IT Band 101 and Brooke’s Happiest Moment.

I now understand why all of you moms out there get up at the crack of dawn to get your workout it… if you do it super early then you get home right before the kiddo(s) wakes up and you still get to experience their happiest time of the day.  Brooke gets so so so so so excited right after she wakes up and we bring her out of the room to go look in the mirror.  

I think we all need to be this happy when we look in the mirror at ourselves:)  

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Today’s workout was tough but awesome.  I started with a little rowing and then hit the pool for this crazy workout.  Those 2:30 of hard pool running made my heart rate sky rocket.  This is from Pete Pfitzinger’s pool running plan but I am sure this would also be a great workout to try on the treadmill too!

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My coach sent over this ab video for me to do daily.  I laughed when I first opened it and saw it was from the 80s (the music is especially awesome) but WOW, this is an awesome and short (8 minutes) ab workout.

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Let”s talk a little bit about that IT Band that runners know way too well.  

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The second most common running injury is Iliotibial Band Syndrome!  

‘The IT Band is a long band of tendinous tissue that originates on the outside of the pelvis and runs along the outer thigh all the way past the knee, attaching to the tibia.  It has been proposed that during running, the IT band passes from behind the femur to the front side of the femur as the hip extends.  As this happens, the lower part of the IT band may rub against the bulbous end of the femur, causing friction.  As the stride is repeated thousands upon thousands of time, the constant friction causes tissue breakdown, inflammation and thickening of the band in this area.  Pain emerges at the knee or ankle and becomes increasingly intense and long lasting as training continues.  Less commonly, pain occurs just below the hip.’  (source)

Treatment:

-Take a break from running (and other activities that cause the pain)

-Sports massage or use the foam roller (‘Lie on your right side, with the foam roller beneath the outside of your upper thigh and your arms supporting your torso.  Use your arms to pull yourself forward so that your thigh slides over the roller from below the hip to just above the knee.  Put as much weight on your IT band as it can tolerate.  Roll back and forth several times and then switch sides.’)

-Think about getting new shoes because there is a chance that inappropriate footwear contributed to this problem.

-Strength training (‘weak hip stabilizers elevate the risk of ITBS’)

Here are a bunch of videos and articles that talk about treatment and show stretches for the IT Band:    

Runner’s World article about different exercises and stretches for the IT band.  

Men’s Health article

Awesome videos all about treatment and stretches:  HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

PS I have really been loving this stretch:

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And for lunch I had raisin bran with extra raisins because 1.  I ran out of time to actually make something.  2.  Cereal is the best food ever.  3.  I was hungry and didn’t want to wait more than 30 seconds to eat.    

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Ever had IT Band problems/pain?  Ever had another common running injury?

How do you get your core work in:  do your own thing, a gym class, a workout dvd?

Favorite stretch?

What are you going to have for dinner tonight? (I need ideas!)

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108 comments

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Working on strengthening the gluteus medius can help alleviate IT pain :)

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That’s what my chiropracter and PT told me. I’ve been doing monster walks w/ a theraband, some bosu ball exercies and vinyasa yoga…..it’s helping!! :-)

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Yes, yes, yes! Piriformis stretch is so important. I have had IT band and glute/piriformis issues and doc gave me stretches along with side steps with flex-band and bosu balance exercises. He also told me that pigeon stretch was too much at first. I started with lying on my back and gently pulling knee to opposite shoulder with knee bent. Oh and I foam roll after EACH run.
Love photo of Brooker as always!

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My PT is working on me right now for that very issue-IT pain caused (mostly) from extremely weak glue meds. I’ve been working on them for over a month and can already tell a difference!

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I have just recently started to feel an ache in my ankle and have a feeling it is due to my shoes. I don’t feel it when I run and I don’t feel every time after a run, but enough that I am noticing. Going to head in for some gait analysis with my current shoe and might be switching them up!

I agree, getting up and getting your workout done before our kiddos are awake is totally ideal!

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Last year I had a lot of IT band issues it even caused me to DNF my first marathon. Since then I’ve worked a lot on strengthening my glutes and roll my IT bands out before and after my runs and it’s gotten a lot better. I also love that stretch and I’m pretty sure I could fall asleep doing it

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My IT band bothers me on really long runs but if I do the right stretches it usually stops! I have AB ripper from P 90X and that’s a great Ab DVD (I rarely do it though!)
We’re having chicken quesadillas for dinner!

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Agree wholeheartedly about looking at ourselves in a mirror! We SHOULD be that happy :-) I like to do my own thing in regards to core workouts. That or take a core class at the gym! Random… How do you get videos to show up in your post? Mine come up as pictures.

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Great post. I currently do Crossfit and am training for my first half marathon. I did a Crossfit competition last year and had troubles after it with my piriformis muscle. After seeing a chiro, I have been doing stretches and have felt much better. The one you reference has become a part of my daily stretching before and after Crossfit and running. Hopefully if I continue to stretch, I won’t run into the same problems again. As far as the half marathon training, I am nervous that I will run in to IT band issues. Thanks for the stretches and suggestions if something were to happen. I will continue to try to be proactive in hopes to keep injuries nonexistent or minimal.

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My favorite stretch is downward dog! My IT band has been bothering me lately and I’ve been trying to foam roll it after every run…hurts like crazy but I think it’s helping!

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I always have a little IT Band niggle…I broke my leg skiing a few years ago and it’s never going to be right again, really. But nothing serious and I’m grateful for that. I had shin splints recently but they seem to have gone away when I changed shoes…I’ve been lucky.

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I love 8 minute abs!! Hahah it’s a favorite of mine and has been since high school! It may be old school but it gets the job done!

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I love that pic of Brooke looking so happy!! What a sweet baby.

I’ve never had IT band problems… (knock on wood)

Dinner tonight is sushi. Mmm. Just can’t wait for some salmon sashimi.

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I do core workouts with Susanna. There’s something about a cute, happy baby that makes them a bit better, more fun, etc. She also thoroughly enjoys yoga with her mom.

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I cannot handle the sweetness and cuteness of Brooke’s morning routine!!!
What a sweetie!

I’ve had not it band issue to date (knock on wood) but thank for those links, prevention is the best treatment right?!

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I have constant piriformis issues- which sucks because it just looks awkward to run and massage your butt. I’ve simply accepted it’s not going anywhere and so I foam roll like crazy and roll around on a tennis ball to help it not get worse. I also avoid running more than 2 days in a row and running hills two days in a row.

I definitely choose meals based on how fast I can eat it, as well as clean up time. If I’m lazy breakfast = a toasted waffle + banana + hard boiled egg. If I’m up for some work= scrambled eggs and a smoothie.

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I recognize that picture of the piriformis stretch :) I’m so glad you’re loving it as much as I do!!! I agree that we all need to look at ourselves in the mirror like Brooke does. The world would be a much happier place, wouldn’t it!?

Dinner tonight? Probably fish taco salads!! With a little guac, black beans, salsa, and roasted veggies… mmm :) Keep on rockin’ those pool workouts, you’ll be back (and stronger than ever!) in no time!

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Also… what’s the first most common running injury?

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I haven’t had any problems with my IT band (yet!) but I have always had to be careful of shin splints and knew problems.

This is also one of my favorite stretches!

I’m making spinach salad with breaded chicken, cranberries and almonds in it. Can’t wait!!

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My roommate in uni had a IT band issue- so hard to shake!!!!

Ab work, ha! That rarely happens!

I had chicken korma (from a jar of sauce but still yummmm)

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Janae: I’ve had an angry IT band for about 3 months now. My chiropractor and PT told me to strengthen my glutes, so I’ve been doing monster walks with a theraband, some bosu ball exercises and vinyasa yoga. I also had my gait/shoes analyzed and was put in a stability shoe with a lift. It seems to be helping!! I really found the “Anatomy for Runners” book from Amazon and http://injuredrunner.com/ to be good resources too. Good luck :-)

http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Runners-Unlocking-Potential-Prevention/dp/1620871599

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I totally just went and did that abs video. “Let’s go, Gang”–he’s so encouraging.

I had problems with my IT Band after always running on the same side of a crowned road…rest and being careful to not always run on the same side, has helped tremendously.

I love the stretch you showed and any stretch with my hips.

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I don’t usually cook anyway, and certainly not now.

My dad delivered Culvers to us for dinner. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I am grateful.

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I had IT band issues, and physical therapy was a godsend. Either the sports medicine doctor or the PT told me that running down hill makes it worse. The PT was totally worthwhile to learn how to deal with the problem. This was over a year ago, and I have not had any problems since.

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Usually for core work, I hit the gym! I like to get a class in if I can fit it in, otherwise, I just do it on my own =) It’s hard for me to do it at home because the Bebe’s like to distract me haha! As for our dinner, we are having a quick salad with grilled chicken! Lover is doing some yard work this eve (all out snow melted from yesterday! holla!) and I’ll be tending to the monotony of household chores ;) All while keeping the babes at bay! Work all day and it doesn’t stop when ya get home! We get it done during the week so we can play on the weekends!!!

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Oh I LOVE that stretch too! It feels so good, especially throughout my pregnancy as my hips are extra tight these days.
I’ve done that ab video! I used to do it with my college roommates all the time. It’s super funny, but it sure is intense and gets your abs BURNIN!

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Dinner is possibly fried tofu with this box of quinoa (flavored with rosemary and some other seasonings). This will be my first time eating quinoa!

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I’ve had IT band problems. Now I spend more time stretching & using the roller to try to avoid it coming up again.

I’m having chicken stuffed with tomato, basil & mozzarella for dinner tonight! It’s going to be delicious…especially since my husband said he’ll cook it!

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I need to stretch more. That’s why I do yoga- it forces me to get my stretch on without realizing it. Dinner tonight is frozen tortellini. I know- call me chef Boyardee

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The piriformis stretch is by far my favorite. I like the pain of the foam roller as well :)

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My IT Band has basically bothered me since I started running – I’ve learned how to manage it but I definitely need to work on my hip stabilizers. I get Active Release Therapy from my chiropractor and it makes all the difference for me. Foam Rolling and also a stretch my chiro gave me – if your right IT Band hurts you turn your right foot inwards as much as you can. Then you pop your right hip out and take your right arm over your head leaning to the left until you can feel the stretch all along your IT Band. Works amazing!

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I’ve had IT Band issues in the past and they creep back in sometimes if I get lazy with foam rolling and the side leg lifts.

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I’m actually going to put together a whole IT Band recovery post soon, I had a reader email me about stretches and strength training moves that I used and after writing a suuuper long email I figured I should turn it into a post! And I met up with a blogger today (AT YOGURTLAND) and we talked about 1) how we learned about yogurtland from your blog and 2) our love for Brooke. She’s a celeb.

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i had IT band problems after my first marathon! foam rolling, taking some time off of running, and switching my shoes made HUGE differences for me. i am now diligent about stretching and strength-training and (knock on wood) have not had any IT band pain again.

favorite stretch is definitely pigeon pose :) i just had an omelette and veggies for dinner!

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“I think we all need to be this happy when we look in the mirror at ourselves” <— Eeeee! I absolutely LOVE this, and couldn't agree more :D Apart from a lot of tight muscles, I've never experienced any serious injury from running, but I've also made sure to always stretch like crazy.

I have a feeling that dinner tonight is going to be Amy's frozen pizza. Work is probably going to run a little late and I'd rather not chew my arm off while I wait for a complicated dinner to cook.

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LOVE the smile/laugh in front of the mirror! Heck yes we should all look like that in the morn :)

IT bands are so important to take care of!! It’s super helpful to strengthen the glutes (esp gluteus medius) to help with the IT band too.

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I am having Chipotle for dinner! I suggest you do the same!

My husband has been having IT band issues, the foam roller is his best friend and I finally convinced him to come to my yoga and Pilates classes that I teach to strengthen up that core! Seems to working so far.

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Right now all Ab/core work is done via DVD, specifically Ab Ripper X from the P90X workout program. ITBS is the only running injury I have had. For me it was all in the shoes. Once I got out of control shoes and into a neutral show my problems went away and haven’t returned. Phew.

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I’m currently going through IT band issues…. unfortunately it is stretching down my entire left side and is concentrating in my calf. It’s such a pain… I feel ya!

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I’m on day 44 of not running due to ITB injury. PT has helped so much. I love my therapist. Just like everyone is saying: glut med strengthening, stretching (I LOVE that stretch you featured), and foam rolling have been ongoing. Finally in the last several days I’ve noticed some improvement. I’ve been doing a variety of things for core strengthening during my recovery. Brooke is so adorable-what a great picture! How awesome to wake up that happy every morning-it says a lot about her parents too!

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I’m so glad you did this post on IT bands…mine has been driving me nuts the last couple months. The foam roller is seriously my bff these days. Ps Brooke is the cutest and happiest baby ever. Love her!

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Haven’t had it band problems (but I am afraid to say that because then I will get one!) buut have had runners knee problems! Funny thing is the best you tube video I used for my runners knee was from the 80’s too! At first I was like, there is no way this is gonna work…..but it totally did! I am a bum about anything except running but I have been doing some push-ups and planks and have been doing Jillian Michaels ab video for about a week …actually I have done it 3 times but that was in about a week :).
Dinner is these awesome oven baked tacos: super easy! http://mommyimhungry.blogspot.com/2012/11/oven-tacos.
I think I noticed Brooks Ravennas? Do you like them?!? I have only ever seen you in pure flows!

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Hi there! I am soaking up all the 411 on IT Band recovery – b/c I too am suffering! I was doing so well with my Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon training, and out of nowhere…..BOOM! Pain on the outside of my left knee. February 7th to be exact. I went to a very well known Dr. in town, who has been a runner his whole life. He said I could run, just take it easy. Well, that didn’t work out so well. Ever since, I have been taking it easy, stretching, icing, blah blah blah. I NEED TO RUN AGAIN! More than 2 miles, PLEASE!!! The endorphin load that I get helps me to deal with the stress of raising my teenager! Okay, sorry for whining. I have been foam rolling lately, and I think it is helping. But interestingly enough, I ran across an article online, and it said that it has been proven that slower running w/ IT issues can make it aggravated even more! So, yesterday, I tried fast intervals w/ walking in between. Guess what! No pain! So, we will see tomorrow.
For abs and to stay fit (no pool access until warm – I joined a country club, so I don’t want to join a gym for just the pool) – I go to Boot Camp 3 days a week. That will keep a person fit!
Love Brookie – everyday! And I am having Pork Chops w/ Asparagus for dinner!

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Having a tight IT band was what caused my stress fracture actually. I wish I had rested but I was new to running and “invincible”…LOL.

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Bahaha, my high school gym teacher 7 years ago had us do that – I found the DVD’s of it and have the 8 minute arms, abs, butt, and legs series now. I always laugh when I first put the DVD in because it is so 80’s!

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I THINK WE SHOULD ALL BE THAT HAPPY WHEN WE WAKE UP IN THE MORNING! <3

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My IT band started bothering me pretty badly after my first half marathon but with a little rest it went away. It still gets tight here and there but I foam roll it to prevent it from turning into an injury. The only real injury I had that prevented me from training was a quad strain I got while training for my first marathon

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Yep, definitely struggled with IT band pain! I had it in my knee about a year ago and it sucked. All you can really do is rest and wait which I am terrible at doing!

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favorite stretches: hamstring (Sandrine), shoulder (Rhonda)

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I do my own thing for abs. My fav thing is to pick 5 moves and do them each for :45 with no rest. It’s fast and over before its too miserable but I def feel the burn. My shins and IT band are my trouble spots. I always take a few rest days to do lots of stretching when they act up.

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I’m making your favorite, lasagna!! I really hope all these stretches work, I’m sorry your still not feeling 100%

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Just opened the tab to see the video….oh my gosh, I’m TOTALLY doing this tonight :)

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I had IT band issues while training for Boston in 2009. I took 6 weeks off in the middle of training (SO hard to do!!) and fought through it b/c, well, it was BOSTON!

I switched the day after the marathon to Vibram Five Fingers (Bikila’s – specifically for running) and have never looked back. I’ve not had ONE injury since the switch (IT band & shin splits were my most common injuries prior).

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Waaaaaa!!!! That ab video is hard! I could not keep going the whole time!

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I do that 8 minute ab video! A coworker introduced me to it this summer, and I use it whenever I want a great ab workout. I’ve been dealing with IT band issues as well…it sucks. My foam roller and ice have been my BFF and lunges are amazing. They feel SO good and I can especially feel it on my right side when I do them, which is where my IT band really bugs me. I love standing pigeon as a stretch. Tonight for dinner, I’m attempting a new spin on “Taco Tuesdays” and creating a taco stuffed mushroom… if it works out, my recipe will be on my blog tomorrow!

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I love that you and Brooke are twinners (almost)!

I have dealt with runner’s knee and shin splints. I’m hoping that has filled my injury quota for…the rest of my life.

I go to 2-3 Zumba classes a week…I like to pretend that works my core :P Occasionally I do a couple videos from Tara Stiles’ Youtube channel. She has a bunch of yoga core workouts on there!

My favorite stretch is anything that loosens up my hip flexors!!

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I have always had IT band issues on and off, but it’s my own dang fault because I don’t do my strength/stretch routine as often as I should. My hip was bothering me right before my most recent marathon and I thought it was bursitis, went to the PT – nope! Good ol’ IT band again. So this is a very well-timed post and I am bookmarking all of those videos right now!

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Brook is soooooo adorable!!

I had IT band problems while training for my half ironman and saw a PT for it. They had me do a range of stretches and exercises geared toward strengthening the muscles on the inside of the leg. After seeing the PT for a couple months my problems went away completely!! I was skeptical the PT would be able to help me before I went, but boy was I glad I went. I definitely recommend going to the PT!

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UGHHHH I just recovered from a piriformis tear a month ago. AWFUL!! I hope that you recover ASAP! I need dinner ideas, too! My husband is out of town and I never eat dinner when he’s gone….I hate eating solo…

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I recently tried out dry needling and while I did not have my ITB treated, there were a lot of very happy testimonials from ITB sufferers who swore by the technique. It’s worth a try!

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I struggled with IT band pain for awhile and man did it hurt! I feel your pain- get better soon.

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I loooooove stretching my piriformis! It always feels amazing haha! :)

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ITBS is the worst! I use a resistance band for strengthening and foam-roll like it’s my job! I’ll definitely try that stretch you posted!

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I just have to say…I’ve been doing that video for years, and I absolutely love it! Isn’t it ridiculously dorky?!? So effective though!!!

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IT bands are a pain in the butt! Go advice with the stretches!

Sarah
http://www.thinfluenced.com

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Ever had IT Band problems/pain? Ever had another common running injury?
Yes. The IT problems usually arise when I push myself to a distance I’ve never done before.

How do you get your core work in: do your own thing, a gym class, a workout dvd?
There’s a 7 minute workout that I do after my runs every few days.

Favorite stretch?
Any stretch that gets deep into my hips.

What are you going to have for dinner tonight? (I need ideas!)
Spaghetti! Simple, delicious, filling!

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Starting around the first of the year, I developed a really stubborn case which I just could not get rid of, until I finally switched from a traditional stability shoe to Brooks Pure Flows. I also cut spinning as a form of cross training down from about 3-4 times a week to just once a week, and I really think that has helped, too. Oh yeah, and lots of work on my gluteal medius along with plenty of foam rolling! Good luck – I know how frustrating those darn IT bands can be!

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Thanks for the advice on the IT Band. I’ve been going through pain and will try some of these new stretches you listed.

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I used to do 8 minutes abs all the time! It is so so fun. I will play it on my phone with youtube at the gym and just do it by listening. Give it a go!

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I am trying to decide if what I have going on is IT band. I have pain on the side of my knee, the inside part of my leg. But I also have tightness on the back of my knee at times. I am actually really frustrated because I have been up and down with my knee throughout my training and I just started back to serious training after a 2 year break! I never had injuries prior to this!! I have been taking breaks, etc. but I have sort of had it. I did not do a long training this past Sunday and so I was going to try Thursday but my knee still feels slightly off, not painful,etc. I am tempted to just try it and see what happens. I am wondering if my knee is just meant to feel like this! I guess if I notice pain I can always stop. My half marathon is May 12 and I am not going to call it off until a few weeks prior to it. I have already made it to 8 miles.

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No IT band syndrome problems – but my boyfriend does and it makes me so glad I don’t have it!

I have chrondomalacia patella, I had severe (grade III and IV) fissures and tried PT, hyalgen (basically gu they lube your knee up with) and finally had to get my knee scoped. With proper strength training (hips and quads) and making sure to ice it when it starts to flare up, I can usually keep it under control for now.

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Thank you so much for this post!! My IT band has been acting up and this was extremely helpful. My favorite part was the beginning where you talked about what the IT band actually is and what causes the pain.
For my ab workout I do Pop Pilates or JM’s Six week six pack (free in youtube)
Fave(but oh so painful) stretch: pigeon pose

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Brooke is the cutest IT Band informational sponsor ever ;)

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I actually just had IT band release surgery in January after PT, cortisone and rest did nothing for my pain :(. It got to where walking was a struggle, let alone running. I wouldn’t recommend surgery, but it was more of a last resort kind of thing. Just started my running program this week, so I’m crossing my fingers!

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How are you doing after surgery? How long did you have to wait to run? I’m facing the same surgery possibly. Would you do it again? Sorry for all the questions! I don’t know anyone who has had the surgery

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Gosh, there’s a whole IT-band sufferers group therapy/support going on over here!! Everyone is different, but once it’s really aggravated, I think time off is really the only reasonable choice. I found very little strengthening or stretching that helped, but mashing a tennis ball into my upper hip area was pretty nice, and the foam roller saved my life! Compression capris or pants helped me a lot, too, when I was ready to start running again.

My core work is snuck into yoga and Body Pump, plus the stabilization I do while spinning and running. At least, that’s what I tell myself! :)

Dinner tonight (too late to help you for Tuesday, but there’s always Wednesday!): Chili-Garlic-Basil Chicken over noodles.

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I have had two severe stress fractures and a torn calf muscle…and a groin pull. Injuries are really tough to take, especially when you get sidelined for months. Pool running seems like a really great way to stay sane while having to take a break from running.

I’ve been doing Insanity and it is a great ab workout…I also want to try Hip Hop Abs because it looks like a lot of fun.

I had a crab cake and fried shrimp for dinner…and moose tracks ice cream :)

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I love that stretch… the pigeon stretch, right?
It feels so good. :)
I agree that we should all be that happy to see ourselves in the morning! Rock on, Brooke, for teaching all of us a lesson!

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During mile 17 of the JFK 50-Miler, my IT Band started hurting… I am very stubborn and I didn’t want to drop out, so I ran through it and finished the race. By the end of the race I couldn’t transition from running to walking without great pain, but it actually recovered pretty well (lots of stretching) and I was able to run about a month later. I was able to train for Boston that spring without any problems, and unbelievably, I’ve had zero IT Band problems all these years (and about 42 marathons) later. Good luck with healing yours!

I do my core workouts at home on my BOSU, Swiss balls, etc. My favorite stretch is the pigeon.

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Love the 8 minute Abs! The music alone is fantastic!

Ugh! The dreaded IT band! I have been struggling with an issue on my right side for the past 5 weeks, right in the middle of training for my first marathon. I’m totally sidelined and it’s been so frustrating! All of my friends are sick of hearing my training woes and IT band research. Thank you SO much for posting about this issue, it helps me feel like 1. there is hope for more long runs in my future and 2. that there are people I can relate to. There might be some pool running in my future!

Here’s my favorite short yoga video for stretching my IT band. It has this lunge stretch that works better than anything I’ve tried.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IlzyuRQwsc

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Ugh yes, I’ve had ITband issues for years off and on. When I’m not diligent with the foam roller and crosstraining (yoga and strengthening/weights) it flares up on my long runs :(. Seriously the frustrating debilitating pain is sometimes the only thing that motivates me to do squats lol.

I’ve been rockin bob harpers 15min abs. I find he hits every core muscle. I love core work :).

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I have perpetual plantar fasciitis in my feet. They switch off and take turns hurting, so I roll them out with golf balls.

I dread the day I have IT issues. I’m glad you’re taking a little sabbatical from running. Hope you bounce back quickly!

PS – you and Brooke are twins in the first picture. She’s rocking that zebra print!

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I had a problem after my first half marathon for a few weeks. I thought it was my knee but realize maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was an IT injury. I am really careful with my hips now and stretch them religiously especially before really long runs-and after. I hope you are better soon.
PS You should run Bay to Breakers because it’s fun to run through San Francisco with a lot of people.

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Haha! I used to do that 8 minute abs video everyday! I love it!

Thanks for all of the links for IT band stretches. I’ve also had trouble in the past. I really like the piriformis stretch. Although I didn’t know it was called that until now!

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Okay, Brooke is the cutest :) Also, that 80s abs video is amazing.

xo

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Mr. IT Band lets me know quite frequently that he’s around! I get lazy doing my five different hip/glute strengthening exercise daily and inevitably I have a flare-up. The piriformis stretch is one of my favorites!!!
I’m cracking up at the :08 minute ab video. I OWN this!!! Thanks you’ve inspired me to make this a priority when returning home from my morning run.

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Find someone in your area that specializes in ART. After a few sessions you will be pain free… I promise!!

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I LOVE that pigeon pose stretch! I started doing it after I had IT Band problems before my first half.

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Thank you so much for posting the pool running workouts! I was just diagnosed yesterday with a stress fracture… good bye spring racing plans! After the initial tears and why me?????????’s, I’m trying to accept that injuries happen and are just part of being a competitive runner. And it’ll actually be nice to change things up for a while…. right?! :)

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Your daughter really is the cutest darn thing!!
Thank you for the stretches! I havent battled ITB issues (knock on wood!!!) yet but the Piriformis stretch is awesome!! I do battle Piriformis Syndrome and its a bugger, yuck.

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I love your tips for IT. I use to have major problems with my IT, after I was fit for shoes and realized that I needed a neutral shoe, instead of a mild stability, my IT started to feel loads better! I also started to weight train, squats and lunges changed my world! I do my own thing with abs, mostly crunches, planks, and pull over weights. When I do weight training however I also engage my abs and count those as ab training!

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Currently in physical therapy for trochanteric bursitis (caused by the IT band) and tendonosis of gluteus medius as well as neuromuscular inhibition in multiple muscle groups (including pirifiormis). It all stems from having a VERY weak core. So I have been doing my PT exercises twice a day. Exercises that target the glute med and abs and hamstring and just everything I never really paid attention to because I spent my workout time running. I’m going to be religious about my core strength from here on out. I read on a runners world forum that the core is “nips to knees” so it’s important that the hips are included in the strengthening.

Reading through this post and comments was reassuring to me because I’ve been feeling discouraged and hearing that so many other people have similar issues lets me know I’m not alone. We are all in this together. Running is difficult and we need to take the time to treat our bodies right!

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i have this video on VHS..now how funny is that!!!!!! and yes it is an awesome video. I used to use it everyday when I was in high school!!! Which wasn’t that long ago 1997!!! :0)

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Whew girl, I am so sorry you are having IT band problems! I had them last year for about 6 months. It started in my right leg, and then went to my left leg right after and it is the most frustrating injury in the world. It happened right after I started getting into running too and it was just very hard to deal with.

I am currently training for a half marathon and trying everything in the world so that I don’t get it again! I stretch, strength train, rest, cross train, foam roll, use the stick, you name it so hopefully it will never come back!

I really really hope you get better soon because I know it’s tough to go through and see other people running is the worst torture in the world! Keep up that pool running, I bet it’s a killer workout!

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Hi! I e-mailed you a while back about my IT Band and you gave me great advice. It ended up STILL hurting, so I finally headed to a sports med doc. Turns out, it was a grade 3 quad tear/strain which often masquerades as IT band issues. Treatment is a bit different, so it may not hurt to get checked out if it keeps bothering you. I was back running in a few weeks and just finished my first 1/2 (and first race post baby!) in 2:12 with minimal training (and a bit of pain- should have probably skipped this one). So excited to be healthy and working a training plan I can finish- running my second half in October. HOOKED!!!

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omg I totally used to do that ab video in high school all the time!! used to laugh at how he constantly said “gang.” too funny thanks for remindning me about it im definitely going to start doing it again

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Haha the 80’s video is awesome!

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Seriously, if you can do it… go to a manual physical therapist. My husband is a PT with background in manual therapy. I had bad IT issues last year when I was training for Boston (due to shoes!) and my husband worked it out and really helped to make it heal faster. Warning, it’s super painful (I nearly cried and had bruises down my leg) but soo worth it. Of course, he showed me some awesome stretches to do too! Once I got better shoes (more cushiony for me), the IT issue went away.

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Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers — make them tonight :)

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To work your piriformis out, you should get a lacrosse ball…..while sitting up (on the floor), feet in front of you, lean to the left side, put the lacrosse ball on your right “cheek” like you’re putting it in your pocket. Then hold the ball there and return right cheek to the floor, pull your foot in/bend your knee, and “clam shell” the bent leg only in and out. Then pick up your body, lean to the side the ball is on and work out the knots in the piriformis. My goodness gracious this has changed my life! Hips are so much better and squats much deeper, please email me if you have questions….this is amazing!

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Hello from Maryland! love your blog!

LOL @ the 8 minute ab workout video- we used to do this in college! It is a good workout. It’s hilarious. My favorite is the guy in the back- he is such a slacker! get him out of there!!!

I was having big time IT band and knee issues last year marathon training. Never had it before. I was in PT for months and spent way too much money on insurance co-pays. Then my local running store but me in Newton Gravity (i’m neutral foot) and never any issues since. Something about around mile 8 or 9, i would start heel striking….whatever it was, I’m glad its gone! I ran the philly marathon after 5 weeks after putting on the Newtons, pain-free!

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Oh my goodness! I just did that 8 minute Abs video last night! We have it on VHS!! It is a great workout! I love how he says “gang” like every 2 seconds haha

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Have definitely had ITB troubles, and I always have to keep up my strength exercises and stretches so it doesn’t come back. I am often lazy with these but then regret it when I start to feel a niggle and have to have a break from running… Doh!

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Oh yes, I get to do that stretch when I go to Yoga, it’s a good one.

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I’m another queen ITB sufferer. I’ve done PT, chiropractor, ART, ice, foam rolling, steroid injections, glut strengthening, etc. Not sure why I didn’t give up, but I wanted to run. What saved me was a gait analysis. I was overstriding and taking too few steps per minute. Hubby got me the garmin 610 with the foot pod, and my world changed. I had an alert that told me when I was off on my cadence. I started off with 150 steps per minute. Now I average 174-176, with 180 being ideal. When this is good, I have no ITB pain. But I still need to do a better job with yoga, strengthening, and foam rolling, but I’m running. Just finished my first half marathon thanks to perseverance and my garmin.

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I had IT Band problems when I trained for a half marathon, but once I learned how to stretch it properly I was fine. My favorite stretch would probably be anything for my hips. They’re usually pretty tight from running.

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You may or may not want to try this, but these 2 stretches virtually eliminated the ITB pain for all 4 members of my running family, when we held the stretch for 3 minutes before and after running. My oldest daughter could not run 6 miles without sharp pain before. She has since completed 2 good marathons and is training for a 3rd with no issues since starting these stretches.
In the first link, we do self stretch #2.
http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/itb_stretch

In the second link, we use the top or first picture. You can roll left or right slightly to isolate the stretch area. It gets from the periformis to down the ITB.
http://lrgoodman.hubpages.com/hub/The-Piriformis-Stretch

The key for us was to hold the stretches 3 minutes. At first this was not easy, but now there is nothing to it since we are not as tight. A physical therapist later told us that the time of a stretch is a major key.

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