Improve Swimming Knee Pain With the SMR IT Band Technique

SMR technique to relive IT band tightness and knee pain
Photo Courtesy: Dr. G. John Mullen

By Dr. G. John Mullen, DPT, CSCS

The knee is the third most-commonly injured body part in swimmers. Breaststroke swimmers are the most at risk for knee pain, but many non-breaststroke swimmers also have knee pain.

In non-breaststroke swimmers, improper or excessive dryland is a common cause of knee pain. I’ve written about the issues with W-sitting and even discussed Tips for Breaststroker’s Knee in the past.

Often, knee pain is perpetuated by tight muscles/fascia which cross the knee joint. The iliotibial band (IT band) is a band of fascia which crosses the knee joint and can increase knee stress and pain. Here is a soft-tissue technique for reducing stress on the knee joint.

Self-Myofascial Release Technique For the IT Band

Lie on your side with either a heavy bar or foam roll on the side of your thigh (above your knee). Roll the device you are using slowly up and down your leg, stopping on any tender spots. Perform for two to five minutes.

If you like this, consider purchasing Mobility for Swimmers.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

Brittany Archer

6 years ago

Sarah Cornell

6 years ago

Thea O’Keefe

6 years ago

Brooke Gilroy