Why Your IT Band SHOULD be tight!
Written By Cat Blatner

I hear athletes say all the time, “My knees hurt so bad! I know it’s just my tight IT Band.” In fact, I used to say the same before I really started to understand the function and anatomical position of the IT Band. Let me start off by saying a few basic rules of thumb.

Tendons are meant to be tight, they connect muscle to bone and in order to do their job efficiently they must stay strong and hold their position.

Ligaments are also supposed to be rigid as well. These connect bone to bone and therefore have a very important job to do when it comes to the stabilizing the bones of the body.

Muscles are meant to have some give. Yes, they should be strong but we want them to have elasticity to them as well so that the tendons and muscles hold complimentary jobs to one another. If muscles have little to no give to them, this is when we start pulling on tendons and this can cause major problems and can lead to injuries.

Let’s take a closer look at the IT Band. This tendon is meant to perform lateral stabilization of the knee. (Keyword being stabilization) If we want something stable, do we want it to be loose? Of course not. So what could be going on really? Well, the Iliotibial band is connected to two very important muscles in the hip region. Those two muscles are the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) and the Glute Medius as seen in the photo below:


Now, I want to shed some light on the importance of muscle balance. When the IT Band is pulled into a compromised position this is not the fault of the IT band itself but of either the TFL or the Glute. If you have a chronic tightness in your TFL and inactivity of the glute it will cause an anterior pull to the Iliotibial Band. This pull with therefore cause a residual side effect of pain in the knee. Crazy right? Everything really IS connected. On the opposite end of the spectrum a chronically tight glute can also cause a slight displacement of the IT band and a painful chain reaction will occur.

How do we relieve this pain?

The short story is that you need balance on your IT Band. There are many different ways to gain this balance but smashing your IT band won’t necessarily do the trick. Keep following Invictus Fitness for my follow up Blogs about releasing your TFL as well as your glutes. Thank you for following our blog, I hope this information was helpful and insightful!

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3 Tips for Stringing Together More Toes to Bar
Video by Kirsten Ahrendt

This video discuss three points of performance for those of you that have the prerequisite strength and skill to kip, but struggle with the rhythm of stringing together multiple toes to bar. The points discussed in the video are outlined below:

1) Remember, it’s a KIP, not a SWING

In a kip, we move between two positions – hollow and arch. We move fluidly between these two points of tension and it creates a rhythm. If you are swinging (uncontrolled) instead of kipping (controlled) you won’t be able to maintain a rhythm for toes to bar.

Importance of Working From the Hang
Written by Gaje McDaniel

Any hang position in Olympic weightlifting – high hang, mid-hang, or low-hang – are all movements beneficial to developing pulling in the snatch or clean. These can be performed from the top down or down up with a pause at any position. The purpose of doing these is to eliminate any errors that may occur while pulling from the floor so that you can focus on the middle portion(s) of the lift like keeping the bar close and hitting extension.

High Hang
For the snatch,

Beets By Bryce
Written By Bryce Smith

– Beets are great, they are full of folate! Folate can reduce the risk of birth defects, so eat beets when you have sex!

– Beets can boost your stamina and help lower blood pressure, which can help your body exercise longer and improve blood flow while having your body feeling fresher!

– Beets contain betaine which helps to fight inflammation and helps to prevent disease which keeps you healthy and enhancing your sophistication!

– Beet roots help to ward off the growth of tumors,

Upper Anterior Chain Opener: The Banded Scarecrow
Video by Travis Ewart

Invictus Athlete gymnastics coach Travis Ewart describes and demonstrates the Band-Assisted Upper Anterior Chain Opener, more easily referred to as “Banded Scarecrows”.

With pushing and pressing comes a tightened Upper Anterior Chain, and to help alleviate some of this tension we bring you the Band-Assisted Upper Anterior Chain Opener (or Banded Scarecrow).

Apply this technique each day before your workout and see the results over time turn your poor thoracic mobility into mobility you embrace! Spend approximately two minutes to complete this stretch.