Stretching Tips ; Inner Thigh + (Iliotibial band) ITB

It should have been one of my busiest weekend with my pending assignments. I was stoked that by the end of the week nothing much was left in my mind, and the only thing which I knew would work for me to ‘recover’ from the stress was going for a bicycle ride, trail running or both. So I manage to gather a few friends to ride with me on Friday night, but one of them had to cancel as his wife had contraction (yeah, they’re expecting another addition to the family). Just a short ride in Putrajaya, around 18km or so. Slow spinnin’, and guiding my friend how to spin, and when to tell that you’re spinning too fast. That’s when you find your shoulders moving  frantically or bum bumping against the saddle as u cycle (meaning ur butt is not glued on the saddle). It was a short ride but a good one. I need to get back in shape and I will do it gradually. Did some stretching after. I find that some of my tri/running friends do not stretch their inner thigh.  It is one of the important stretches you can do  to maintain your knee stability .Your inner thigh muscles are one of the 5 muscle groups which maintains the knee’s stability; Main muscles affecting knee stability;

  1. Quadriceps
  2. Hamstring

Other muscles affecting knee stability;

  1. Calf muscles
  2. Hip abductors (located in the outer thigh)
  3. Hip adductors (located in the inner thigh)

Fibrous tissue affecting knee stability ;

  1. Iliotibial band (IT band, or ITB)


Major leg muscles ; quadriceps (quads), hamstring, calf muscles


The adductors (inner thigh) are made of the adductor brevis(brevis is Latin for short), adductor longus(longus is Latin for long) and adductor magnus(Latin for large!) .The adductors all originate on the pubis and insert on the medial, posterior surface of the femur(tulang paha). (there some anat. knowledge for ya)
Your inner thigh (adductors) are made of adductor brevis, adductor longus and adductor magnus (brevis= Latin for short, longus=long and magnus=Large). The adductors all originate on the pubis and insert on the medial, posterior surface of the femur(tulang paha!).

Tight adductors

Tight adductors can throw off the balance of power in your legs. If your adductors (inner thighs) can’t effectively do their job (help stabilize the knee throughout the running movement), your hamstrings will be recruited to pick up the slack, putting them at an increased risk of injury. While some runners neglect to stretch their adductors, others have the opposite problem, and do exercises that can overstretch increasing the risk of a muscle pull.

p.s. : seated climbs  for cyclists may also trigger tight adductors especially if your training regime does not include strengthening for your precious inner thighs !! Allow me to translate it to Malay , ‘mengayuh basikal di bukit sambil duduk boleh mengakibatkan paha (bahagian dalam)  yang ketat, terutamanya jika latihan menguatkan bahagian paha ini tidak dipraktikkan’

Stretching the adductors/inner thigh

1.Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of your body. 2.Bend your knees and place your feet together, side by side, flat on the floor. 3. Place your hands on your calves (see photo A)

3. Slowly let your knees fall open to each side and slide the soles of your feet together. 4. Rest your hands on your ankles. 5. Gently round your spine and roll your shoulders forward. 6. Slowly lean forward, lowering your upper body toward your legs. Stop when you feel the stretch in your inner thighs (see photo B). 7. Inhale (breathe in) through your nose, and exhale (breathe out) through your mouth, as you complete this stretch. 8. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. 9. Return to starting position by rounding shoulders back and extending your spine to upright position.


You see that long white band lateral to the quads? Thats your IT Band. Origin; iliac crest and insertion; the lateral condyle of your tibia (basically at the side your tulang kaki. (and not tulang paha)). See next photo.
1. Locate the Iliotibial band(ITB) from the top border of this image. 2. Track the ITB and see where it inserts. That’s the lateral condyle of your tibia. 3. Do check out also the other insertions surrounding the knees. These are from the muscles which stabilizes your knee.)

Tight Iliotibial band (ITB)

ITBFS or ITB Friction Syndrome; is an overuse injury that produces pain on the lateral knee during running and, occasionally, cycling. Pain is generally caused by an unusually tight ITB, the undersurface of which frictions over the lateral femoral condyle.

Stretching the ITB

Cross right leg over the left leg and pull the (right) leg as close to your chest as possible. Repeat on the other leg. Note : All stretches should be gentle. If it hurts, it’s wrong. If holding for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times, if holding for 30 seconds, repeat 2 times
Cross right leg behind and lean towards the left leg. This stretch is best performed with arms over the head, creating a “bow” from ankle to hand on the left side.


16 thoughts on “Stretching Tips ; Inner Thigh + (Iliotibial band) ITB

Add yours

  1. hey this is good, especially on the cycling reference. im recovering from a knee injury and has just started cycling… however sometimes my knee hurts.

    thanks for the stretches!

  2. Useful tips.. Try to discipline myself to spent atleast 5 mnt for all these stretches after every ride….!

    1. Heyya Azad. I see it as knowledge. Beneficial + vital knowledge needs to be shared ! 🙂 and here’s my way contributing to that. Happy stretching !! p.s. rmmber, dont stretch cold muscles, and dont over stretch. cheers,julie.

      I’m doing my bit to tackle Global Warming. Join other members who are making a difference

  3. Hi Azita. There are plenty of websites (And blogs) which share links to race events websites. You have to look around ! 🙂 I myself did my own little research for any info that I share here in this blog. Any particular events which you are looking into ? Do take a look at my latest blog post. There is an event calendar which you can look at for the various sports events available here in Malaysia.


  4. idont stretch tips inner thigh,when ever i want to do so i feel pain in my glutenous maximumus(iliotabial muscle) please advise som medicine

    1. Hi Tanveer. For maintenance purpose whether you are active training or not is go for a good sports massage, or deep tissue massage. Focus on the areas which you normally feel tightness i.e. your inner thigh. It’ll be a good start. Once you’ve relieved from the tightness, you can start inserting stretching session not just for inner thigh, but for the whole body. Normally I like to start from the legs, and work upwards. Remember, stretching is not suppose to be done until it reaches the pain threshold. Even when you have your sports massage done, make sure that the masseur does not apply excessive pressure causing sharp pain.

      Most of us aren’t guided correctly the best ways to stretch. Take a look at some here

      p.s. avoid fast and jerky stretching movements !

      Hope the tips and links above help !


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