IT Band Workout to Correct Imbalance

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Daryl Laws Squat
Question: I’m having problems with what my doctor says is my IT band. He has outlined a regimen to deal with the inflammation and physical therapy for it but I haven’t seen any remarkable changes. I remembered an article you wrote about IT band work and why it was important but I need more direction about what to do before this becomes a chronic condition. Can you send me some information about how to train and recover from IT band issues?

Answer: While IT band issues are not always caused by an imbalance in the strength ratio between the quads and hamstrings, considering you lift heavy it may be your problem. Strengthening the hamstrings is not simply adding a few sets of leg curls. You’ll need a coordinated system training hamstrings a couple of days a week using several different exercises to balance this out.

Begin by using the bike for at least five minutes and make sure you set the proper leg stroke length.

Once you have elevated your heart rate, warmed the knees and leg muscles begin the first day with Barbell Hip Raises. We have used versions of this for years with great success building core strength. Perform sets of 15 reps alternating those with Lying Leg Curls for 10 reps. The Hip Presses coordinate work between the glutes and hammies.

After completing all sets of the exercise stretch the calves and and Achilles’ tendons. This increases flexibility and tends to improve squats and leg presses which follow.

On the second day of your improved hamstring training, you’ll work them with Clams and Knee Drives which are done with bands and focus on the glutes, IT Bands and hip flexors. After those do Sliders which target the hamstrings and glutes. As with Day 1, you then do squats, front squats or leg presses.

Your final exercise both days is the Stiff-leg Deadlift. These stretch and build hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors. Focusing on these “secondary” muscle groups provides more stability and explosiveness in the bottom of the squat, as well as, balancing the hamstring/quad strength ratio and relieving pain.

It may take four to six weeks for you to realize major relief but your other alternative is rest. After your workout is complete, stretch. It makes a major difference in improving your strength and assists in relieving pain.

God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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