In Yoga Tune Up®, we take the body apart muscle by muscle in order to put it back together again in a healthier, more balanced way. What this part by part method can teach us is that every part of us needs individual attention: one part out of whack can cause a chain reaction throughout the body. Take the hip flexors for example. Their main job anatomically is to bring the front side of your thigh closer to your belly. That means they are working when you walk up stairs, do a Warrior Pose, dance the Can-Can or do a Ninja Kick. They get shorted whenever we are sitting whether we are at work, driving, watching TV or reading Yoga Tune Up® Blogs. If your hip flexors are shortened because of the kind of work that you ask them to do, you may have an anteriorly tilted pelvis, which means that if you imagined that your hips are a bowl full water, the front lip of that bowl is tipped forward and down so that the water pours out onto your feet. To take that one step further, if the front lip is tipped forward and down, then the back edge must be lifted, so the muscles in your low back may be tight and painful as well.
Now that we have zoomed out to look at the bigger picture, let us refine our view in true Yoga Tune Up® fashion. One of the hip flexors that can be tight is called the Tensor Fasciae Latae. If your find the boney protrusion on the front of your hips and place your heel of the hand on that, and then reach your fingers towards the seam of your pants diagonally, you will be right over your TFL.
The Tensor Fasciae Latae may sound like the newest specialty beverage at the local coffee shop, but it is, in fact, a muscle of the lower extremity. It attaches from the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine (the front of your hip that you were just poking) to the Iliotibial band, otherwise known as the often sore strip of fascia right under the athletic stripe on your workout pants. When activated, the TFL flexes, abducts, and medially rotates the thigh at the hip joint. The TFL works when you are walking, standing, balancing on one leg, but not so much when you are lying in savasana. If your TFL is weak, it increases the likelihood that you walk like a duck with your feet turned out, and if it is tight, chances are good that you feel a lot of tension down the side of your thigh through the iliotibial band. Because it is a hip flexor and most humans in this part of the world spend most of their time sitting, chances are good that it is somewhat shortened. Add to that the fact that many of the activities we do to make up for our sedentary life styles include a lot of hip flexion, (running, power walking, kick boxing, remember step classes(!) and even yoga), it’s a pretty good bet that your TFL needs pain relief or just a little TLC. Here are three Yoga Tune Up® Tensor Fasciae Latae stretches that get at that overworked, under-appreciated coffee beverage, uh, make that, muscle.
- Abductor Lifts static or Dynamic
- Triangle in Parallel
- Bridge Lifts Minivini
I’ll be including a video clip of the Bridge Lifts with my blog on Friday!
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Love calling the tensor fascia Latakia a type of coffee. I have been telling my students that for over a year. Really helps them relate and remember. Thanks for pointing out 3 tune up poses to address this area.
I was just reading about this in my anatomy book the other day. The TFL is so important. Thank you for the great read!
YTU Therapy Balls are a great way to get into the myofascial restrictions before strengthening the TFL!
Great post. TFL is such a mystary for me
Super helpful post in the way it is written for me as I continue to learn the YTU way of languaging.
What a fun way to learn about the body by taking one muscle and making it come alive for me to know its relevance and crucial role in the movement of my body and its postures. The way you set up context really helps me understand what is required of me as a YTU teacher, from specific examples to help me as reader orient my personal experience into the material to distilling the knowledge in a more direct and generalized anatomical manner.
I like being asked to actively participate as I read – to palpate for my TFL. And the pose offerings at the end are well set up by your TFL description and its implications in our movement culture at this time.
The seeming asymmetry between big old external rotator glute maximus and little internal rotator TFL– as shown in the drawing here — makes me wonder about how this really works. Of course, there are other internal rotators and other external rotators. Maybe TFL towards the front of the ilium is the final piece to add balance to the system, like the last apple you put in the bag to make a pound. And isn’t it interesting that big and strong iliotibial band has a relatively small muscle attaching it to the skeleton at the top!
This is a wonderful post. I love how you explain what the TFL is, and how it translates into everyday life. Normally we focus on the bigger muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, etc), but it’s helpful to learn how we can start to isolate specific muscles, like you said, piece by piece. And I love your 3 suggestions of working with Triangle in Parallel, Abductor Lifts & Bridge Lifts MiniVini to address and strengthen this overworked muscle.
This really resenitates with me rolling it out makes a big difference eliminating the duck walk so many people encounter. Being in the yoga Tune Up trading has really silitified this .
TFL indeeds needs a lot of TLC as it often takes on the slack off from our already weakened. gluteal medius.
Thanks for the three helpful poses you presented.
Great article on the TFL– a constantly unknown and misunderstood muscle. I am curious about weak TFLs causing the “duck walk” pattern– since the TFL helps to medially rotate the femur bone in the hip, I understand that a weak TFL could cause this gait pattern. I’ve wondered, is there a way to strengthen the TFL to correct this pattern without the hip having to be in flexion? I love your idea of Triangle in Parallel as a way to bring awareness to the muscle and give it a gentle stretch.
This was an awesome blog with vivid and helpful descriptions. I am currently in the tune up training and learning the muscles and their actions, have been very challenging! The more exposure I have to hearing about the muscles and their functions, the more my brain can have reference points that I can draw from! I like the catchy title…I do not think I will ever think of this muscle without thinking of coffee! Thank You!
Thank You for the clear concise and accessible description of TFL. Now that I think of it as a coffee drink I will never forget its name and location:) Great to know that a weak TFL can cause the duck walk I see so often and really great to know with a little TLC to the TFL it can be corrected.
I feel that the Glute maximus is the boss, the glute medius is the boss’s son or daughter and the TFL is the janitor in the workplace. This muscle has an important job and needs regular TLC and gratitude. Thanks for the blog Bo!
Great clear explanation of the TFL! I often see with clients with undiagnosed hip and knee pain, complaining that they have been rolling their IT band on foam rollers for years with no change. Thanks for providing the list of YTU stretches, can’t wait to introduce these!
Merci pour les indications précises pour localiser ce muscle. Je vais maintenant pouvoir y accorder plus d’attention.
Those poor hip flexors! Boy do we tend to overuse them! Thank you for your clear explanations and suggestions.
Quelle bonne explication sur un des fléchisseurs des hanches, Tenseur Fascia Latea.
Maintenant plutôt que d’essayer d’étirer ma bandelette, j’opterais plutôt de prendre soin de mes TFL.
As a spinner, my TFL’s require a lot of attention 😉 but with the use of the balls and different Yoga Tune Up exercises they are always released and feel great. Thank you so much for this article.
I remember that when I was a teenage a friend of mine told me that I had a sway back, I always thought that my lumbar spine was overly curved, but now I think it just might be caused by a shortened TFL. I’m going to start practicing the three TYU poses you recommended and see what happens.
Great article, I will have to start rolling this area out in my classes, because as you said athletes and desk jockeys alike both need to bring more attention to this area.
Thank you for doing such a great job outing the TFL. As a runner, I often have tight TFLs that lead to lateral knee pain. Once I discovered my TFL and used my tune up balls over the this little muscle, the lateral knee pain disappeared as well as my ITB tightness. Thanks for outlining the poses to help provide a little more TLC for my TFL!
you made an important point that the muscles are first divided but after the connections of tensions are made to see how certain imbalances are effecting other areas in the body- thanks!
I’m drinking all this tensor fascia latae up (yes, pun intended). I’m a runner and have cursed my IT band for far too long…now I’m realizing that the real issue is my TFL. Now I’m reading as many things as possible about helping this overly used muscle in my body. Rolling on the ball is excruciating, but it’s good work. As my teacher quote yet another teacher: “our power is in our weakness.” Thanks for the post!
Excellent description of mapping out the TFL and explaining in a way the student can find it. The actions were excellent and again students would understand its function as those are explained.
Thanks Bo, this is a fantastic description and mapping of the TFL on the body as well as one of the best descriptions about how we not only underuse and shorten in day to day sitting life but also looks critically about what we do to compensate athletically also require a lot of hip flexion. Love the three poses you outlined, I also always enjoy adding some TLC to the TFL with YTU therapy balls as well as integrating Praserita Lunges and Moon Rise mini-vini
Belle explication merci, je cherchais justement les raisons de la marche des pieds en canard . Merci !
I love the description anatomically! Plus the reasons why it may be tight or loose. This is an area that loves my YogaTuneUp balls whether I’ve had a more active week or week with more “sitting”.
Rolling the TFL with the Yoga Therapy Balls is always a unique experience, and generally not quite as pleasant as drinking a latte. However, rolling the TFL does have more health benefits than that coffee drink, so giving that weak, shortened guy some love will definitely pay off in a way that a latte never will. Especially if it means not walking like a duck and ruining ones knees in the process.
I really enjoyed reading this blog post since I am someone chained to a desk most days of the week. One way to save your low back and hips is to rig a standing desk. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just standing for periods of the day, and really, taking brief walks, is great for your low back, hips and attitude.
Great explanation and landmarking. I had greatly underestimated the importance of this muscle. I’ve had problems with knees and ”tight hips” for years. This article made it easy to understand the link between my anterior tilt and my knees.
This article was affirming of all the work I’ve done for my TFL using Yoga Tune Up Methods. Abductor lifts used to be challenging for me! I appreciate that you pointed out that most of our exercise activities are highly focused on hip flexion! This is something I can take to my students in addition to the great “visual” description on how to find your TFL.
I am quite weak at abductor lifts, say hello to TFL!
Attempting to release the IT band, as many do, through foam rolling, is a task that will be greatly enhanced by also addressing the muscle that is pulling on it!! TFL… Yoga Tune up balls are the way to go!!
Absolutely love this breakdown of the hip flexor group. Such good verbiage to share with clients so they understand why we need to focus our ball rolling and strengthening exercises on this small but important site on the body. Thanks for sharing!
This is an interesting little muscle. So many people really focus on rolling the IT band but the most effective work will be in the TFL. That is where greater change can occur. Thanks for the three movements that focus on this muscle. I will definitely look at adding them to my next class.
As a runner, I know per experience that repetitive uphill and downhill running when having overpronated feet will increased inflammation in the TFL. I found helpful to release trigger points by using the YTU therapy balls, de-activating active trigger points in the iliosoas and TFL. Yoga Tune Up poses like the ones you mentioned (ex. Triangle in Parallel) will help lengthen the TFL and release tension.
I have tight IT bands with facia build up. Thanks for the simple ideas which should make a difference.
This article was a particular surprise. I feel like the older we get, we are busier, more stressed and we forget to take care of the basic things. Our diet and body. Even just something as simple as your posture or the way you walk or stand. In this article I was surprised that duck walk could be symptomatic of a person with a tight TFL. It was very interesting to learn about this because as a dancer my entire life I always thought that being able to have easy movement with my feet turned outward was a good thing. I guess that now I am learning more about the body and what is really proper for it, I keep getting surprised about the misguided ideas I had or maybe the lack in proper knowledge. This was a good read!
The first time I ever used the therapy balls to roll out my TFL, the sensation was something else. I never imagined ‘that spot’ could be so tight. Knowing that it inserts into the IT tract and can affect the the knee was an important discovery for me. I enjoyed reading your post.
Thanks for the great tip on how students can palpate the TFL! I’m using that in my next class!
I really enjoyed this article! As a yoga teacher I recently learned about the TFL and it is my new fascination! My boyfriend walks like a duck, and it was interesting to read that the TFL maybe the culprit.
Great article on the new coffee, I mean under worked muscle, tensor fascia lata. I have just started the Level 1 training and I was a little confused about this muscle and I think because the word fascia is included in it…so I when I would hear it I wasn’t quite sure if it was a muscle or part of the fascia. I am glad that you explained that its attachment site is the Anterior superior. But I am confused. Is it that its other point of insertion is the illiotibial tract that runs down the entire outside of the thigh and ends at the knee?
Thank you for being so clear and concise in landmarking the TFL on the body. I never knew that a weak TFL could cause that “duck walk” with feet pointing outwards and hips in external rotation, which leaves me to wonder if when I was a ballet dancer if my TFL was actually weak since I constantly walked like a duck.
This was a great article. I have been reading that main causes for external rotation of the hip (walking like a duck) can be caused by a weak glute med and tight hip flexors; I did not know that the TFL played such an important role in this as well. Thank you.
I’m excited to teach my partner these exercises and to have him massage his TFL with the YTU therapy balls – he walks like a duck! It’s subtle but it’s there AND he has SI pain, which can be a result of the duck walk – so this might help everything balance out.
I am going to add these poses to my Yoga Tune Up® routine You have convinced me that they will help my Tensor Fasciae Latae. I also like you explanation of how Yoga Tune Up® takes the body apart muscle by muscle in order to put it back together again in a healthier, more balanced way. What more plain and simple explanation of this flavor of body healing.
Too true that the TFL often needs a little TLC! My name is Amanda… and I am a duck walker. 🙁 However, recognizing this is the first step to recovery! The IT band has often gotten an unfair portion of my attention and those days are over! Abductor Lifts, here I come! Triangle in Parallel, let’s get this party started!
I love this post! The analogy of your hips being a bowl full of water if your tensor fascia latae is shortened is so helpful for me. The fact that it attributes to back pain is so interesting and makes so much sense! Since I sit at a desk all day, I will definitely work on the TYU exercises to lengthen the TFL!
[…] much underappreciated tensor fascia latae (TFL) and gluteus medius are key to hip and leg stability. If these muscles get ignored, the IT […]
Pigeon pose! I swear my TFL always benefits (even if it doesn’t exactly ‘love’ the pose)
Thank you, Bo, for helping me identify exactly where this Tiny f_ _ _ing coffee drink, er…muscle lives in my body. While I have always been well aware of the role of (and pain) of psoas, TFL is not at the forefront of my consciousness. I shall practice triangle and bridge with a new appreciation!
[…] major hip abductors are: All three Gluteus siblings, Maximus, Medius and Minimus; the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL); and the Sartorius. These muscles not only move the leg laterally away from the centerline, […]
Great article and well deserved attention for the TFL. It is such a small muscle, but has an important role in hip flexion. Since having a pair of yoga tune up balls, this is one of my favourite places to work on first. I was very excited to share the wonders of using the Yoga tune up balls with my students yesterday. They felt stored tension and some much needed release! Thank you for providing some YTU poses that will assist this muscle. I have been relying on the balls to do the work and this has opened up some ideas for sequencing! Thank you!!
Yes, the TFL is such a a culprit for so much hip tension! I have now made a concerted effort to not sit on chairs as much as possible. For example, I’m sitting on the floor right now writing this comment on a nice bolster at a low table. One of my fav. YTU ball massage is to roll out my IT band. It hurts so much yet, it’s sooo good for you.
This is a great anatomy lesson in and of itself. I am motivated to begin reading the blogs standing up. The fact that the hip flexors attach to the ASIS and IT band just confirms the issues that I consistently deal with. I do walk with neutral feet though so that’s one plus here. I must relax this TFL and IT band to begin to open the release the hip flexor. I also get cramping when I do core work because my hip flexors fire up. The left one is more painful but both will activate during core work like yesterdays, garudasana sit-ups. Lots of work to be done.
Thanks for this gem Bo! I noticed a while back when I was doing core work in a supine position, my hip flexors would fire up and get cranky before I coup really tap into my target area. I would end up stopping the exercise to pound out a cramp. Seeing as the TFL is one of the hip flexors, I’ve been working out the tension with my Yoga Tune-Up Balls, making them less cranky. Now my core is able to engage and power up long before my TFL wants to lend a helping hand!
tensor Fascia Lata! Yes, exactly, Bo, we do get ourselves in situations (like CLASSES) where we have much homework to do, as I am NOW, and we sit more than usual. Can be the down side of travel also, especially if you’re driving. Lately I’ve been practicing Hot Yoga, due to the fact that I was living with my son & daughter-in-law caring for my new grand baby. I no longer had my Yoga space & privacy, etc. & started attending the Hot Yoga studio conveniently located down the street. When I mention that I do this type of highly commercialized Yoga, I often get “boos”, even from open minded Yoga teachers. Fortunately for me I am reluctant to be negative about anything because there’s always some gold. At this studio I became aware of my tight TFL. The teachers strongly emphasize the backbend poses and specifically pointing out that we rarely extend the spine in daly life. I think I’ll have a nice milky latte now!
Thinking of a fancy latte is how I have remembered this name, TFL! I was introduced to my TFL when I began to have knee pain and leaned that my TFL was shortened and cause me patella femora. A few weeks on the therapy balls in combination with stretching and reintroducing new patterns of behaviors, my knee pain was relieved. MY TFL definitely taught me about the chain of reactions and actions within my own body.
My TFL on my left side is really over-developed and tight due to a horseback riding injury that magnifies my propensity for external rotation. Since I started doing Yoga Tune Up and worked on strengthening my abductors, the TFL has slowly begun to release some of the tension and I notice my ability to internally rotate is much improved. Thanks for the great article.
Triangle in parallel = no freaking joke. Try it. If you havent been introduced to your TFL before, this will get you well acquainted.
Fantastic post! I hear you. Every time I talk about this muscle, I think of that espresso beverage, the latte. I am a yogi who sits at a desk for work and bike commutes and who has really crank TFL. I’ve also noticed that my low back muscles are feeling tight these days. You put it all together for me here. I’m doing PT, which has been a great education. I’ve learned a lot about my body alignment and muscle patterns. Hopefully some day soon, I will balance out. It takes time though.
This is wonderful information with great exercises. In the past I have had people approach me saying “I think it is my IT band, what do I do.” With out being Yoga Tune Up savvy I didn’t have an answer I was wishing to provide. I have come across this in athletes, mostly overuse. I am happy that I know have greater understanding of how/why and how to help. Can’t wait to explore. What do you think about those who complain of illiotibial band syndrome? Of course considering this only when there is no serious irritation or inflammation?
Hip flexors are the achilles heel of so many runners! They will stretch their hips to death but never really properly get into the TFL. The ball can do so much more than stretching itself. I have used ball rolling on coaching runners for several years now and I know that it has impacted them by reducing risk of injury and increasing mobility.
I’m glad I found this blog! I am chronically tight in my hip flexors…..lot’s of spinning, downhill skiing, sitting at computers, driving to work and not taking the time to properly stretch and contract these important muscles. Thanks for the great explanation of the TFL. Can’t wait to add the suggested poses to my exercise regime!
Wonderful post! Who knew how important the Tensor Fasciae Latae really was! As an american who sits for lont amounts of time regularly, I can only imagine how shortened my TFL has become! Thank you for the great recommendations on yoga poses to treat this area of the body, Will be trying them as soon as I get out of this chair! 🙂
After looking at myself in the mirror I noticed that my “normal” stance includes an anterior tilted pelvis and my back muscles are shortened. I’ve been working to lengthen my lower back and create space so that my back sin’t dumping into pelvis. I have been the Yoga Tune Up Balls along the iliac crest, glutes and piriformis.
If I had a dime for every time my TFL made it’s presence known…I spent a long time unwinding the duck walk thing, but it’s almost like my TFL didn’t get the message and likes to get cranky still. I love the bridge lifts minivini to help iron it out–I’ll add your other suggestions to stretngthen as well. Bonus: the screwball legs move we did on the block in the hips immersion is also fabulous for letting gravity give you a little extra ‘oomph’ by wringing out that TFL is internal rotation. LOVE!
Yes, spinning seems to undo the hip opening from the yoga class before. Looking forward to working on this culprit area.
Thanks for the tips on loosening up the TFL. My psoas and TFL are both tight, causing pain and discomfort which my right hip flexor is acutely aware of when driving (at least I can try to straighten my left leg out). Sitting all day and spin class don’t help either. I’m looking forward to the improvement from incorporating these exercises into my routine.
The anatomical breakdown was helpful and really paInted a clear picture of how the TFL helps and can hinder you. The balance between the hip flecked and the TFL helps maintain the health of both the hip, knee, and lumbar spine. The YTU ball also do a great job of removing the fuzz that keeps this muscle stiff.
Thanks for sharing in clear language, the information on TFL . After a lifetime of skiing, running, cycling and yoga I am definately a candidate for these exercise’s. I was just told yesterday that I walked funny! I’m looking forward to working on the exercise’s provided and will report back with my changes! Also, looking forward to viewing your bridge lifts video
I had no idea I was walking like a duck with your feet turned out till I was demonstrating marching and looked down at my feet and then turning my feet straight I noticed the tension down the side of my thigh through the iliotibial band. I guess these three little magic poses are just what I need. Thanks for the list.
As I sit replying to this post I am observing my posture. If I am not mindful I am sitting with a posterior tilted pelvis causing strain and pain in my lower back.( Love YTU Side Winder) I just returned from a long walk and I can feel it tightening in TFL and IT a sure sign I need to do more work in this area. YTU bridge lifts and Abductor lifts dynamic and static will be the focus of my practice this morning
i’m glad you list the postures at the bottom… i often teach students with IT and TFL issues, but forget these when sequencing. This list will help me in tomorrow’s classes 🙂
OMG anterior tilt and walking like a duck. Was Bo watching me when she wrote this article? Cycling, working at the computer, hiking, or working at a desk all day, I am in hip flexion more often than not. Nice to know that an easy remedy would be to purposely do hip extention on a daily basis. Yoga has many poses to extend our hips and counteract some of the tightness produced in our regular lives. Then Yoga Tune Up balls are able to get deeper into the tissues and muscles to release the tightness that is still left behind.
A few of my favorite YTU poses that stretch the TFL include Monk Walks (and strengthens!) Reversed Spinal Twist Backbend Variations, and the Pelvic Primer Series on the block (bottom/standing leg TFL lengthens.) My favorite strengtheners also include the Abductor Lifts, and Parsva Bakasana! Thanks Bo.
Thank you for such a great description of the TFL muscle
Thanks for your very informative article. I am thrilled with the use of humor to bring forward your ideas. It is indeed important to stretch these tight TFL muscles. The bridge lifts minivini are fun to open these shortened muscles, besides providing fullness of breaths, which also work wonders to de-stress the body and mind. Yoga poses if done correctly, with understanding, work wonders on many fronts.
Great tutorial on the Tensor Fasciae Latae. I had to jump up and try Triangle in parallel. Along with yoga, I love activities that are probably causing my TFL to shorten and tighten. I’m going to try the suggested poses along with the great ideas posted by Leslie – nice research!
I look forward to working on those poses to
1. Strengthen my weak and flaccid TFL
2. Decrease the lateral rotation of my right hip, which is transmitting pain to my knee.
At the same time, I would think that strengthening the gluteus maximus, hamstrings and adductors would help as they are the antagonist muscles of the hip (yes, I am peeking in my books).
The synergists (while I’m still peeking) for the TFL: quads, iliopsoas, anterior part of gluteus maximus at IT band insertion, and the gluteus medius.
This is a great article about TFL. I like the way how you phrase the example. Now, I can have a better picture and can visualize the position of it. Just by wording, sometime I am not sure wxactly where the TFL lie since there are so many others mucsle surrounding the hip. It made my anatomy lesson much easier to understand. Thanks
Thank you for this article. I have been diagnosed with FAI, hip impingement, that is inoperable since i also have hip dysplasia. The technical jargon doesn’t help me much, but your article explains why I am much tighter and sore after a long car ride than I am after a day of teaching. Clearly standing and walking are helping me keep my hip flexors more extended. This may also explain why my favorite yoga pose is bridge (I feel so good afterward)
I often get a double shortening whammy as a graphic designer (computer and sitting) and from cycling many miles a week. These are three of my favorite YTU poses to strengthen, soothe and work my own TFL. Especially moving bridges with breath.
And…Starbucks totally needs to get a call suggesting the Tensor Fascia Latte–a specialty coffee drink for athletes and yogis.
Great article! Thanks Bo!
i really needed this article, glad i saved it to finally read!
i’ve had a hard time understanding anterior pelvic tilts, much less finding boney protrusions on my hips 😉 the add-on with the bowl image, plus the add-on about the rear rim then tilting up and tightening the lower back muscles was priceless
i’ve had painful IT bands i’ve rolled out pretty well, and had been wondering why i’d been favoring bridges somewhat lately, and now i guess i know why
i’d actually read ahead and saw the minivini bridge lifts video and want to refer to it in a breathing article i’m working
so this’s been a nice conjoining of topics and info for me, thank you 😉
Spending long days sitting at a desk can really wreak havoc on the body! Working to loosen my stubborn hip flexors has always been a challenge for me. I’m eager to explore the relationship between the TFL and other muscles that restrict our movement in the hips. Although my yoga practice has helped me to gain some flexibility, I sometimes feel I’m not releasing the exact place where I hold tension. I’m hoping that having a better understanding of how the TFL functions will allow me to better target this cranky area. I will definitely be trying these 3 poses – thanks for sharing!
I enjoy reading other perspectives when speaking in laymans terms about movement of the body and how it relates to everyday life. Although familiar with the TFL, what it does and its location, it is good to have an arsenal of terms to explain the relationship of how muscles affect movement or posture. Knowledge of a variety of ways to locate the TFL (such as heel of hand on ASIS) and a little catch phrase that a tightTFL can make you( “Walk like a duck with feet turned out) is valuable for any fitness professional. Each time you add a different perspective to your arsenal, it helps you communicate and reach more students
I’m commenting on the blog from desk at work and suddenly aware of the posterior tilt of my pelvis and taking in how many hours a day I send in this position for well over three decades!! It’s been said many times in my yoga classes that that our lifestyle of sitting for hours (in cars, office, classrooms etc) shortens our muscles and interferes with posture, but actually seeing the illustration in combination with this blog gives me a better understanding why so many, including myself, experience tightness in the hips. I can already see how this knowledge of the Tensor Fasciae Latae, and its role in the body, has the potential shape my practice moving forward.
This is a very timely post for me. I just started training for a half marathon and was surprised by how quickly I was losing hip flexibility. Now that I understand the relationship between TFL, tight hips, and running, (and now know where my TFL is!) I will be sure to do the exercises listed. Thanks for the great article.
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A tight and shortened TFL from a lifestyle of hip flexion (from sitting at computers and standing many hours of the day) and long distance running as a choice of exercise, leaves many of us with ITBand inflammation, tightness and pain. I am so excited to focus on these three Yoga Tune Up poses to help my overworked TFL. I look forward to the video clip of the Bridge Lifts.
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Thank you for this post on the TFL. I was a gymnast for 12 years and, of course, have been very flexible my entire life, especially throughout my hips. For the past 9 years I have been running a lot, and after my first marathon in 2009, it felt as though my hips seized up and have not relaxed. Now they are very tight! Many yoga poses, especially pigeon pose, used to be easy and painless for me, but now it is very painful and a lot of my flexibility has been lost. After reading your post, I think that part of the problem may be my TFL. I have an office-based job where I sit all the time. Sitting running has surely left my TFL needing some TLC! Thank you for the Yoga Tune Up pose suggestions – I will definitely try these out to see if I can loosen my TFLs.