Myth: You can stretch and/or foam roll your iliotibial (IT) band.
Truth: First things first: your IT band is a thick ligament that stretches from your pelvis and runs along the very outside of your thigh and knee all the way down to your shin. (You may have heard runners complaining about IT band issues.)
“Stretching and rolling the IT band isn’t helpful, because it’s a thick band of fascia and can’t be broken up or elongated,” says Ardoin. (See earlier point about it taking 200 tons of force to mechanically affect tissue.) And, really, you shouldn’t want to break it up, says Esquer.
However, if you’re rolling near your IT band (to release tight quads, for example), that’s different, says Esquer. “Your IT band canbecome adhered to the adjacent quad and hamstring muscles,” says Ardoin. “Rolling between the IT band and these muscles can help the tissues slide and glide more easily.”