8 Yoga Poses for Tight IT Band

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose (1)
Picture Supply: Shutterstock

Iliotibial band or extra generally often called the “IT band” is a gaggle of fibers or connective tissues that runs alongside the outer facet of the leg. It begins from the hip strikes via the facet of the knees and ends on the shins.

The IT band is usually answerable for extension, abduction, and rotating the hips. It additionally protects and stabilizes the knee and the outer thigh.

If you endure an harm on the IT band or it turns into tight, it’s known as IT Band Syndrome or ITBS.

This text tells what yoga poses you are able to do to stretch the tight IT band.

What causes IT Band Syndrome?

IT Band Syndrome or ITBS is usually seen in younger athletes who repetitively use their knees for sports activities like working, biking, climbing, trekking, basketball, soccer, and even weightlifters.

When the IT band is overused or overstimulated attributable to rubbing on the bone, it could possibly trigger tightness and irritation to happen within the leg tissues. This tightness can even come up in case you are sitting for an extended length, strolling up and down the steps usually, or strolling in excessive heels. 

Another elements that may result in ITBS are:

  • Lack of flexibility
  • Weak hip, glute, and belly muscle tissues
  • Weak knee extensor, knee flexors, and hip abductors
  • Arthritis within the knee
  • Flat ft
  • Coaching or train errors resembling not warming up, extreme pressure to the physique, poor posture throughout train or coaching, and so on.

What are the signs of IT Band Syndrome?

If in case you have ITBS your knees and buttocks will probably be tender to the touch. You’ll expertise ache if you attempt to run, bend your knees or carry out any exercise that requires motion of the skin knee.

When you’ll transfer your leg, you’ll really feel a pointy ache up and down your leg, fixed ache close to your knee, and clicking or popping sound on the skin of the knee throughout motion.

You will note the knee space infected with a burning sensation and redness. It might trigger irritation attributable to friction via rubbing on the bone if you transfer your leg.

How do you relieve ache from the IT band?

If in case you have simply began experiencing ache, you possibly can ice the affected space and take precautions to not transfer your leg to scale back irritation and pressure. Keep away from actions that require extreme knee actions.

Return to actions like working and biking slowly. Take time to heat up and put on footwear which are comfy and scale back stress.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine might help reduce the ache.

Carry out some stretches or mild yoga poses that can work on the tightness of the IT band and likewise the world across the hips, thighs, and knee.

Nevertheless, if the ache persists for greater than months or will get extreme, it’s higher to discuss with a health care provider. They are going to carry out a spread of exams, X-rays, and MRI scans to find out the severity and causes of the ache. Typically, they could suggest corticosteroid injections to scale back irritation and ache or surgical procedure in the event that they assume the tissue is broken.

Yoga poses for stretching the IT band

Training yoga will show you how to in stretching the muscle tissues that encompass the IT band. Many yoga poses that target the leg muscle tissues could be modified to extend the stretch in direction of the world the place the IT band lies. By way of modification of those yoga poses, you possibly can pay particular consideration to the glutes, hips, outer thighs, and facet knees. 

With common yoga apply, you possibly can simply forestall harm or tightness within the IT band. It’s going to promote strengthening and suppleness of the encompassing muscle tissues in addition to the joints.

Allow us to take a look at some actually efficient yoga poses, a few of which have variations, to focus on the IT band space.

1. Extensive-Legged Ahead Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

wide-legged forward bend
Picture Supply: Shutterstock

Extensive-leg ahead bend is a really useful pose to launch the IT band tightness. It stimulates the muscle tissues and joints of the hip space and strengthens your leg muscle tissues to help your higher physique. The variation of transferring in direction of one leg and holding it’s going to guarantee that the muscle tissues on the facet of the other leg are successfully stretching. 

  • Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and unfold your legs a minimum of 3 ft aside. Be sure your ft are firmly positioned on the mat. 
  • Out of your hips, begin to bend ahead, whereas retaining a straight backbone and a slight bend of the knees. As you bend, carry your arms down with you until they contact the highest of your ft or utterly to the bottom.
  • In case you are unable to carry your fingers to that extent, you possibly can relaxation them on a yoga block or use a chair. 
  • Let your head dangle in a relaxed method. Keep on this pose for a couple of seconds or until you might have discovered your steadiness.
  • Apply some stress on the outer edges of the ft to stretch the outer facet of the leg.
  • Flip your higher physique in direction of the correct, alongside along with your fingers, and place your fingers on the skin of the leg. You’ll really feel the stretch on the skin of the other leg.

Maintain this place for 10-15 seconds after which flip to the left leg to repeat the identical.

You are able to do this course of 2-3 instances.

2. Ahead Fold with Crossed Leg – Ankle Cross and Knee Cross

On this pose, you may be bending ahead from standing place however your legs will probably be crossed. It’s a deeper variation of the wide-legged ahead fold which is able to give a a lot profound stretch to the facet of the higher leg. The crossing of the legs will guarantee that each the legs get the stretch concurrently.

The method of performing is much like that of the Extensive-legged ahead bend however as an alternative of spreading the legs, you want to cross the correct ankle in entrance of the left. You may as well place your proper knee on high of the left knee to problem your self

Along with your ankles crossed, you want to hinge ahead out of your hips. Contact the bottom along with your fingers or your fingertips. If in case you have points with the again or hips, you possibly can at all times use yoga blocks and maintain a slight bend to the knees.

You may as well alter the space between the crossed legs primarily based on how deep you need the stretch. Should you create a wider hole between the ankles, by inserting the correct knee on high of the left, ensure that to make use of a prop to help your self within the preliminary levels.

3. Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose)
Revolved torso and stretched fingers making revolved triangle i.e. parivrtta trikonasana. Supply: canva

The revolved triangle is a variation to the triangle pose. This pose offers a delicate stretch to the edges of the legs to take away any stiffness that may be inflicting a decent IT band.

On this triangle pose, as an alternative of bringing the identical hand because the ahead leg down, you utilize the other hand. This not solely offers a spinal twist but additionally stretches the outer hips and leg muscle tissues, therefore good for IT band syndrome.

  • Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and unfold your ft 3 ft aside on the facet.
  • Your left foot needs to be turned diagonally and your proper foot needs to be pointing in direction of the shorter finish of the mat. The heels of your ft needs to be aligned.
  • Unfold your arms to the facet with palms going through down. They need to be parallel to the bottom and your shoulders needs to be away out of your ears.
  • Begin bending down in direction of your proper foot out of your hips joint, bringing your left arm down with you. Bend until your fingers contact your ft.
  • You may have an choice to carry your arm utterly the mat, to your ankle, or to your shin. You may as well use a yoga block at its highest facet to relaxation your left hand.
  • Your arms needs to be in a straight line along with your right-hand fingers pointed in direction of the ceiling. Be sure your torso is nearly parallel to the bottom.
  • Flip your head to stare upon your right-hand fingers.

Maintain this pose for 3-5 breaths and repeat the identical with the opposite leg.

4. Facet Plank (Vashistasana)

Vasisthasana (side plank pose)
Picture Supply: Shutterstock

Whereas facet plank is a sophisticated pose, it is likely one of the finest poses for stretching and strengthening the outer facet muscle tissues from hips to ankles. Since each your legs muscle tissues work onerous to remain of their place, the muscle tissues of each the legs are strengthened together with the IT band.

As a phrase of warning, it’s an advanced-level pose that shouldn’t be carried out till you might have attained some stage of core power for balancing.

  • Lie stomach-down in your yoga mat along with your arms bent on the elbows and fingers are beside the shoulders with fingers unfold. Place your ft verticle in order that your toes and balls of the ft are touching the mat.
  • Have interaction your core and press your fingers to elevate up your whole physique to make a straight line. That is the plank pose.
  • After staying within the plank pose for a couple of breaths, flip your physique in direction of the correct by placing some weight on the correct arm.
  • The outer fringe of the correct foot ought to now be touching the bottom and firmly pressed. Your left leg will probably be positioned fully on the correct leg.
  • Stack your proper shoulder immediately above the right-hand wrists. Your left arm could be stretched overhead or relaxation on the left hip.
  • Be sure the burden is being unfold equally on the correct palm.

Maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds after which repeat with the opposite arm.

5. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

low lunge mistake surya namaskar
Picture: Canva

The low lunge is called an ideal stretching and warm-up train for performing tough poses or exercises. This pose will open your hips and strengthen the leg muscle tissues by releasing pains and tightness. It supplies substantial stretch, stability, and suppleness to the joints within the hips, knees, and ankles. You’re feeling an total stretch within the thigh muscle tissues together with the facet hips.

  • Stand in a Tadasana (Mountain Pose) going through the shorter finish of the mat and produce your proper foot ahead. The gap between your legs needs to be 3 ft. You’ll be able to alter the space primarily based in your flexibility and alignment of the middle of gravity.
  • Maintaining each ft firmly on the mat, bend your proper knee such that it makes a 90-degree angle. The thigh needs to be parallel and your decrease leg needs to be perpendicular to the mat.
  • Gently and slowly, decrease your left leg, which is on the again such that your left knee touches the mat. Place a folded blanket beneath your knee to get extra cushion.
  • Carry your arms above your head and be part of your palms collectively. You may as well maintain them in entrance of your chest or on high of your proper knee.
  • To deepen the stretch, bend the correct knee additional until your really feel resistance in your hip muscle tissues. However the knee mustn’t go ahead than the toes.

Maintain this pose for a minimum of 5 breaths.

6. Reclining Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) – “Clamshell” motion with out twisting the higher physique

supine spinal twist (supta-matsyendrasana)
Picture: Canva

The normal reclining spinal twist asks you to show your higher physique the other means within the course of the legs. Nevertheless, this extraordinarily modified model wants you to show your physique in the identical course as your legs.

The purpose of this pose is to stretch and strengthen the facet thigh and hip muscle tissues by transferring the leg up and down. It’s known as the Clamshell train because it resembles a clamshell opening and shutting its shell.

  • In your yoga mat, lie down in your facet with the decrease leg utterly supporting the higher leg. Bend your legs in order that the knees are virtually at a 90-degree angle. 
  • Place one hand under your head to help your head and neck. The opposite hand could be positioned in your hips for help or in entrance of your chest.
  • Along with your belly muscle tissues engaged and ft joined, elevate up your higher leg as excessive as you possibly can.
  • Maintain the lifted leg for 3-5 seconds and slowly carry it all the way down to relaxation on the decrease leg.

Repeat this course of 10 instances and switch the opposite facet for the opposite leg.

Word – In case you are already experiencing ache or tightness in your IT band, be sure that the affected leg is on the highest, as an alternative of supporting the burden of the other leg.

7. Reclining Hand-To-Large Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

supta padangusthasana (reclining big toe Pose)

The reclining hand to large toe pose is well-known for fantastically stretching the hamstrings, hip, and thighs. However do you know that when you stretch your leg to the facet, it’s also possible to really feel the stretch on the facet muscle tissues? And when you embody a strap, the resistance will promote strengthening the muscle tissues as effectively.

  • Lie within the Savasana (Corpse Pose) in your yoga mat. 
  • Bend your proper knee and produce it as near your chest as attainable. Take a yoga strap and loop it across the balls of the foot. 
  • Holding each the ends of the strap along with your fingers, straighten your knee and tilt your leg upwards such that the soles of the ft face the ceiling.
  • Hold your higher physique and left leg straight and maintain the straps along with your left hand. Your proper hand could be splayed out to your proper with palms up.
  • Press the correct hip firmly on the mat and begin tilting the correct leg to the left. Be sure the correct hip stays grounded. 
  • Cease transferring your proper leg sideways if you really feel that your hip has began to elevate from the mat. Bear in mind that each side of your pelvis are carrying equal weight.

Keep on this place for 3-5 breaths. 

To extend the stretch, elevate your proper hip and tilt the correct leg additional. Your left outer hip may even be rolled in direction of the course of the leg. 

As soon as your left leg is nearly on its facet, cease transferring. Now retaining each the legs of their place, pull the correct outer hip in the other way.

Maintain this pose for an additional 3-5 breaths. Slowly come again to the unique place and repeat the identical course of with the left leg.

8. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) – Standing IT band stretch

half moon pose

Anytime you stretch to the facet whereas standing, know that the muscle tissues on the facet of the leg may even be stretching.

Half moon pose is the perfect standing IT band stretch that can promote the strengthening of the hip, thigh, and knee muscle tissues that encompass the IT band. It’s going to additionally improve the flexibleness and mobility of the muscle tissues and scale back tightness.

  • Stand within the Tadasana (Mountain Pose) along with your legs and again straight. Let your arms dangle beside you in a relaxed method.
  • Cross your proper ft over your left and place your ft firmly on the bottom. Attempt to maintain your ft shoulder-width aside.
  • Stretch the left arm overhead and lean in direction of the correct facet. Really feel the stretch to your entire facet of the physique, particularly in your thighs and knees.
  • For extra resistance, maintain the left-hand wrist along with your proper hand and barely pull the arm downwards. Should you want extra stability, apply this stretching pose subsequent to a wall as a way to relaxation the left-hand palm on it.
  • In all of this course of, ensure that your backbone stays straight and your shoulders are away from the ears. Think about somebody pulling your higher physique upwards when you are leaning your hand sideways to maintain your again straight.

Additionally, don’t lock your hip joints. As you lean in direction of the correct, push out your left hip slowly and gently.

Maintain this pose for 5-10 breaths and repeat with the opposite hand. On both sides, repeat the stretch 3-4 instances.


Should you usually apply the above poses and stretches you possibly can keep away from sustaining harm or tightness within the IT band. And in case you are practising them with signs, go mild with performing the poses. It’s essential give time for the signs to scale back and finally diminish.

Don’t overwork the affected space and provides it time and relaxation to heal. Step by step construct up the stamina and suppleness to get again to your routine.

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