Friday, March 6, 2020 - 01:35

If you’ve ever had problems with your knee, hip, lower back, calf or achilles, chances are you have some unresolved tightness in your TFL.

As you can see, the ITB has upper attachments to both the gluteals and the TFL.  Any dysfucntion/weakness in the glutes means that the TFL needs to work proportionally harder.  Gluteal inhibition is common - especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.

If you palpate on yourself, you feel the TFL by placing your finger on your front of your pelvic bone.  Slowly move down and to the outside of the thigh until you feel a ropey muscle that is the width a finger.  It may be tender to touch.


The TFL is a hip flexor, abductor and internal rotator.  It works in conjunction with the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus to stabilise the leg during the stance phase of walking and running.  The TFL anteriorly rotates your pelvis.  Functionally, the TFL is part of the Lateral Line and the Spiral line, according to Thomas Myers in his book Anatomy Trains.


Overload of the TFL can lead to pain and tightness in the front of the hip.  Very common is also pain and tightness in the outer part of the knee and into the ITB.  This is most noticeable when walking or up and down stairs/hills. 

Other symptoms:

  • knee and hip pain (especially outside)
  • the lower back and SIJ
  • upper back
  • calf and achilles

As the TFL pulls the head of the femur bone forwards, chronic increased tone is one of the prime causes of hip osteoarthritis and degeneration. 


The TFL becomes overloaded with repeated use in the following situations:

  • excessive sitting, driving, kicking
  • walking and running (especially uphill and downhill)
  • cycling, swimming, kayak/canoe
  • meditating crossed legged in lotus position
  • sleeping in the fetal position
  • standing with a swayed back and wearing high heels too often

But this problem can be solved with  the Rossiter Stretching work outs. These two-person stretching techniques for motivated people who want to take charge of their body’s recovery and well being. 

On this picture you can see one of the rossiter techniques (Hipwag) for hip and back pain.

Stretching is performed on the client who is in the side laying position. His head rests on the arm, which rests on the floor, legs bent slightly. Coach uses the heel to add weight to the TFL, to a painful spot in between the great trochanter and the hip bone (iliac crest). Then coach gives the instructions to client to make some movements with his leg. Movement is very important for the effective stretching.

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