Using Core Work to Eliminate IT Band Pain

Outside of my shoulder woes, my other latest goal is to work on my core strength.

I’ve dealt with IT band pain a lot as I’ve built up to running longer distances (usually around 7+ miles). I’ve worked on strengthening my hips, but that hasn’t seemed to help the IT band issues — or at least not enough. I never thought of my core much in relation to this pain, until recently when I read a post Lindsey wrote about thoughts on being injured.

Lindsey explained that for her, working on her hips and core helped eliminate her IT band pain. I looked further to find an article in Running Times on treating IT band pain with core work, along with this first-person account “Anatomy of a 6 Month IT Band Injury” from a NYC Marathon runner who dealt with an IT band injury.

Frankly whenever I find myself doing planks or similar ab-engaging exercises in yoga class, I’m pretty pathetic. I know my core is weak. I don’t pay much attention to it. But I’m starting to now. I’ve been using an adjustable ab bench lately and also watching my posture more when both sitting and standing. And the exercise ball I’ve been sitting on at my desk seems to be engaging my abs more too.


I figure it’s worth a shot. The irony is when I had foot pain, it was actually stemming from hip problems. So it sounds quite possible that outer leg/knee pain could very well stem from higher up in the body as well.


Have you struggled with IT band pain before? How have you managed it?


  1. says

    I need to bookmark this! I was having ITB problems when I stopped running last fall and I have no doubt they’ll be back if I don’t change something. I was using foam rolling and stretching with moderate success to control it.

  2. says

    This is a really interesting idea! I’ve had ITB issues for a few years now. I stopped running for 6 weeks, rehabbed with PT, strengthening exercise and yoga. I started running again and was up to 5 miles at a time when my knee started to bother me again (a few months ago). I am trying ONCE AGAIN to get back at it.

    I strength train a lot and do ab work but the core work I do is sporadic at best (2x a week). I need to focus on this because if it’s true, I would love to improve my knee and my abs!!

  3. says

    I’ve had 2 ITB injuries and have found that it takes a combination of a lot of things for it to go away, and then continuous work after for it not to come back!

    (BTW, found your blog via Poise in Parma’s Cleveland bloggers post. Looking forward to reading more!)

    • Holly says

      Thanks for following up Lindsey. So far I’ve been doing good. No pain during my 6-miler on Saturday. Continuing with foam rolling after each run and core work. Fingers crossed!

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