Exercises to Prevent Shin Splints

The good news, however, is that there are exercises you can add to your routine to help prevent some of those injuries, especially ones due to repetitive use like shin splints. Some of these preventative moves are so simple that incorporating them into your daily routine will only take a few extra minutes and can be done upon waking or while sitting at your desk.Calf-Pain-Front

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are a common injury that can sideline even the most experienced athlete.  It is a pain along the inner edge of the shinbone, shin splints are very treatable and very preventable.

Preventing Shin Splints

Ensure you increase miles slowly and gradually. This includes giving yourself enough rest between long runs. Secondly, mix up the surface you run on switching between concrete, asphalt, trail, track, treadmill and grass. Once you vary where you run, you’ll also need to switch up your other workouts. Cross-training in the gym is key to building strength in your legs without overdoing calf exercises.

1. Calf Stretch

Running can cause tight calves, which in turn pull on the anterior tibias, or the shins.

What to do:

  • Stand close to a wall, curb or step.
  • With the heel down, raise the toes up the wall or curb to a 45-degree angle or greater.
  • Keep your leg straight, but with a soft bend in the knee.

Additionally, you can add or remove pressure by leaning forward or back slightly. If you’re on a curb, hang your heel off the edge, letting your body weight assist with the stretch.

2. The ABCs

This gets the circulation going, keeps the ankle flexible and stretches out the peroneus, the muscle on the side of your calf that attaches down by the ankle.

What to do:

To do this simple move, you can sit or stand and write the alphabet out with your foot. Try to only use your foot and ankle, not your entire lower leg. Once you get through the entire alphabet, repeat with the opposite foot.

3. Resistance-Band Wipers

These primarily work the peroneal muscles and help build strength in the lower leg.

What to do:

  • Place a resistance band around both feet.
  • Using one foot as an anchor, rotate the other from side to side like a windshield wiper.
  • Do this 20 times on one foot before switching to the other.

4. Roll Out

Calf tightness leads to changes in your running gait that can not only cause shin splints, but also lead to plantar fasciitis. You should do a total-leg rolling session one to three times per week, as long as it is not creating more soreness. By rolling out your legs, you will help release the muscles and fascia around the calf.

What to do:

  • Kneel on the roller and gently roll two inches down the anterior tibialis muscle (front of the shin) and one inch up, doing this all the way from the lower knee to the ankle.

5. Yoga Toes

Yoga toes are another simple move that can be done in addition to rolling out your muscles with a foam roller or the ball-and-block method. The purpose of this move is to help strengthen the small muscles in the feet and keep them healthy. By working these muscles, you’re increasing your balance and strength in your feet, which directly affects your ankles, calves and shins.

What to do :

  • Stand barefoot on the floor.
  • Then simply spread your toes out as wide as possible before relaxing them.
  • Repeat 10 times.

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  • Alfred Sam
    16th June 2015 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    This is a good post, my son plays football and normally complains about pain. i always thought it was due to him overworking himself. Will do these shin splints exercises with him.

  • 16th June 2015 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Alfred, Shin splints are a common injury that can sideline even the most experienced athlete, your son may be suffering from it also. When you do these exercises with him, it won’t take long but the results will be very visible. Some of these preventative moves will only take a few extra minutes but the key is to do them regularly. If you need help please message me on Whatsapp number: +971 55 432 4361 and i will be able to help or get one of our football couches to help your son.

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