Foam Roller IT Band

Foam Roller IT Band

Foam Roller IT Band (Iliotibial Bands) exercises are a simple and easy way to treat common IT Band complications like IT Band Syndrome.

IT Band Syndrome occurs when the IT Band – a collection of tissue on the outside of the thigh – is irritated. ITBS is not an uncommon injury among athletes like yogis, runners, and cyclists. Injuries typically occur from wear and tear on the IT Band due to the repetitive nature of these activities.

Foam roller exercises for IT Bands work to loosen up the tightness in the tissue that makes up the IT Bands.

We recommend, however, that roller exercises on the IT Bands for injury relief be performed with knowledge of your particular physical limitations and after consultation with your doctor.


Why Rolling It Bands Controversial?

The controversy behind rolling your IT Bands stems from the fact that the Iliotibial Bands are not muscle but rather a solid band of thick connective tissue.  Opponents of rolling the IT Bands suggest that while tight IT Bands can cause a host of problems, this connective tissue doesn’t respond well to rolling. They would suggest that you roll the surrounding hip and leg muscles instead.

They site the fact that that this connective tissue plays a major structural role in lateral stability for the hip and knees as well as extension, abduction and rotation. And because IT Band issues primarily result from over use and particularly overly repetitive use, stretching and pressing is the last thing you need for this structural tissue.

Proponents on the other hand will suggest that the IT bands flex naturally during normal use as well as support and can be loosened by rolling. They do recommend that you warm up the surrounding muscles first and avoid causing too much stress to this area.  It is also often said by proponents that you should roll your IT Bands when you have mild tightness rather than a full blown case of IT Band Syndrome.

How to Foam Roller IT Bands

The following foam roller IT Band exercises instructions are simple and easy to perform.

IT Bands assist in maintaining proper control over hip and knee movement.

Self-massage of the IT Bands can feel a bit painful at times, so caution should be taken to adjust the pressure according to your body weight and level of discomfort.

You may also find it easier to divide the process in half and just roll from the Glute area partway down the outside of the thigh.

Repeat the entire process on the lower half of the IT Band.

  1. First, warm-up before rolling your IT Bands
  2. Lie on your sideIT Band Foam Roller Exercises
  3. Put your roller under the outside of your thigh close to your Glutes
  4. Fully extend your bottom leg
  5. Bend your top leg and place your foot flat on the ground
  6. Use the forearm on the side you are rolling on the for support
  7. Slowly roll from your Glute area down toward your shin on the outside of your thigh
  8. Use your foot and hand to guide you
  9. Adjust the pressure accordingly by removing your body weight from the roller
  10. Foam roll the IT band on each leg for 2 or 3 sets, 15-30 times
  11. As always, remember to always breathe

Where Are My Illiotibial (IT) Bands?

The fascia that makes up your IT Band runs from your hip to just below your knee.

The Iliotibial Bands run from the pelvis or hip area to the outer shin bone and connect the Gluteus Maximus and Tensor Fascia Latae to the Tibia and Fibula.

The IT Bands are not tendons or muscle but rather an elastic connective tissue.  One of the main functions of the IT Bands are to stabilize the hips and knees.  The Illiotibial Bands are also elastic in nature and therefore facilitate walking and running.

Foam Roller IT Band Exercises

How Fast Should I Foam Roller IT Bands?

You should perform foam roller IT Band exercises slowly and with caution to properly manage the movement.

Avoid causing discomfort by lingering too long on any one spot.

If it feels good and any tenderness is manageable, feel free to remain a bit longer in areas that need some extra love.

Should IT Band Foam Roller Exercises Hurt?

Muscle roller exercises on the IT Bands can sometimes cause quite a bit of discomfort.

Find the best posture to support your body weight should you feel the pressure is too intense.  For those with a larger body mass, using a larger roller like the Om Roller 6 Inch, will decrease the pressure.

If you require more pressure, try stacking your top leg on top of your bottom leg or using a smaller massage roller.

What Does Rolling My IT Bands Do?

If you have overly tight IT Bands, you may experience lateral knee pain.
You can help alleviate this issue by loosening your IT Bands with regular roller exercises.

More Foam Roller Muscle Exercises

If you’re interested in learning more foam roller exercises for specific muscle groups, check out the list below.



For more information on our small batch, bespoke massage rollers with cozy textile covers, contact us  – we will be happy to tell you more.