IT Band Tightness – Baseball/Barbell Smash


IT Band Tightness – Baseball/Barbell Smash

Here is a video where I show you an extreme myofascial release of the IT band.

Tight IT bands can often lead to pain in the knees and lower back, due to the fact that they are proximal to both of those regions in the body.

IT band restriction is very common in people who do not rotate well.

Since the transverse plane of motion is almost entirely absent in most training programs and people in general, the body then uses the other two planes of motion for movement and stability (sagittal plane and frontal plane).

Consequently, the IT band then gets over loaded because of its role in stabilizing through excessive frontal plane movement.

This then creates fascia distortions throughout the lateral border of the thigh.

By getting into the IT band in an aggressive manner, via the use of a barbell and baseball, we will release a major player in lateral movement deficiency.

The result is a more functional body that moves better in all planes of motion.

***Keep in mind that we are not lengthening the IT band. We are releasing the adhesion of the IT band to the Vastus Lateralus (outer quadricep). The goal here is the separation of tissues so that they may work together more harmoniously in a rhythmic fashion.

Mobilize intentionally,
Not habitually,



Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns. For today’s video, I’m gonna show you a myofascial release technique to help relieve tension off the IT band, or the lateral border of the thigh. In recent years, an awareness has emerged on this region of the body, as a result of people now becoming more conscious of how their body works as an integrated system.

The problem is, that most these people involved in structural movement, things like functional training, are still working in the sagittal plane, almost exclusively. You’re really just moving in a straightforward, linear fashion. The problem is, that the human being is not adapted in moving in that context. We don’t move as a bilateral organism. This is kind of like how a kangaroo would move. Kangaroos move at the sagittal plane. Human beings have actually adapted to move in a unilateral stance, where we involve rotation of the trunk and a contralateral reciprocation of the upper and lower limbs of the body.

Now, we have to understand that, if you don’t use something, you’re going to lose it. Since most people, in general, don’t rotate with their body, they’re going to lose that function with their body. Let’s say, if you’re thinking about doing functional movement throughout the day, if you don’t train this, you’re going to lose it. So therefore, your body is then, going to have backup systems for stability, for power, for performance. For our specific concern, we have to think about the IT band.

Well, if you lose rotation, you have to think that your body’s either gonna compensate with sagittal plane movement, like with lumbar extension, which is very common, or kyphosis, or it’s also going to compensate with a lateral movement. So, we have sagittal plane, moving straightforward and back. We have lateral movement, which is gonna be the frontal plane, and that’s what people, in general, also compensate with. If we look at the IT band, it’s right here, smack dab on the lateral border of the thigh.

So, whenever you’re working in dysfunction and you’re not good at rotating, what’s gonna be coupled with that, is going to be a tightness on that IT band. So essentially, what we’re gonna focus on today, is trying to break up the adhesions on the IT band. We’re not gonna try and stretch out the IT band, because that’s virtually impossible. So, what we’re gonna focus on, is trying to break up the adhesions from the IT band, to the vastus lateralis, and we’re gonna do that via the usage of a lacrosse ball.

Now, I will warn that this is an extreme myofascial release technique, and that if you’ve never done myofascial release, I would not recommend doing this given technique. You may want to start off with some kind of a foam roller or a medicine ball, and work your way up to the point where you’re actually going to do this specific technique, with these tools. So, I’ll have you guys follow me, over here.

So, what we’re gonna need for this myofascial release technique … I’m gonna be utilizing a barbell. We’re gonna us a … I like to use a muay thai pad. This is for me. It’s available to me. This is what I’m going to use. If you have some kind of cushion, it should be able to work the same. And, I have an optional weight here, and my myofascial release tool is actually going to be a baseball.

This is very advanced. Again, I don’t recommend everybody go straight to a baseball, because the IT band, generally, tends to be a pretty painful area for somebody to work on. But, if you’re already progressed, this is a really great tool. It’s a couple bucks, it really does do a great job.

So essentially, I learned this from one of my students. She’s one of master trainers. Her name’s [Vadonna Bahich 00:03:15]. She’s from Functional Patterns, Middle East. I learned this technique, so shouts out to you Vadonna.

Alright, so what we’re going to be doing here, is I’m gonna be laying on my side. So really, what I’m gonna do is, I’m going to rest the ball on top of my thigh, here. So, what I want to do is rest this here, so that way the bar is not going directly on my thigh. I’m gonna then grab the barbell and place it on top of my thigh, and then lay on my side here, as you guys can see. So now, I have a … There’s a good spacing here. I don’t have any pressure going on my thigh. From there, I’m going to bring the baseball underneath my IT band, and I’m going to bring my leg over the top of that.

Now, one thing I like about an effective myofascial release, is one when I don’t have to do anything. As you guys see, right now, an effective … You’ll see that this is giving me great effect, because I have the weight of the barbell dropping on top of this trigger point, but I’m not straining myself. If you look at most IT band releases, or any myofascial releases for that matter, there’s always some kind of strain involved, where you’re having to stabilize you’re body. Sometimes, what that can do, is create some kind of a neurological activation of the entire fascia network, and then that begins to … Like, it can cut off the capability of you releasing that given muscle. So, when you’re more relaxed, since the body is entirely relaxed, it’s quite likely that the IT band’s going to relax, here, and that you’ll get a much more effective release.

So, I usually just like going in here, hitting that lateral border of that thigh, letting it just kind of settle in there. We’ll be trying moving around. I mean, get a little bit into the parts of the vastus lateralis, and then move a little bit posteriorly, almost, to where you’re almost close to your hamstring. Really explore it, when you’re in this area. Again, this is an obvious progression, just having this thing on there. But, for me, since I’m more experienced, I would actually grab a weight and put it on the barbell, and then let that sucker sit on, on top of that.

So usually, I don’t move too often. Maybe, if I do move in increments, it may be like, increments of maybe one millimeter to another. Maybe, as far as a centimeter, but I typically don’t move too much while I’m releasing that. I kind of just let my body sink into the ball.

You can hang out there for a period of about, anywhere between two to five minutes, and that should be more than enough. You can then, switch sides, when you need to. It’s a great technique. Like I said before, it’s an advanced technique. I only recommend doing it after you’ve, obviously, adapted yourself towards using like, a medicine ball or a foam roller, and that’s kind of gotten boring for you.

You have to understand that, if you want to address dysfunction on your body, it takes an extreme approach. If you are taking a passive approach, like a foam roller, you’re only going to get so far. We have to understand that human being have adapted into a culture that’s not beneficial of our DNA as human being. Human adapted over the course of millions of years, to walk on two feet, and essentially be able to move upright, and when we sit ourselves at a desk for 10 hours a day, that is an extreme adaptation. Extreme deficiency, it requires extreme measures, if we expect to correct those deficiencies.

So, here’s an extreme technique that you can use. I would also recommend implementing more rotation, working on your posture, so you can get that rotation back, so that way you can also get at the root of this deficiency. What we have to realize is, this is all a building process. This technique is going to also help your thoracic rotation, because we if we eliminate a dysfunction at the IT band, it’s gonna travel up the kinetic chain.

So, here’s one more thing that you can employ into your functional training program. I do hope that you guys enjoyed it, and I will see you guys next time. This is Naudi Aguilar at Functional Patterns, reminding you to stretch intentionally, and not habitually.



  1. Michael Crimmins November 3, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Thanks…I have been watching for a while and now follow u. You are helping move past some self imposed plateaus. This sort of thing helps. And, you do it without the cult mentality.

    • Naudi November 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you sir, that is some great positive encouragement. Makes my year 🙂

  2. Dessi November 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Very important to emphasize that release of the IT band comes first, but always should be followed with exercises to improve the use of body in rotation. If the second is not done, we’ve just released the only support the body has put in place to compensate for the lack of rotation, so the body will grip even further via the IT band in its search for stability. If we strengthen the rotation without releasing the IT band, chances are the body will resort to the tight IT band to make the movements happen and will reinforce the dysfunctional pattern.

  3. brody November 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    How about showing us to help for the Performis area. I have terrible pain shooting down my leg. I am trying stretches but maybe you have a different approach on this area. The pain is awful and worst in the morning when I get up. I have been told to try and sleep all night on my back and keep my legs straight out-easier said then doing. THX

  4. brody November 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Need help in the Performis area please!! very bad shooting pain down my hip/leg. trying stretches. THX

  5. Tim Generoso November 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    dude. seriously. thank you 😀

  6. Candice November 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Brody – an earlier video on the Piriformis.

  7. ken November 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I have read thomas myers anatomy trains and grasp the concepts,I watched the video you posted which took me to see whats new from him on you was some clips of a seminar over seas…a presenter was talking and mentioned that he cant believe that people are still rolling their IT band,it was in reference to something that he just demonstrated.this was the 4D lecture class.I tryed to go and reasearch this,but have had no luck,any thoughts? what he was talking about ?

  8. Naqam February 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Once again, dropping gems!! TY!!

  9. go February 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    There is no IT band .. It’s made by dissection it doesn’t lengthen

    • Naudi February 2, 2015 at 12:14 am - Reply


      • Naudi February 2, 2015 at 12:16 am - Reply

        Well I just saw some Cadavers in person my self and I could see a band right over the top of the vastus lateralus on 8 different bodies who were untreated. Maybe they were all just freaks of nature though…

  10. go February 4, 2015 at 9:27 am - Reply

    of course …dissected loads myself …is an artefact of movement ..if you rode a horse for 15 hours a day you’d have a thickening on the inner thigh and nothing on the outer thigh…its a continuation of the fascia kata and thats all …it’s a labelled area and nothing more ..its architecture is a lattice work and the moment you try and put a lengthened force through it ..actually locks it up

    but you need a little more experience of sensing movement mate rather than attacking it…you’ll get it one day pal

    • Naudi February 4, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Are you saying that the IT band is a conditioned tendon?

    • Naudi February 4, 2015 at 10:23 am - Reply

      keep in mind, I never said a lengthened force. I only pointed that out on the blogpost and the video… Do these guys even watch the video? Seriously?

  11. go February 5, 2015 at 3:15 am - Reply

    A conditioned Tendon … Now your talking .. It’s not a Tendon .. As babies we are born without it .. It’s a sheet .. As you’ve seen in the lab with Todd Garcia and Tom the sheet ghickens with use .. Too much force one way.. And it will ‘condition’ itself as such

    • Naudi February 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      Makes entirely too much sense to be honest Gary, I must agree with you on it. I’m hoping to atrophy my “IT band” within time as I produce better integration with my body. You gained some points with me here Gary

  12. go February 6, 2015 at 6:25 am - Reply

    As long as it maintains adaptability in multidirections it’s cool.. Along with that the IT ‘area’ will let the Hamstrings go.. So the apparent flexibility you’ve gained will occur without the need to stretch so much .. If at all
    As Robert Schliep had said about 15 years ago..’we have all the length in the body we require… We just have to take away the resistance to it’

    Be good to chat more

  13. David February 14, 2015 at 5:06 am - Reply

    Have either of you noticed IT/TFL issues more on the left than the right? ( due to most people being right handed which causes a left short leg)

  14. Samuel June 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Great video & information…had to give up my military career over these issues. I found your site too late so now it’s time to work on quality of life. Great info!

  15. Dio June 8, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Hey Naudi. I get a lot of pain around the Iliac crest when im running and all that region is very tender after running. What do you think I could to do solve that? Thanks and keep the good job.

  16. PedroA May 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    You guys ROCK and I will defo share this…AWESOME !!

    • William Menzies May 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Hey Pedro,

      Thanks for the support !!

      All the best,
      The FP Team

  17. Kelly January 31, 2018 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Excellent! Thank you! Your information is extremely effective.

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