Should You Foam Roll Your IT Band?

     To start, the IT Band (ITB) is not a muscle, it is fascia. It does not develop trigger points like muscle tissue does. So, why might it feel like there is tightness in that area?

1) Overative TFL - Your TFL uses the ITB as a tendon and if it is overactive then it could be causing the feeling of ITB tightness. If this is the issue, then focus on releasing/lengthening the TFL and the tightness should subside. This muscle is located where your pocket is on your pants/shorts!

2) Overactive Vastus Lateralis - This muscle slips into the ITB and releasing it could relieve some tension. This muscle is on the outside/diagonal portion of your thigh.

3) Weak Glutes - Most likely if you have ITB tightness and an overactive TFL, you may have a glute weakness. Strengthening your glutes will go a long way in improving hip function and reducing and ITB issues.

In summary, if you feel like your ITB is tight, I would not recommend foam rolling it. At most, this will provide a temporary solution. The best thing would be to release/lengthen your TFL and Vastus Lateralis, then work on some glute activation exercises.

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