Kim says, “The illiotibial band (ITB) is a fibrous band that runs down the outside of the leg connecting the glute (large bum) muscle and a small hip muscle (tensor fasciae latae) to the bone just below the knee. Pain is thought to occur when the band tightens, compressing sensitive structures between it and the knee. If you get the problem intermittently, it’s probably in response to a change in running mechanics which usually occurs when fatigued. Analyse your running around flare-ups. Have you done more training, longer runs, increased tempo or downhill? Work out the causes and adapt your training to allow more recovery between trigger sessions or reduce the volume. Then, progressively make yourself more robust in these areas by slowly building back up. Strengthening the glute medius will help. These 2 exercises work the muscle in running relevant positions.”
1 Single-legged squat
Start with 3x5 reps, building to 3x15 reps. Keep hip, knee and foot in the same plane to work the glute and avoid tightening the ITB. Stay slow and controlled. If this causes pain in the ITB, start with a double leg, seated squat and progress to single leg. To make it harder, do more reps, use weights or lower the seat you are squatting on to.
2 Side step-up
Start with 3x5 reps, building to 3x15 reps. Stand beside a bench at roughly knee height. Step the near foot up onto it then stand up straight, driving up through the ‘benched’ leg and raising the opposite knee. Then lower down to the start position, slowly and in control. To make it harder use a higher step or hold weights.