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Depression and Heart Disease

3 Steps to Addressing Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain & Tightness


In today’s video we’re going to go
through three steps to addressing tensor fasciae latae pain and I’m going to give
you five exercises that you can start using right now Yo what’s up it’s
Coach E here from Precision Movement and today we’re going to go through three
steps to addressing tensor fasciae latae pain so the tensor fasciae latae is a
muscle right at the top and outside of your hip right here it’s not very big
it’s maybe about that big and it inserts into your iliotibial band okay so that’s
the taut band of fascia that runs on the outside of your thigh okay this muscle
is often very problematic people have a lot of pain here it tends to flare up in
people and they don’t know what to do often times they’ll massage foam roll
the IT band trigger point strap a static stretch but the thing is with the tensor
fasciae latae none of these approaches are going to give you lasting relief
because for the majority of people the tensor fasciae latae is sore as a
compensatory mechanism okay the tensor fasciae latae is compensating for
muscles other muscles in the hip that aren’t functioning correctly okay now
I’m gonna go into this very briefly but if you want the full background the
anatomy of the biomechanics and the references definitely check out the
article I’m gonna like that in this video here you’ll see a little icon on
YouTube and I’m also going to link it at the end of this video because if you
have tensor fasciae latae pain you’re going to want to understand everything
fully so you can take the right steps to be rid of it for good okay so the tensor
fasciae latae in terms of biomechanics it performs four movements okay hip
flexion it contributes to hip flexion hip internal rotation so that way
internal rotation okay and hip abduction so bringing the leg out to the side
now it also assists in when the knee is flexed only tibial external rotation
like that okay so rotating the tibia externally okay that doesn’t happen when
the knee is straight because all the rotation occurs at the hip in that case
so only when the knee is flexed tibial external rotation because the
tensor fasciae latae inserts into the IT band and the IT band inserts into
lateral aspect of the tibia the lateral condyle it rotates it out okay and
that’s very important to understand when you perform the techniques that we’re
gonna show you I’m gonna show you here today so the three steps to
addressing tensor fasciae latae pain these three steps are part of the
precision movement process for eliminating pain and improving mobility
so in all the courses that we offer hip control spine control everything these
three steps are followed because if you don’t follow these three steps
you’re not going to resolve pain long term and you’re not going to improve
mobility long term okay you might get some instantaneous acute effects but
then you’ll regress back to what you started at okay so step one is address
some structural limitations step two is activation and dissociation
and step three is functional integration and I’m gonna go through all these steps
and give you exercises for each one okay so let’s start with step one
structural limitations structural limitations can be muscle length itself
could be fascial length or it could be joint capsule mobility the joint
mobility if you don’t address these things first if you do any dynamic
mobility exercises activation exercises you’re not going to get the results that
you’re after because these structural blockages you can just think of it as
imagine bone on bone if that’s happening no amount of stretching is going to go
through that you’ve got to fix what’s causing that bone on bone okay same
thing happens with the limitations that I mentioned so one technique that you
can use that will help with tensor fasciae latae pain is the four point hip
joint mobilization okay this hits the joint capsule and I’ve got a video I’ll
link to it as well but we’ll go through a really quick demonstration of this
technique so you want to get a band you don’t have to do this with the band but
it does help yeah and what we’re going to do is we’re gonna mobilize into
internal rotation because the tensor fasciae latae like I said it’s a hit
internal rotator so if our joint capsule is limited into internal rotation the
TfL is gonna have to fight that much harder and to no avail it’s gonna work
harder but it’s not gonna be able to do anything cuz bumping up against this
joint capsule so it easily becomes overworked and that’s how the pain
develops okay so this is going to mobilize into internal rotation to
remove that blockage if it exists for you okay so you’re in a four-point
stance here set up nice spinal alignment hips shoulder width apart or hips or
knees hip width apart hands shoulder width apart and you’re going to
internally rotate the hip where the band is the hip that you’re working on okay
so I internally rotate now you can block it if you want you can get throw a
dumbbell or a kettlebell down there but you don’t have to you okay and from here
what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna sit back and once I start to feel that
restriction is sit back and I’m starting to feel restricted here what I’m gonna
do is I’m going to scour so I’m going to circle my hips around your significant
other might appreciate this one as well but you’ll circle your hips around five
to ten circles in one direction under control nice and slow and then five to
ten circles in the other direction okay and what this is do doing is just
rotating and mobilizing that joint capsule in to internal rotation so that
if that structural limitation is there it’s going to remove it okay so you do
that that’s the four pointed hip joint capsule mobilization that’s a technique
that you can do daily okay so that’s just one example there many techniques
that you can do to remove various structural limitations okay so if you
have that structural limitation one thing that you might have heard about is
femoral acetabular impingement this technique is great for that because
we’re getting rid of that impingement by mobilizing the joint caps okay so that’s
step one addressing structural limitations
step two is activation and dissociation okay so I said earlier the tensor
fasciae latae is often compensating for us other muscles that are
not working properly okay so some of these other muscles are the muscles that
perform the same actions as the tensor fasciae latae hip flexion which could be
the iliopsoas or the rectus femoris okay more commonly the iliopsoas could be hip
internal rotation okay variety muscles there but predominantly glute medius and
gluten minimus anterior fibers as well as hip abduction okay see there you have
glute all the glutes medius minimus maximus alright so if any of those
muscles are not functioning properly then something else has to pick up the
slack because we still got to move we still got a lifter flex our hips to walk
upstairs and to walk in general so other muscles kick in to compensate almost
like the tensor fasciae lata it’ll jump in and it’ll help out but it’s so
small it quickly and easily gets overworked which results in soreness so
it’s just like working the biceps if you’re doing bicep curls all day every
day they’re gonna get sore they’re not gonna recover and then you’re gonna have
just chronic pain okay so what we’ve got to do is restore activation first of
those other muscles okay so let’s say for example it’s the glute medius an
exercise that I prescribed for this would be the sideline hip and abduction
so there’s a lot of studies and I’m gonna let that are linked to in the
article that I’m sending you as well but that show what are the best exercises to
activate various muscles of the hip and to make sure other muscles aren’t
working as much and one is the side lying hip abduction
so you’ve seen if you’ve seen Buns of Steel with good old Jane Fonda doing
this but what the studies have shown is maybe internal rotation of the hip
activates more glute med relative to TFL okay so if TFL is working too much
and glute med is not working enough this is what we want to do so internal
hip rotation hold that position and then it’s slow controlled lift abduction you
can hold it for five seconds and return under control okay and you can poke in
the side here you want to be working a lot here
not so much here TFL is gonna work because it’s an abductor but we want to
focus on glutes squeeze those glutes hip abduction hold it for five squeeze it
hard breathe so we’re activating that muscle and down
okay so there’s a very basic activation technique to get the glute medius
working okay a little tweak that you can do to get glute max another study has
shown how do we get glute max firing without so much TFL well you do the same
kind of technique except you flex your hip up to at least sixty degrees and
then you do abduction and that’s going to get more glute max involvement as
opposed to glute median medius involvement with less TFL okay same
protocol do reps hold for five to ten seconds okay so we’re activating the
muscles getting them fired up so if they’re sleepy they’re atrophied they’re
weak we need to first activate them and build up their strength and that
neuromuscular connection the mind the muscle connection so we can use those
muscles in other exercises and movements yeah so there’s a couple techniques
another technique I want to share with you here activation wise that one is the
monster walk okay it’s the monster walk you’ve probably heard of it before but
there’s again a couple little tweaks when I don’t into the research for this
so a lot of studies showing how do we get the best activation okay so in the
monster walk traditional monster walk you put a band around your legs or your
feet your ankles and your sidestep okay but what studies have shown is the best
band placement to get glute involvement is around the feet and the hypothesis is
and make sense is that facilitates external rotation of the hip because
you’re fighting that force the band wants to rotate my hip internally so now
the external rotators have to work glute max predominantly okay and then position
wise you want to be in an athletic stance a semi squat position
okay so those two tweaks will improve your activation profile more glutes less
TFL all right so you’re just stepping slow steps I like to slide over kind of
like a lateral lunge and then bring the foot back in under control so slide out
slide it over bring the foot in under control
step out place down shift your body weight over bring the foot back under
control okay this way we’re not using momentum and we’re building strength and
control throughout the range of motion okay not throwing the cable but throwing
my feet I’m activating and controlling all right so that’s the monster walk
anywhere from ten eight to twelve repetitions either way okay so that’s
gonna get glute max, glute med not so much TFL which is what we’re going for
okay so those are a couple of exercises of examples for activation okay and
dissociation that’s a little more complex
check out the article I’ll break it down more there for you okay finally step
three functional integration now that we’ve removed structural limitations
those are out of the way we’ve got muscles activated all the muscles that
we need to be working are working and the moving patterns are broken through
dissociation so we’ve got conditioned movement patterns just through habit
it’s like Pavlov’s dogs you ring the bell and they start salivating well
whenever we flex our hips we tend to towards dorsi flex the ankle okay so one
example of disassociation is flex the hip plantar flex yeah that’s just a
dissociation disassociating that movement pattern breaking that
conditioned movement pattern and that just opens up new levels of activation
it activates muscles differently and it opens up the variety of the number of
movement patterns that we have available to us it would create new neuromuscular
pathways new neural pathways in our brain
all right so step three functional integration now we want to put all that
stuff into movements that we actually do in real life
there’s no point just doing activation exercises then going down and moving
doing say a squat for example the same way that you’d always squat it you want
to make sure all the other muscles are integrated into that movement pattern
okay so a couple techniques that I want to show you the first one is unilateral
wall squat and this has been proven in the research to be a very beneficial
exercise for glutes unless TFL so if you’ve got one side that’s affected and
the other side is not affected yeah then you start with your good side and you
see okay where’s that range and that’s the range that you want to get to okay
so you’ve got kind of a gauge so this is my left side is my good side my right
TFL is actually a little over overactive a little facilitated so the unilateral
wall squat you just make sure your feet are pointing straight ahead make sure
you’ve got good hip alignment and then you’re sliding down and then back up
okay very simple and this is just going to start to train that squat movement
pattern getting the glutes into it okay so if I’m going to do it with my bad
side what most people will find is when they do it with their bad side they’ll
shift over their hip a lot like that to keep balance ok that’s because the
abductors are not functioning properly so you got to make sure the hip doesn’t
shoot out like that and think about weight through the ball of the foot and
the medial aspect of the heel and then slide down there and then up okay you
can use your other foot for balance this would be a low level functional
integration technique because it’s we’re using multiple joints multiple muscle
groups and we’re doing patterns that are used in everyday life in sport okay so
that’s one technique the second technique is the banded lunge
so the banded lunge is a very very popular exercise now but one thing that
I see a lot of people doing mistakenly is using a band that’s way too heavy
okay all we want to do is make sure we use a band that elicits the right
activation pattern we’re not trying to build strength in this like max strength
in this type of because it’s not a movement that we do
in everyday life if we don’t have somebody pushing our knee in as we’re
doing a lunge which I’m going to show you okay so use a relatively light band
just enough to get a little bit of activation and to get some kinesthetic
awareness of what you’re trying to fire up okay you’re gonna do a lunge a banded
lunge so step back our banded split squat make sure both feet are pointing
straight ahead hips are square tall good posture I’m
just gonna squat down lunge down making sure that everything is tracking and
good alignment and going all the way up to full in the extension at the top yep
so your focus should be on the medial aspect of the heel the ball of the foot
and just keep that alignment okay under control so you build that strength
through the full range of motion and this is going to integrate the glutes
and the external the glute medius and the glute maximus for external rotation
and hip abduction into a lunge movement pattern which is a common movement in
the gym in sport even in life going up stairs again
okay so that’s step three functional integration so this is these are the
three steps that you must go through to eliminate tensor fasciae latae pain for
good okay because if this muscle is painful that just means it’s overworked
it could be no other reason it’s overworked it’s doing more than it needs
to be doing because other muscles are not pulling their weight
okay so we’ve just gone through a really quick kind of high-level overview of the
three step process and I’ve shared a few exercises with you so if this all makes
sense to you I highly recommend you check out the blog post that’s going to
be linked at the end because this thing is it’s a big one you’re going to go
through all of the background the anatomy the biomechanics the scientific
studies the research and then I’m going to give you what you need to do to deal
with that TFL pain to get rid of it and to make sure it’s gone and stays away
alright so thanks for checking out this video hope it’s been helpful for you see
you next time

76 thoughts on “3 Steps to Addressing Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain & Tightness

  1. Thank you! I cant wait to try these three steps. Do you recommend I hold off on squatting while I do this for two weeks, or should I go light? I tend to feel this impingement at the bottom of the rep and maybe the first 6" on the way up.

  2. No one has explained this better! Everything you went through was so clear and accurate, the explanations and descriptions were simple and I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the first time.

  3. I'm picking my jaw off the ground….I've had TFL pain for 9 years now, and up until a year ago (Thanks to a good PT) never knew what was causing the pain. I'm SLOWWWWLY having less pain, much to my own scouring and research of this awful condition and doing my own rehab. I have NEVER heard someone so accurately describe what's been going on in my body as you just did. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Excited to incorporate your tips!

  4. I hope this guy is a physio. Bet he heals loads of people. Great video very professional and well explained and demonstrated.

  5. I have been suffering with, what I think is tfl pain for about 2 years now. Tried deep tissue massage, trigger point massage and stretching. Nothing has got rid of it. After reading your comments I am looking forward to trying these exercises and following on with your other tfl videos. Thank you for posting this, even if it doesn't help me, thank you for posting and helping other people. Peace ✌

  6. This is AWESOME! I am a runner and always looking for new strategies to prevent overcompensation in other muscles in our hip and gluteal area(s). Thanks for the thorough video, Eric!

  7. Finally! I've been dealing with TFL pain for 2.5 months now, and all my attempts to rehab my hip have seemed to make it worse. Now I realize that a lot of my rehab exercises have been working the TFL, which is the last thing I should be doing if my pain is a result of my TFL being overworked ( which I strongly suspect is the case, because I don't feel much pain in the morning, but after a long day of walking ( as I was doing on vacation last week ) it hurts like all hell . ). Until I found this video and your blog post, nobody had shown me ( including an ortho doc I visited ) how to do rehab exercise that would exercise the other muscles in my hip while putting minimum strain on the TFL.

  8. This is one of the best videos I have ever watched on Tensor Fasciae Latae Pain & Tightness. I have had issues for years and no one really helped me or explained what was going on and the targetted exercises one can do. I am on day 3 of these exericses, over and above all that i do, and this has made a huge difference to my legs and overall posture. Awesome video, one of the best.

  9. Thanks so much for this video, truly amazing help. I train in Muay Thai and I have had the worst TFL pains from throwing roundhouse kicks. I've been stretching and stretching but I could not loosen my TFL up to even reach rib height with my roundhouse kicks. The motion is mostly abduction and interior rotation (I think). I struggle VERY much with abduction and the pain can be brutal at times. I am just wondering if you possibly have any links to other excersizes I can perform that don't require a band? I don't have access to a band and was just curious to see if you had more options of ways to really fix the TFL up. And I was also just wondering with that first workout to break the obstructions where you circle your hips in the four point stance, the pain is pretty bad while performing it and I was just curious if that's normal? Again, thank you so much. I have lost much confidence in myself and almost gave up Martial Arts because nobody could explain to me why I can't fix this pain and just advised to "keep kicking" but I am now hopeful I can get over this and finally achieve my odd dream of being able to do a high/body kick and maybe someday compete in an amateur fight.

  10. I’ve been suffering from TFL pain for decades. This is easily the clearest and most helpful explanation and direction I’ve ever seen. Thank you!

  11. I have studied exercise physiology and I have not seen a better practical instruction for athletes and dancers. I was looking for something before my next performance and found this right on time. Kudos on a very well written script with the right pieces of information and for being to the point. Thank you so much!

  12. Wow, like so many others commenting, all my efforts to deal with TFL have been counter-productive, I couldn't understand how everything I tried made it worse. Normal clamshells and side leg-lifts were the worst, now I understand more how to take the TFL out of the picture and properly work the right muscles. Thank you so much, great presentation.

  13. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I know i hurt myself and that the tfl is involved. I could feel when the glutes were working v tfl. I actually feel like there's hope. I've had this pain for 4 months. It was bad at first then it reduced and just kept creeping around. I have been searching muscular anatomy for so long. Now I just have to start.

  14. When I lift my leg up as far as it can go, laying down, and externally rotating it causes pain. Is this an example of this muscle being tight and over compensated? The pain is in the same sensation of a pinch. Also am dealing with hip flexor pain as well.

  15. Eric, I am a retired professional athlete and this info/video is some of the best advice I have seen when it comes to the TFL. Fantastic info!

  16. I'd been searching everywhere for help with my TFL pain– dude!!! AMAZING explanation and exercises to do. I've done it once and felt a shifting/relief… I can tell that if I'm consistent this will finally resolve this. thank you!

  17. My pain has started, I believe, since I have had my knee replaced. My tkr has been extremely difficult mostly due to what my therapist says is a lazy quad. My walking gait has been very off due to my knee buckling and now am having the pain in that thigh. Do I need to do all of these exercises to get relief? There is no way I can get on my knees or due lunges yet.

  18. I am a physical therapist, but haven’t practiced for 18 years. Needless to say my biomechanics are a bit rusty! I am having some tfl pain and your quick and thorough explanation was just what I needed to get this under control. Thanks!

  19. Great content. Went to a physio today and she’s the first one that’s ever mentioned TFL. Mine is so tight and sore from running. She said she could feel scar tissue- I wasn’t aware that I’d ever injured it as no one had ever told me previously!
    I over pronate a lot – more so in my left side- where my TFL is tightest.
    I’m booking in to see a podiatrist to get some custom orthotics as she said all my problems- TFL and trochanteric bursitis originate from that. Does this sound right to you Eric?
    I’ve just signed up for your TFL 7 day programme- I want to start off on the right foot – if you’ll pardon the pun!
    Thanks in advance.

  20. Great video. Thank you much. I would ask/recommend that you quantify the bands you use. This will allow viewers to adjust their band appropriately. If you say that band resistance is being misjudged, give us an accurate recommendation. Cheers,

  21. Hi Eric, great video and very useful. In 9:30 you said that to get more Glute Max firing and not so much TFL we must flex the hip about 60 degrees. But TFL is a muscle that flex the hip. Can you please clarify how is that possible?

    Thanking you

  22. Thank you kindly!
    During hip surgery my doctor had to cut my TFL, or nip it because it was too tight. He gave no explanation about follow up and PT didn't address the pain. just chalked it up to hip surgery. It's been a year and the pain is still present most of the time. I followed along with the video. I could tell my gluts are sleepy [pre hip surgery atrophy] Just waking them a little [my gluts] made a difference during a short walk. Thank you again! I've been looking for this!!!!!!!!

  23. I've been suffering with this for over a year now due to a bad fall on my tailbone, everything started to go.. I am very active in my daily life, I see wonderful massage therapists, yet my pain is never ending in this area. I am going to try these tweaks into my fitness program immediately! THANK YOU

  24. After a total hip replacement, recovery has been excellent except for the pain and weakness in my TFL; I notice it when practicing hanging pikes and L-sits.
    My physical therapist just described as tendonitis in a hip flexor, prescribing slow eccentric exercises; has helped some but I'm most disturbed by what feels like a loss of function. For instance, when I practice L-sits (no, I can't do it on the floor) on rings or parallettes, my knee on my new hip side with tender TFL, caves in slightly pigeon toed.
    Is it possible to be overworked and weak at the same time?

  25. Thank you good information, I started with sciatica used to be very active but my leg muscle has atrophied and I am now walking with a limp, have no strength in my left leg at all in my quads and calfs I can not even get up off the floor as my leg is so weak any suggestions please

  26. Great information! I miss my trainer & all functional movement exercises! So many people want to move on to lifting won't building a foundation. Thanks!

  27. Thank you for this in-depth explanation. I fell and busted my meniscus and had surgery. I haven't kept up with the strengthening my PT prescribed for me. Chiropractic I felt was just taking my money and never really addressed this particular issue. What I needed was a full explanation and exercises to actually target this weakness that now makes me limp.

  28. Cool I'll give this a try. Getting some hip flexor pain from heavy squatting, like they are working super hard, then they start stabbing on the walk uphill home. I raced bikes for 5 years, so lots of hip flexor movement and little to no external hip rotation.

    I am wondering though – you show 2 exercises to help with glute activation without TFL activation, but what about iliopsoas? Any exersises to target iliapsoas without TFL engagement? Is this unnecessary?

  29. I have been having problems for years. He explained it in 15 mins. My TFL was causing overload on my psoas. and keeping everything tight and limiting my hip ROM. Great job!

  30. Loving the video. Thank you. Can i just check for activating other muscles exercise would u do this directly before running or as long as u do these on a regular basis ur muscle will be "awake" by default? Thank you

  31. Excellent information! I had ITBS a year ago. Since then although the pain outside the knee is gone my itband is tight. Also my tfl is bigger from the other leg. And of course my glute medius is weaker. I am working on these things now. I want to ask you if this problem could also be responsible for my right hip to be higher than the left.

  32. What to do if you don't have bands attached to an anchor on a wall, which I dont have at home. Who do I seek out to do these exercises (proper gym with an expert like you)?

  33. Hello something is "wrong" with my left leg. Not sure if its tfl problem. I cant do the wall squat on my bad leg without shifting weight or moving foot.I should keep trying ? Many thanks

  34. FINALLY someone that ACTUALLY KNOW what he's talking about and goes to the bottom of this type of problem. As opposed to the endless online epidemic of gold-digging narcissist 'experts' spinning whatever BS rhetoric word-salad furthers their agenda… Thank You, Mr. Wong – for being REAL!

  35. Thank you so so much, I have been suffering with this problem for so long now and you’ve just explained things the best way possible and seems straightforward to follow! Will start tomorrow

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