In my last post, I talked about how the much-maligned tensor fascia latae muscle is not always the main player in IT Band pain, because sometimes it’s not actually playing enough!

One of the brilliant things about YTU® is the balance of down-regulating and strengthening at it’s core. Learning the assessments and theories behind NeuroKinetic Therapy® has opened my eyes to muscle relationships that I would not have previously considered. This new awareness helps me craft even more precise and well-balanced YTU sequences.

Releasing the TFL muscle and the IT Band is a beautiful thing in moderation (here’s a video of Jill Miller demonstrating the ball plow technique for the IT band). If you have IT band or knee pain and roll your TFL all the time but your pain continues to linger, it might be time to reconsider your strategy and figure out what other muscles might be involved.

One way to get a clearer picture is to do your own single leg stance test in front of a mirror. If you know one IT band feels tighter than the other, start with that foot. If your foot tends to roll inward, your peroneals might need some releasing. If your opposite hip tends to drop, your gluteus medius might need strengthening. My best suggestion is to seek out a YTU or NKT professional in your area to help you truly get to the root of the problem.

My favorite mini-sequence in the YTU repertoire for this particular pattern is the Calf-Smash sequence from The Roll Model (Miller, p. 209-211) and follow with Prasarita Lunges (see video below) This mini-vini will strengthen all the muscles around the hips including the tensor fascia latae and the gluteals. To complete the balance challenge, finish with Moon Rises.

Try these three in a close sequence (NKT® says within 60 seconds to get the best response) and see your own balance improve!


Enjoyed this article? Read Perplexing Peroneals: the ‘Gaitkeepers’

Melinda Kausek

A lifelong lover of both movement and learning, Melinda has spent the last 5 years as a full-time Pilates teacher in San Francisco, CA. She teaches from a place that allows her students to have fun and workout while discovering their bodies and their true strength. Always looking for new tricks and tools, she is proud to add Yoga Tune Up® to her arsenal of skills. When she’s not teaching you might find Melinda on the dance floor or writing on her blog, which you can read here:

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OOO love this article! I love how you point out that it might not be a “releasing” or stretch issue but rather strength. The self assessments were extremely helpful as well as the YTU series. I have to say, that sequence put together like that is one of my favorites as well :). Thanks for starlighting the TFL!

Clarissa Stewart

I have a client that is a runner and always complains of her right TFL we have done some pin and release work and she rolls it but after reading this article I’m going to do a little more investigating next time I see her. Thanks for the insightful article!


Interesting. My friend has complained about all of the above recently and I thought it was weak glutes, especially the glute med, but had not considered lower on the leg, the peroneals and the movement of the feet. He did also mention he has tight ankles. Cant wait to show him some rolling tonight!

Kara Stafford

Thank you for the tips on teasing out if the ITB needs to be roller or if the issue roots from a different source. This was very insightful!

Priscilla Daniel

Thank you for detailing other concerns that can be going on in the hip.

Dominique Lim

Thank you for sharing this! I think we tend to over-roll our IT band and TFL especially in a gym. This is a great reminder to investigate further up or down a chain and aim for balance.

Toni Cupal

Thank you for this article – it is helping me think about how balancing strengthening and opening is a perfect place to begin looking for how to help a student, rather than only thinking about loosening something up. Seems simple, but it is really a shift in my perspective and I appreciate it. Thank you!