Stretching the ITB

“I’ve been rolling my ITB”… Hmmm!
Imagine your thigh muscles wrapped in glad wrap. Well, under your skin and subcutaneous fat, your thigh muscles have a layer of fascia, like glad-wrap, which holds everything together and acts as an attachment for the muscles.   The Iliotibial Band [ITB] is a thickening of this fascia along the outside of your thigh. When you rub, massage, or ‘roll’ the outside of the thigh, the ITB does not stretch as much as muscle tissue, nor does it get sore post-workout like a muscle. It is tough, fibrous, and lacks the elasticity of muscle. However, underneath this fascia are muscles, and on the outside of the thigh, under the ITB, is the Vastus Lateralis muscle. One of the main Quadricep muscles, this muscle often gets sore post-workout (e.g. squats, cycling, running) and is often found to be tight in patients. This is worth stretching.   Images below:   TOP:  A cross-section of the right thigh, looking down on it. #19 is Vastus Lateralis (outside thigh muscle) wrapping around the thigh bone (Femur) #23. #18 is the ITB. Image from: Anatomy Atlases   BOTTOM: The Iliotibial Band (ITB) overlying the Vastus Lateralis muscle Image from The Muscular System Manual, Elsevier (2017)