Today, I have a great foam rolling exercise for you.
Since it is wintertime here in Canada, we’ve started wearing heavy clothes and boots. Wearing this heavy stuff puts a lot of stress on the lower body, mainly affecting the hips and knees. This unnecessary stress leads to muscle tightening. These tight muscles pull on the joints, which results in joint pain.
So, I wanted to show you a simple exercise that you can do to help loosen up your lower body.
I wanted to go through this must-do foam roller exercise in this video.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I got Andrea to demonstrate the exercise.
This exercise targets the IT band or iliotibial band. The IT band is a band of fascia, or connective tissue, that runs along the outside of your thigh from the pelvis (hip) to the tibia (shin). The IT band crosses both the hip and knee joints, meaning issues with the IT band can affect the hip and knee. The iliotibial band is important for stabilizing the knee when the knee joint flexes and extends.
IT band syndrome is a common condition and is an overuse injury of the connective tissue. Inflammation and irritation can occur on the IT band, which crosses the knee. This causes knee pain and pain when walking, running, or any movement that moves the knee. The most common sign of IT band syndrome is pain on the outside part of the knee, especially when running when the heel strikes the ground. To prevent IT band syndrome, work on maintaining flexibility and strength in your lower back, hips, knees, and legs. If you have IT band syndrome, follow the RICE method and consult your doctor or physiotherapist. Rest, ice, compression, elevation, and potential anti-inflammatory medications.
Lie on the floor with a foam roller.
Place the foam roller outside your leg just below your hip joint. Roll from just below your hip joint to just above the knee, and then roll back up. To make this exercise more intense, stack your legs on top of each other, placing as much of your body weight as you can on the roller. If this feels too much for you, roll one side while you support your weight with your other leg out in front (as pictured). The great thing about using the foam roller is that you can change the intensity depending on how you feel or how familiar you are with rolling. Always start with a lighter intensity and see how you feel the next day before progressing with the intensity.
This is a great exercise to relieve hip pain. Often, the outer muscle gets tight, and the tension builds up, causing hip pain.
Perform five repetitions, then progress to 10 repetitions up and down in a nice controlled manner. Try this rolling foam exercise on one side, get up and walk around, and then perform some squatting movements before repeating it on the other.
Try out this exercise for a few days and see if it helps.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to overcome your Iliotibial Band Syndrome once and for all, click here to check out the Iliotibial Band Syndrome Solution Program.