6 Easy Ways to Loosen a Tight IT Band With a Foam Roller 

 March 1, 2021

By  Pham

Here's the deal: Time Magazine reported that foam rolling is a way more effective hip pain treatment than stretching. Not only that, but it's also a fantastic way to improve your body's elasticity as well.

Sound too good to be true? Thankfully, we have the science to back us up. 

Wondering how to relax your muscles after a long workout? Here are six easy ways to loosen a tight IT band with a foam roller.

1. Foam Roll Your Quads

You might be wondering: what's an IT band? Basically, an IT band is a leg muscle that's commonly overused by runners. Amazingly, it runs all the way from your thigh to your shin.

Why does this matter? Because a tight IT band can lead to some more serious issues like:

  • major knee pain
  • severe hip pain
  • swelling in the leg

That's why it's so important to rest your quads after a tough workout. How so? By trying out a new foam rolling activity.

When it comes to IT band exercises, foam rolling your quads is definitely one of the most popular ones.

Just place a foam roller near your knee and make your way to your thigh as slowly as you can. Bend your knee for an extra stretch. 

2. Foam Roll Your Hamstrings

Have you ever foam rolled your hamstrings? If so, then you'll know it's the best way to get relief from everyday pain that builds up from things such as:

  • Running
  • Biking
  • Climbing stairs

The goal? To stretch IT band muscles until they release the tension they've built up throughout the day.

Here's how: slowly move the foam roller over your hamstring near your knee. Now, continue to roll back and forth across your hips. Make sure to focus on your entire hamstring muscle too. 

3. Foam Roll Your Glutes

Imagine how tight our glutes get from sitting in an office chair all day. Searching for a way to treat chronic glute pain? Then, you've come to the right place. 

We can't emphasize this enough: an IT band foam roller is the #1 way to stretch your glutes. Still curious? We'll show you how (it's simpler than you'd think).

First of all, have a seat and place your right hip onto your foam roller. Try to criss-cross your right ankle over your left leg. Once you've done this, move the foam roller across your glutes.

Pro tip? Take your time rolling over the areas that hurt. It might be painful, but it's worth it! 

4. Foam Roll Your Hips

Do you like to stay in shape? In order to stay inside the gym and outside of a hospital bed, you need to take the time to foam roll your hips. 

If you're someone who constantly has IT band hip pain, then you should do this exercise: Place a yoga mat underneath you and begin moving the foam roller back and forth across your right hip.

Feel like your hip muscle is literally screaming at you? That's how you'll know that it's working. Don't forget to place your hands and forearm on the floor to keep you stable during this exercise. 

You can also move your left leg to cross your right. Just remember to keep your left foot as flat as you can against the floor. That way, you'll have the perfect form for this stretch. 

5. Foam Roll Your Calves

Have you ever felt your calves tighten after a long run? That's exactly what it feels like when your stiff IT band affects your calf muscle. That's why you should stretch out your calves with a nice, firm foam roller as soon as you can.

Not sure how to get started? We're here for you. You can begin by sitting flat on the floor. Once you've done that, you can stretch your legs out in front of you. Remember to keep your hands on the ground behind your back for support.

Ready for the fun part? Put your foam roller directly beneath your calf muscle. When you're ready, you can start moving back and forth with the foam roller. Make sure that you roll across your knees and ankles too.  

6. Foam Roll Your Feet

Ever wondered what it's like to go on a jog around the block without your feet killing you when you're done? The answer is simple: foam roll your feet. That way, your feet and your IT band can relax as well. 

Don't know where to begin? Take off your shoes first. Once you're in your socks (or barefoot), place the foam roller directly beneath your foot's arch. Slowly lean your weight onto the foam roller. 

The rest is easy: Just gently rock your foam roller across your foot until you start to feel some pain relief. But there's a catch: you have to be careful with this exercise!

Want to turn it up a notch? Grab onto a wall and put your full weight onto your foam roller. Then, move back and forth across both of your feet. 

Looking to release your tense IT band? Here's everything you should know about foam rolling.

You Don't Have to Suffer From a Tight IT Band

Are you someone who suffers from a tight IT band? Your life doesn't have to be miserable just because you have muscle tension.

Now: you know that it's possible to live a life that's free from IT band tightness. Go out there and get your (foam) roll on!

Contact us to learn more about choosing the right foam roller for you!

Michael Rodriguez

I'm a registered massage therapist out of Vancouver BC. I absolutely hate the information I find on Google about this industry and I started this blog to debunk these myths.

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