Stretching per say is for afterward to help lengthen and relax muscles. Stretching before you are warm can cause a lot of problems. I believe I have read several SP articles that tell you to warmup by doing things like walking or smaller version of the exercises you will be doing. If you take a good cardio or strength type class the instructor usually starts out with a range of movements meant to activate the various muscles and systems to be sure you don't hurt yourself.
I was diagnosed with ITB inflammation last summer as I was training to run a HM. Doc said it was caused, at least in part, by weak hip muscles and prescribed hip strengthening exercises. Also prescribed foam rolling. Both helped, but the best thing for me was to scale back on my training and stick with shorter distances for the foreseeable future.
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All runners have to deal with tight IT bands and tight hamstrings. They just get a lot of use. And probably anyone willing to pay for a sports massage of her/his legs has tight IT bands, just makes sense.
Rolling the IT Band really works for me on keeping it loose. I've also found that my piriformis muscle in my bum gets tight easily which in tightens up my IT band. If I keep the piriformis loose, my legs really benefit.
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I have ITBS right now. After reading everything - you can't stretch the IT Band as it attaches to bone on each end....so with that said. The best thing I have found is on strengthrunning.com . Look at his ITB Rehab exercises.
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I suspect that PTs say "You have tight IT bands" to everybody.
I've asked several PTs the question of whether it's good to roll before a race and they always look at me strangely. I suspect they don't really know. I would do it if my PT advised. I have certainly seen crazier things pre-race but have never seen anyone rolling. Maybe it's just a matter of convenience but I have yet to hear a PT say, yes, roll before a race.
As for pre-race stretching in general, a recent USATF study concluded there is no correlation between pre-race stretching and injury rates; however if you do pre-race stretching already, you should continue to do so.
There are many theories on when to stretch. If you do stretch before hand, make sure they are dynamic stretches. I personally tell all my clients to stretch after the workout as your body is warm and that is when you want to stretch.
Fortunately, the IT bands aren't causing discomfort, yet. My plans, based on ideas given so far, is to get a foam roller and find some stretching exercises on SP.I want to be ahead of the curve on this thing. Anything I'm missing? Should I stretch before I run? I've always been told that would be counter productive, that I should stretch after I run or ride.
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I would google or search on sparkpeople some exercise. Coach Nicole has a good runners stretching video. I personally like the ones where you bring your leg over the front of you while laying down. Again, a video or diagram would be better than me trying to explain it.
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