With nicer weather around the corner, the best time of the year is coming up for those of us that run. But this is also the time of year that the most common running injury becomes an issue for some people. You might have heard about it: Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), which results from an inflamed IT band and leads to pain on the lateral side of the knee that can run the entire length of the IT band.
Some causes of ITBS include:
- uphill and downhill running
- overuse (too much mileage, too soon)
- tight leg muscles (lack of stretching)
- weakness in the hips and glutes
It has been shown that one of the leading causes of ITBS is weakness in muscles associated with running. These two easy exercises below will help strengthen those areas.
Lateral Leg Raise
Start by lying on one side of the body, with the ankles on top of each other. Raise your outer leg, within your own comfortable range of motion, and then return to the starting position. For increased activation of the glutes, you can add a resistance band between the knees. And to increase the difficulty of this exercise, you can extend your outer leg back (10-20 degrees) against a wall. While pressing back against the wall with the heel, proceed gain with the raise.
Standing External Rotation
Standing with your shoulders perpendicular to the wall, raise your inner leg until you make a 90-degree angle at your hip. Next, apply pressure with your knee into the wall by externally rotating the inner leg. Hold this for 20-30 seconds, and then return to the starting position.
Add these exercises to your routine and enjoy running pain free!
B.KIN, BCAK Certified Kinesiologist