In class we will refer to our IT bands and how to stretch and lengthen them. Here is the what you need to know to keep your IT Band feeling good!
The IT band is the abbreviation for IliloTibial Band. Your IT band runs on the outside of your thigh connecting to the gluteus maximus (largest muscle in your bottom) and the tensor fasciae latae muscle (hip flexor) to the outside of your tibia. Simply put, your IT Band starts above your hip and runs down the outside of your leg just below your knee.
The IT band causes much confusion. Many think it is a muscle that needs to be stretched or a tendon that connects muscle to bone. The truth is that the IT band is made up of fascia which is a band or sheet of connective tissue, mostly collagen that helps to stabilize and enclose muscles and helps to connect muscle to bone. The IT Band is the largest piece of fascia in our bodies.
It has two major functions, 1) stabilize the hip and knee 2) acts like a spring, storing and releasing energy when you move.
Yet since the IT Band is not a muscle it can not be stretched. In fact when people say, “My IT Band is tight.” they have misspoken. The IT Band may feel tight but it is all the muscles around it that are tight or out of alignment that make the IT Band “feel tight.”
So what to do to limit your IT Band discomfort? In Native Stretch classes, poses are held for 3 minutes or longer, allowing you get a truly deep stretch in your muscles. It is also important to keep in mind that everything is connected and it is imperative that we complete whole body workouts. Native Barre focuses on ever muscle group in your body through out the 75 minute class. Even better we focus on working a muscle group and then stretching it to avoid tightness and muscle pulls.