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Friday, July 27, 2007

Squats and Your IT Band

I've been having some ITB pain. From what I read squatting makes this worse
- is there something I could subsititute for squats that wouldn't irritate
it? How do I prevent this problem in the future?

It's a little bit more complicated than just "not squatting" - there's
probably some underlying issues that need to be addressed.

Firstly, I'm not sure what you're doing for "core" training, but check out
my "Core Training for Smart Folks" article on T-Nation. If you are going to
do core exercises, start with those.

Next, since you're running you need to focus on stretching/foam rolling your
hip flexors, quads, TFL and ITB as often as possible. These are the areas
that get short/stiff due to running and most weight training programs; this
will pull your pelvis into anterior tilt, and, well, it gets messy from
there. Just trust me when I say it leads to a cascade of events and
eventually you're screwed up in all three planes of movement! ;)

Beyond that, focus on a lot of gluteal work - glute bridges, long-stride
lunges, single-leg RDL's, pull-throughs, etc. Generally when people have
ITB issues there's an imbalance in strength between the TFL and the glute
max; balance what's going on at the hip and the ITB issues will typically
follow suit.

Mike Robertson

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