“Best Bang for Your Buck” – Physio Bike Fit Exercises
Ever tried to stretch your ITB (Iliotibial band) with a sideways lean and thought ‘I can’t feel a thing in the ITB’?
The Iliotibial band runs from the pelvis (the Ilial part to be precise) to the top of the tibia (that’s the large bone in the lower leg). If it wasn’t there your lateral (outside) part of your quadriceps muscle the VL (vastus lateralus) would sort of flop out to the side.
In cyclists the ITB gets tight because of the workload on the VL (lateral quads), hence hypertrophy of the muscle underneath.
I have seen a guy once with a large slit in his ITB and he had an extra large leg lump on the side of his quad (his VL poking through the ITB slit….not so pretty).
As the ITB is a large fascial sheet (rather like a sheet of canvas), it doesn’t stretch up in the way muscles do (pulling at each end) rather it likes to be rubbed, rolled or massaged.
Hence the foam roller is a great way to help elongate it. Massage is even better.
When doing the foam roller, make sure you take weight through the top foot and the bottom forearm (see image below) so that the leg that is on the roller is not ‘fighting’ the roller, hence allowing the ITB to be massaged out.
Another Best Bang for Your Buck ExerciseEmma Colson, Bike Fit Physio