imbalances, or improper running shoes can all be factors contributing to an injury. Luckily, they are all completely in your control. Correct improper posture. Educate yourself and shop around for a pair of running shoes that are suited for your feet and gait. As for muscle imbalances, various resistance band exercises may reduce the risk of running injuries. The following exercises target major problem areas that may lead to injuries. By strengthening certain muscles, you may further become a more efficient and stronger runner. Always be sure to do a proper warm-up and cool down involving appropriate stretches before and after your run.

5 Easy Ways to Prevent Hip Flexor Pain

Hip flexor injuries are common running injuries often attributed to overuse. The hip flexor muscles bring the thigh forward and up, a repetitive motion seen in running. Tight hips can cause postural deficits that may, in turn, affect running form and may cause running injuries. If the hip flexors are tight, the pelvis may rotate toward the front. This position may arch the lower back causing, even more, issues to arise.

However, hip flexor pain and injuries are highly preventable. Taking the necessary precautions may reduce the risk of the hip flexors becoming problematic. Targeted strengthening and stretching exercises, a proper warm up, and education on the topic may aid in keeping your running training plan on track.  The following outlines 5 ways to prevent common hip flexor pain, starting today.

5 Static Stretches for After Your Run

A cool down post-run is just as important as a warm-up prior to your workout. Including a proper warm-up and cool down into your running routine may decrease the risk of running injuries. A warm up increases blood flow to the muscles and increases your heart rate. It is often recommended to include dynamic stretches into a warm-up. Dynamic stretches may enhance your running form by engaging major muscles of the core, hips, and legs.

A cool down, on the other hand, slowly brings your heart rate back down and may decrease post-run muscle soreness later on.  Incorporating static stretches, such as the following outlined below, into your cool down routine may further increase your flexibility and provide varying degrees of relief.

The Runner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

After a run, your muscles are in need of two things; relaxation and restoration. Foam Rolling is a form of self-massage which has become hugely popular among runners and exercise enthusiasts due to it’s ease of application and immediacy of results in improving running form.

A foam roller is a self-massage tool that allows you to get the healing effects of deep tissue massage on the spot to treat running injuries. These cylindrical devices come in a range of designs, from flat surface to studded nodules to deliver targeted pressure.

Why Should Runners Foam Roll?

Foam rolling involves alleviating soft-tissue stiffness and running injury pain hot spots, such as the back, thighs and hamstrings , with a form of self-massage. It has also proven to be a great post-workout recovery aid. The roller manipulates and puts pressure on muscle sore spots. In addition to its rehabilitative ability, foam rolling has been shown to improve flexibility and running form.

Using a Foam Roller

Find an open space that allows freedom of movement. Place the roller on the floor and position your body so that the area of focus is on top of the roller. The pressure that massages the affected area will be provided by your body.

Gently roll your body back and forth over the roller. Your focus should be on areas of tightness and those that have a reduced range of motion. Control this pressure by adjusting the amount of body weight that you place on the roller. You can use your hands and feet to offset the weight as needed. Always ensure that your muscles are thoroughly warmed up prior to a session.

Perform your foam rolling session immediately after your run. Keep your first few sessions to just a few minutes. Over time, you can extend it to a maximum of 15 minutes.

Foam Rolling Your Running Hot Spots

Glutes /Hips

 

 

The gluteus maximus originate on the top side of the pelvis and attach on the side of your femur. It aids in external and internal hip rotation and stabilizes the pelvis.

 

  1. Drop to the ground, resting on one side, with an elbow resting on the ground.
  2. Drop the corresponding thigh to the ground. Place a foam roller directly under the side of your glute that is on the floor.
  3. Put the majority of your bodyweight on top of the roller. Once the pain sensation that will result becomes bearable, rock your hips back and forth.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Quads

 

 

  1. Lie on the floor in plank position with a foam roller placed horizontally across the mid thighs. Your legs should be extended with your toes off the ground.
  2. Clasp your hands together and gently roll up and down the length of your thighs.
  3. Once you are comfortable with this movement, bend your knees so that your feet come toward your glutes. Now repeat the rolling motion.

 

Calves

 

  1. Sit on the floor with the foam roller horizontally positioned across the midline of your right calf.
  2. Support your upper body with your arms behind you and place your left foot across your right calf to add a bit of pressure.
  3. Roll side to side with your feet, rolling the calf over the roller in a sideways motion. When you feel a tight spot hold for approximately 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat with the other leg.

 

Peroneals

 

 

The peroneal runs from just below your knee, down the front of your leg, in front of the soleus.

  1. Sit on the floor with a foam roller positioned horizontally under your lower leg, just above the right ankle. Support your upper body on your right elbow.
  2. Keeping your right foot relaxed, turn the foot back and forth. Then slowly roll up and down along the length of the muscle.
  3. When you reach the most tender spot, stay there for 30 seconds, applying maximum pressure.

Adductors

 

 

The adductors are located on the inside of the thigh.

  1. Lie on the floor with a foam roller under your right upper thigh. Your left forearm and right hand will be resting on the floor.
  2. Place your weight on the roller and feel the slight tension that will develop in your adductors.
  3. Gently roll the length of your thigh, from the inside hip to inside the knee, up and down the roller.

 

Erector Spinae

 

  1. Lie face up on the floor with the foam roller alongside your body.
  2. Lift one side of the body to roll the foam roller underneath your spine. Make sure that both your butt and head are on the roller. Your knees should be bent and your feet on the floor.
  3. Keep your legs shoulder width apart and place your arms out on the floor at right angles to your body. The pelvis should be in a neutral position.
  4. Initiating from the shoulders, roll from side to side on the roller. Imagine that you are balancing a glass of water on your pelvis throughout the motion.

 


Foam Roller Buying Tips

 

  • You can pick up a quality foam roller for between $10 and $40. There are three design options
    • High Density
    • PVC
    • Grid or Ridged (for targeted release)
  • Newbies should begin with a soft white foam roller
  • Don’t use a grid roller until you’ve been rolling for atleast a month
  • Spend a little extra to get a high quality roller that will retain its shape over time.

 

 

 

 

 

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