Strengthening and Stretching Exercises That May Help With Shin Splints

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  • Stretching and strengthening exercises are important to help keep your shin muscles flexible and strong, which can help lower the risk of injuries
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, the following exercises may help reduce pain and swelling

Stretching and strengthening exercises are important to help keep your shin muscles flexible and strong, which can help lower the risk of injuries. Not only is this applicable for athletes, but for ordinary people as well.1 If you’ve been diagnosed with shin splints, the following exercises from BodyBuilding.com and Runner’s World may help reduce pain and swelling.

Gastrocnemius Muscle Stretch

This exercise focuses on one leg at a time, allowing you to carefully tend to the affected area. To start, lean toward a wall and extend the affected leg backward, keeping the entire sole planted on the floor. You should feel a stretch occur on the back portion of the lower leg. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and repeat everything three times. You can move the heel further back if you don’t feel a stretch happening.

Seated Shin Stretches

This exercise helps stretch all the muscles from below the knee to the top of your foot. To start, sit on the edge of a chair and place the left ankle on top of your right knee. Next, place your right hand on top of your left foot along your toe knuckles, then press on them to bend the toes. Continue this motion until your ankle is straight and you feel your shin muscles stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds, repeat five times and do the same for the other leg.2

Wall Shin Raises

Start by standing with your back against a wall, and then place your heels 1 foot away from it. While your body is resting against the wall, bring your toes upward while the heels remain on the ground. Try to do this stretch as far as you can, and slowly lower your feet. Repeat this procedure 10 to 15 times for three sets.3

Heel Step-Downs

Stand straight and place your feet apart shoulder-width. Take one step forward with either your left or right foot. Stop the motion when the heel touches the ground. With your shin muscles, keep the entire sole from touching the ground. Go back to your starting position, and repeat the motion 10 to 15 times. Switch legs afterward.4

Calf Stretches

Sit down on the floor and stretch one leg straight in front of you. Use a resistance band, wrap it around the bottom of your foot, and then gently pull it back to help stretch your calf. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds, and repeat it two to three times on each leg.5

Shin Resistance Exercise

This exercise helps strengthen the front portion of your lower leg. To perform this exercise, you will need a strong, stationary object (like a column) and a resistance band. Sit down on the floor, loop the band in front of your feet, and then loop it again to the object. Try to pull your toes upward to help build muscle strength. Repeat this procedure for 10 to 15 times for three sets.6

Monster Walks

Place a resistance band around your thighs. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, and then step forward with your right leg. Then, step forward with your left leg to align with your right leg. Afterward, alternate the process by stepping forward with the left leg. Once both legs have completed the procedure, perform the steps in reverse to help strengthen your leg muscles.7

Heel Drop

For this exercise, you will need to use the first step in a set of stairs. Stand on the step with your toes, shift your weight to your right leg (or left leg), and then lift your other foot from the step. Lower your heel and return to the start. Repeat the procedure with the other leg.8

MORE ABOUT SHIN SPLINTS

Shin Splints: Introduction

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin Splints Symptoms

Shin Splints Causes

Get Rid of Shin Splints

Types of Shin Splints

Shin Splints Treatment

Shin Splints Exercises

Shin Splints Prevention

Shin Splints Diet

Shin Splints FAQ


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