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What Are The Best ITB Friction Syndrome Exercises?

ITB Friction Syndrome exercises should always include stability and strength exercises. As we discussed in our previous blog What Is the Best Treatment For ITB Friction Syndrome? Rest and stretching will not cure ITB Friction Syndrome‚Ķneither will focussing on the knee alone.

Historically ITB Friction Syndrome exercises have focused on stretching. Commonly these will give short term relief BUT will not get to the root cause of the problem.


The following 5 ITB Friction Syndrome exercises incorporate a range of mobility, stability and strength work. Targeting both the foot and ankle, as well as the trunk and pelvic control. This is a key area where lack of control can have a knock on effect causing overload to the outside of the knee joint. Ensuring all the pieces of the puzzle are tested allows us to get a full picture as to the root cause of ‘WHY?’ you may get ITB Friction Syndrome in the first place,  as discussed in our blog on Functional Movement Screening. This is an essential part of our Run Lab assessment.


Take a look at the videos below for the top 5 ITB Friction Syndrome exercises. It is recommended you perform these exercises for a period of 6-12 weeks even if your symptoms are feeling better. We are aiming to make a lasting change!

*If you experience any pain during or after each exercise then stop immediately and consult a Physiotherapist*


ITB Friction Syndrome Exercises

Quads Release With Foam Roller

Goal: ITB Friction Syndrome exercises to improve quadriceps muscle group mobility & reduce stiffness at the front of the knee joint

How often?: Daily for a few minutes at a time. Either before, in-between or after exercise

Instructions: Lying on your front propped on your elbows. Allow your weight to sink into the roller. Slowly roll up and down the length of the thigh muscles pivoting from the arms. Start on 2 legs then progress to 1 if you’re able to. **This will always be tender to some degree whether you have a problem or not. Over the first week or 2 this should gradually get easier** 


ITB Release With Foam Roller

Goal: ITB Friction Syndrome exercises to improve Ilio-tibial Band mobility & reduce stiffness at the outside of the knee joint

How often?: Daily for a few minutes at a time. Either before, in-between or after exercise

Instructions: Lying on your side propped on your elbow with opposite hand and foot placed for support. Allow your weight to sink into the roller. Slowly roll up and down the length of the ITB pivoting from the arms. Progress to no foot support if you’re able. **This will always be tender to some degree whether you have a problem or not. Over the first week or 2 this should gradually get easier**


Bulgarian Split Squat

Goal: ITB Friction Syndrome exercises to strengthen the Quads & Gluteal muscle group to improve lateral pelvic stability on 1 leg

How often?: Aim for x4 sets of x8 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Standing on 1 leg with the toes of the other placed on a chair or box behind. Holding a weight approx 5-10kg slowly dip up and down on the front leg with control, keeping your trunk upright and not letting the front knee go past the toes. **You can more weight to make this harder**


Squat Squeeze

Goal: ITB Friction Syndrome exercises to improve static trunk & lateral hip stability

How often?: Aim for x3-5 sets of x30 secs repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Starting into a squat, dip down then slowly squeeze out 1 leg as you rise back up keeping your balance. Then squat and switch to the other leg. Begin with the loop band round the knees. *You can progress by moving the band to the ankles or speeding up your pace.


Step Ups

Goal: ITB Friction Syndrome exercises to improve dynamic trunk & lateral hip stability along with thigh strength

How often?: Aim for x4 sets of x8 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day

Instructions: Starting in a split squat position with your front foot on a step, holding a 5-10kg weight. Step up then down into a backward lunge keeping your control. *You can progress this by increasing the weight or using a higher step*


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