IT Band Exercise Using a Foam Roller

Exercise for Iliotibial Band Syndrome


The Iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of tissue that spans from the hip, down the outer thigh and into the knee and shin bone. It’s a major connective tissue that’s key for rotation and lateral movements in the hip and knee stability. IT Band Syndrome happens when the IT Band is too tight, resulting in pain and swelling in the outer knee. This tightness is very common in runners and very active individuals. Using a foam roller on the middle section of the IT band (the large muscle group right between your hip and knee) will help to loosen the ITB and reduce knee pain caused by overly tight tissue. 

Also Known AsFoam Rolling for the IT Band

Foam Rolling for the Iliotibial Band


Beginner to Intermediate


Iliotibial (IT) band

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Starting on your right side, lay down and position your foam roller under your IT band. 
  2. Straighten your back leg and bend your top leg (the left leg) in front of you, at about a 90 degree angle.
  3. Supporting yourself, keep your back leg on the foam roller and gently roll back and forth.
  4. Using the foam roller and your gentle movements, find the area that seems tightest.
  5. Move your body around or stay still on top of the roller – whatever feels best.
  6. Repeat on your left side to loosen and stretch both sides of your body.

Tips/Common Mistakes

  • Find a stable position and support the leg that’s being massaged by the foam roller
  • Use the IT Band foam rolling stretch evenly on both sides, until the tension is at about a 2/10
  • If you are feeling a high level of pain, stop and consult Dr. Louie.