This thing is a THICK fibrous band that anchors to the thigh from the hip to the outside of the knee.
There are other muscles that connect to it that may influence the pull of the bad, however the IT Band itself does not have contract like a muscle.
It is more of a structural support that has other muscles pulling on it in whatever directions they decide to behave.
You can think about these muscles acting like a steering wheel on the IT band. Whichever way they are biased to pull, they will steer the IT band it its direction.
This will cause tension and torsion at the outside of the knee, the outside thigh, or even the hip. It all depends where the tension is coming from. Your IT band is just a victim that gets all the blame.
Stretching the IT band doesn't help, because like I said before, it's influenced by multiple muscles around it.
What you really want to do is reduce the biases of the muscles that may put a strain on the IT band.
One of the best things to do is to learn how to tilt the pelvis backwards, such as doing a glute bridge.
Once you can establish this position, you would want start to integrate this position with squatting and hinging based activities.
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Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.