SPRINGFIELD, Mo KY3's Paul Adler visits with Cady O'Quinn of Sumits Hot Yoga on the Yoga stretches that can relieve pain from a tight IT band.
Here's what Cady told us:
The iliotibial (IT) band is a large piece of fascia which starts at the top of the hip, runs along the outside of the thigh and ends at the tibia. Because the IT crosses both the hip and the knee, a tight or overused IT band can cause pain in different parts of the body. Runners are especially susceptible to IT band pain, as they are prone to overuse, due to the repetitive nature of running.
Stretching, foam rolling, and massage are all great ways to keep the IT band healthy, and your legs happy.
Hold each stretch/pose for a minimum of five breaths. (Inhale for a count of three, exhale for a count of four for each breath). The goal is intense sensation and feeling awkward is great. Pain is an indication that something isn't right and to keep yourself safe, adjust the pose. Transition in and out of the poses slowly, really listening to your body.
- Begin standing. Cross the right ankle over the left ankle, and fold forward from the hips. It is okay if the knees are bent. Feel free to use yoga blocks or another prop under your hands if the floor is too far away. Nudge the right hip back to isolate the outer hip and intensify the stretch.
- Step the right foot forward into a low lunge, hands on the floor. Drop the left knee to the floor and rock back into a half-split, flexing the right foot and bring the left hip to stack on top of the left knee. If you feel any pressure in the right knee, bend it. Press the right hip back. Lengthen your back as you breath in and keep the spine long as you fold forward over the right leg. Having blocks or a prop under your hands can make this pose far more accessible for those with tight hamstring muscles.
- From a half split, shift forward back into a low lunge with the left knee down, hands on either side of your right foot. Walk your right foot over to the left hand. Press the ball mount of your right big toe into the mat/floor. Keeping the right foot anchored, slowly rock back until you feel intensity, but, not to the point of pain. Press the right hip back and lengthen your spine. If it feels good, walk both hands to the outside of your right leg.
- Drop the right knee to the floor somewhere outside the right wrist. The right foot will rest under the body, somewhere near the top of your left hip. The left leg reaches behind you, quadricep on the mat and top of the left foot touching the floor. This is a big outer hip stretch known as pigeon pose. Shift and nudge around in this pose until you feel good. Everybody is different, so feel free to explore the use of a block or rolled up towel under the right hip for support. Sit up tall in your pigeon, then lean forward, hinging from the hips. When you feel intense sensation, stop folding forward. You may stay propped up on your hands. It might feel good to come down to your forearms. Maybe, you are able to reach the arms out in front of you, and rest your head on the mat. When your body says, "enough", you are right where you need to be. Let the head hang, and breathe.
- Repeat the sequence on the left side!