Tensor Fascia Lata

The Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) is a hip abductor muscle located laterally outside of the hip. It attaches at the top to the pelvis and inserts lower down, into the Iliotibial Band (IT band). The IT band runs from the outer hips to knees and basically acts as a long, thick tendon for the TFL muscle.
The TFL muscle’s primary function is to help with the internal rotation of hips, stabilize the hips and pelvis and balances our body weight so that we can walk, run etc. However, the TFL muscle can cause pain in our hips and legs due to prolonged periods of muscle contraction, excessive tightness of psoas muscle and weakness of hip flexors such as the rectus femoris muscle. Some symptoms of TFL Syndrome includes pain in outer hips, outer thighs, muscle imbalance caused by overworking and pain when weight is dumped on one side. This happens more frequently in runners, hurdlers and weightlifters where they experience knee pain from running injuries.
We will find it challenging to do postures such as Padmasana (lotus pose), Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) and all other external hip rotation poses such as Vriksasana (tree pose) if TFL is tight. However, if the TFL muscle is kept flexible, it will reduce body injury and keep us fit.
To stretch our TFL muscle, we can practise Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose), Pavanamuktasana (wind-relieving pose), seated butterfly stretch as well as backbends such as Ustrasana (camel pose).
To strengthen TFL, we can practise seated twisting postures, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose), Anjaneyasana (low lunge) and Supta Virasana (reclining hero pose).
Done by: Mabel
YTT September Weekend 2017

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