Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) Stretch for Runners

 

As I find myself reiterating to athletes on almost a daily basis; you can’t stretch the Iliotibial Band (ITB)!

Two muscles, Gluteus Maximus and Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) form the upper attachment of the ITB to the pelvis. When these muscles get tight, tension increases in the ITB, sometimes this can be a factor in why some individuals go to to develop ITB Syndrome.

In terms of Glute Max and TFL, rarely do I see athletes presenting with tight Glute Max muscles. Far more common is the athlete who exhibits tightness through TFL. These athletes usually greatly benefit from the stretch in the video above.

As I mention in the video, causes for TFL tightness is a topic for another day :)

Let me know how you get on with this stretch.

Leave a comment below…

About The Author

James has an academic background in Sport Rehabilitation and a special interest in Applied Biomechanics. He currently coaches a large number of Runners and Triathletes across all levels of ability and performance. He's grown a strong reputation for enabling athletes to improve their running performance and overcome running injuries through improving their Running Technique and developing Running Specific Strength.

 

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16 Comments

  • This is a good stretch as it rules out problems with balance, it allows you to go for a deep stretch

    • Thanks Donna! This is one of the main reasons I prefer this one over others. Less balance issues, thus allowing focus on the actual stretch :)

  • I appreciate all the great info that you post and do have a question but it is related to the content of this video; I was wondering what the title of the song that begins to play at the end of the video – it sounds like something I would enjoy running to! Cheers…

    • Hi Mark, it’s a track I bought as part of an EDM stock audio package. No idea what it’s called I’m afraid :(

  • James, can a tight TFL give femur rotation? and/or linked to weakened adductor muscles?

    • Hi Lee, TFL is a medial rotator of the hip, so tightness could affect this. In my experience tight adductors often come with poor Glute Med function. Is TFL affected in the same way? I’m not sure… sorry!

  • I love your videos. And the little muscle diagram is a great addition.

    Keep them coming! Thanks!

    • Thanks Maggie!

      I’m glad you find the diagram helpful :)

  • Hey James, as a physical therapist and biomechanics enthusiast, I strongly agree with the stretching analysis posed in this website. Please read and hopefully perhaps you’ll agree! http://b-reddy.org/2012/03/04/the-best-damn-it-band-stretch-ever/

  • This is a great video! I started running at the beginning of this year and have had nothing but niggles from the TFL area but this stretch is really good. Thank you. Will look forward to your video about why I might be having TFL issues though!

  • This is absolutely the problem I’m having. I’m a former triathlete (torn rotator cuff took me out of swimming for a while). I am now focusing on long distance cycling (400 mile event coming up soon). I work an office job, sitting 8-9 hours a day. I try to get up every hour to move around. But after work, I’m jumping on my bike to ride a couple of hours, then on the weekends i’m riding 80-100 mile rides on Saturday. MyTFL is VERY tight and hip hurts. It becomes even more aggravated when i run short distances. I’ll work on this exercise and see if it helps. I’m doing Cryo therapy for recovery and seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure hip alignment is good. As I get closer to my 400 mile ride and up my training hours, this hip is really becoming an issue.

  • Hi James.
    I have had back and pelvis issues on my left side the last couple of week but got them looked at and was pain free until my next run when I felt a tightening on my right hip area going down and into my quad so much I could harldy walk after I finished and was limping.I also got it looked at and took a week off.Decided to do a run last night and I’m back to square one today,can hardly walk.I’m sure its my TFL but any advice would be appreciated,recovery time etc.I wouldn’t be able to run as its painful.I had a marathon planned for October but unfortunately I’m not up to where I should be mileage wise.I have a half marathon Sept 12th and would love to be pain free for that. I love your advice and videos.kind regards. S.☺

  • What a very nice recommendation. I have been suffering all summer long with this IT band syndrome. First the right knee (started using foam roller and problem gone). But now the issue is left knee. After 3 months of rest and doing other types of exercises i started 3 weeks ago with new running technics. Also with a KT Tape, so this weekend I tried for 15 ks and at 12 ks the pain came again in the left knee.
    How long do you recommend to rest-stretch and therapy and start again? Or by doing your stretching technics before running might help me improve at once?

  • […] a foam roller, just with a focus up around the hip, targeting the muscles mentioned earlier – Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) and Glute Max. These guys are often the culprits when it comes to the increased tension […]

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