The Iliotibial band (IT band or ITB) is a thick band of connective tissue that runs longitudinally along the outside of your leg. It begins at the hip and continues to the knee & shinbone. The IT band provides stability and movement in the knee and helps to strengthen and protect the lateral aspect of the thigh.

The IT band is involved with hip rotation, hip extension and sideways movements. It can become tight dur to overuse, repetitive movements and muscle weakness resulting in tightness in the hips, thighs and knees.

Foam Roller Rules

  • Move foam roller slowly over the desired muscle

  • When you find a tender spot, work the area a bit longer

  • Try to move with your breath, the rhythm is relaxing

  • Don’t foam roll-over injuries or broken skin

  • If the pain is severe stop; foam rolling can hurt a little but should not hurt a lot

How to Foam Roll IT Band

  1. Lay on your side placing the foam roller on the outside part of your hip.

  2. Place the non-rolling leg in front of you with your foot flat to the floor.

  3. Use this leg to create motion while rolling the other leg up and down the foam roller targeting the outside part of your thigh/ITB.

  4. Apply pressure on the foam roller and slowly roll back and forth until you find a trigger point.


  1. Place the non-rolling leg on top of the rolling leg for more pressure.

  2. Use your arms for balance and momentum to create the rolling movement

When do I know that my IT Band needs foam rolling?

If pain is felt in the hips or knees tackling the IT Band when foam rolling the quadriceps (see previous blog) can really help reduce the symptoms felt in one or both areas.

Hope you enjoy this addition to the foam rolling topic that we have covered so dar!

Take care,


BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST

MSc Strength and Conditioning





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