Shin Splints

What's an exercise for preventing shin splints?

A Answers (2)

  • AVonda Wright, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered

    Heel step downs are a great exercise for preventing shin splints. Here's how: 

    1. Stand with your feet together and take a natural step forward.

    2. As you heel strikes the floor in front of you, prevent your foot from flexing down as you transfer your weight forward. This forces your anterior tibialis muscles to contract as they lengthen and mimics the foot action during running.

    3. Return your foot to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.

    4. Perform ten of these step downs on each side.

    5. When you have mastered this with short strides, you can increase your stride length to make the exercise more difficult.

  • AJonathan Penney, Fitness, answered on behalf of National Academy of Sports Medicine

    Many people experience shin splits and believe me, they are not a pleasant feeling. The front of your shin will feel slight pain each stride you take. Some of the reasoning for this will be:

    • Worn shoes. Consider purchasing a new pair
    • Weak calf muscles. Do some calf raises and be sure to stretch!

    One of the best exercises is mentioned above. Get on an uneven surface such as a stair. Have the balls of your feet on the stair and heels hanging off. Next, lift your body up and return to start. This exercise is very simple but effective and helpful to prevent shin splints.

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What are shin splints and how can I avoid them?