IT band syndrome is something that you should address as soon as possible if you are a runner as it can cause discomfort and prevent you from going all out in your training session. Although usually the pain is felt somewhere in the knee that goes up in your leg, the source of the problem is usually found at the hips because of tight hip flexors. For runners to achieve their maximum power, they will need their hips to be open so that they will be able to rotate internally. And since tight hip flexors are often the culprit for this problem, the other muscles are tapped to compensate this shortcoming thus leading to injuries.
Fortunately, you can correct this problem with a little help from a stability ball.
- Hamstring curl. One of the best exercises to prevent IT band is to do a hamstring curl with your stability ball. Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides with your lower calves as well as your heels on top of the stability ball. Engage your core and your glutes as you raise your hips off the floor. Roll the ball towards you by raising your knees until your feet are resting on top of the ball. Go back to your first position and repeat 15 times to complete a set.
- Ball lunge. Another stability ball exercise that you should do to strengthen your hips is the ball lunge. This exercise is designed to improve your sense of balance and to improve your hips. Stand in front of your stability ball then place the upper portion of your right foot on top of the ball. Bend your left knee to go into a lunge as you extend your right leg behind you. Make sure that your core is engaged and that you push your hips back to help you stabilize as you go into a lunge. Go back to your first position and repeat.
- Pike. If you are ready to take your workout to the next level, the pike will leave you breathless in no time. Start in a push-up position with your toes resting on top of the stability ball. While keeping your legs straight, use your abdominal muscles to pull your toes toward your chest. If you do this correctly, your torso will still be in a push-up position with your back straight. See to it that your back doesn’t sag as this can ruin your form.
- Knee tucks. Another exercise that will help strengthen your hips and core to prevent IT band is the knee tucks. Again, go into a pushup position with your toes placed on top of the stability ball and your arms straight. Make sure that your core is tight and that your back is straight as well. Bring knees toward your chest until they are underneath your hips. Roll the ball back to its first position and repeat. Try to do 10 to 15 reps for this exercise.