Care Tools: Fitness Center
IT Band/Tensor Fascia Latae Stretch

General Overview:

This exercise is intended as a stretching exercise for the Iliotibial band and Tensor Fascia Latae. These muscles/tendons run from your hip, down the lateral (outside) aspect of your leg and attach on the lateral (outside) side of your knee. It will work on increasing ROM and flexibility throughout the IT band and Tensor Fascia Latae.

Why do this Exercise?

To increase flexibility within the IT Band and Tensor Fascia Latae. To relieve the patellae (kneecap) from excessive lateral (outward) pull caused by tight IT Band/Tensor Fascia Latae.

Detailed Description

Wall, Chair or Table.
This stretch is to be performed while standing with your affected side towards the wall/table/chair. Stand with a straight back and the arm of your affected side extended outward towards the wall/chair/table with your hand resting on it for support. You can place the hand of your unaffected side on your outside hip. Bring your feet together with knees very slightly bend (do not stand with knees locked out straight).
While standing in an upright position cross your unaffected leg in front of and over your affected leg. Slowly rotate your hips outward away from the wall, rolling them forward and then towards the wall. You want to create a small semi-circle with this motion ending the hip of your affected leg leaning in towards the wall. This will help to place the IT Band/Tensor Fascia Latae in position to achieve the most optimal stretch. Then lean your hips further in towards the wall while maintaining a straight back and keeping your body facing forwards. Continue leaning sideways at the hips until you begin to feel tension/stretch on the side of your affected hip. Once you reach this point, hold the position for 15-20 seconds and then slowly begin to return to the starting position. Rest for 3-5 seconds and then repeat 10 times. You can increase from 1 set of 10 reps to 3 sets of 10 reps as flexibility and comfort level increase. This exercise should be performed 1-2 times per day.

Additional Information:

This exercise should only be performed within a pain free range of motion. Do not continue this exercise if there is pain, swelling or a significant increase in skin temperature (skin becomes hot/warm to the touch). The recommended repetitions are here to serve as guideline. Keep in mind that each person is different and you must modify your activity according to the feedback your body provides. If you feel your muscles getting fatigued (a good thing) and you begin losing control (leg begins twitching) stop and return to the exercise at another time. Do not use quick jerky movements with this exercise; it is intended to be performed in a slow and controlled motion. Focus on maintaining a straight back, bending at the hips and not allowing your upper body to bend forwards.
Learn More
About Recovery
This exercise is recommended for intermediate stage rehabilitation of an injured or post-surgical knee.


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