Shin splints are a common condition among runners and can be quite painful. It is not uncommon for runners to injure themselves in this way, but there are ways to help prevent it by adding stretches into your routine. Check out the article below for some helpful stretches you should try when you feel that pain in your shins.
First, What Are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are a condition that affects the shins and is characterized by pain along the front and sides of the shinbone. Shin splints can be caused by a number of things, including overuse, improper training techniques, and poor shoe choice.
How Can Stretching Help?
Stretching is a great way to help prevent shin splints. When you stretch, you lengthen your muscles and tendons, which can help improve your range of motion and reduce the risk of injury.
Below Are Five Shin Splint Stretches for Runners
Hamstring stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg bent and the other leg straight out in front of you. Reach for your toes with both hands. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Quadriceps stretch: Standing up, grab onto something stable for balance. Bend your right knee and bring your heel up toward your butt. Grab your ankle with your right hand and pull it closer to your butt. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Calf stretch: Standing with feet hip-width apart, place the ball of your left foot on top of your right ankle so that your heel hangs off. Keeping your core engaged, push down on your left ankle to feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Single-leg stretch: stand on one leg and raise the other hip up toward the sky to your level of comfort as you reach forward with both arms toward your standing foot to help balance yourself. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Supine twist: lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, lift right knee into chest and hold onto it with both hands as you gently twist two times toward your left side and take a deep breath in each time before exhaling and returning to center. Switch sides after finishing the second round of twists or just repeat this entire process once more switching which knee is held into the chest.
How to Strength Shins To Prevent Shin Splints
In addition to shin splint stretches, there are ways you can prevent yourself from having to deal with the discomfort of shin splints. Exercising your lower body will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the shins and help protect them against injury.
2 Recommended Strength Exercises to Prevent Shin Pain
First, stand with both feet on top of a step or bleacher. You should be able to stand comfortably on one leg without holding onto anything for balance. Lower your heel gently until you feel a stretch in your calves and then push back up through the ball of your foot.
Repeat 20 times with each leg, resting for about 15 seconds in between, before switching legs. This will help build up your calf muscles and strengthen them so they are better equipped to deal with the impact of running.
Wall Squats With Knee Drive
Start by standing with the back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slide down the wall until your knees are bent to 90 degrees (quads at right angles to the floor). From here, drive your right knee up toward your chest, then return it to the starting position.
Repeat 10 times before switching legs and doing another 10 reps.
These are two exercises that will help to strengthen the shins and can be done regularly to help prevent shin splints from developing.
Runners Should Stretch and Exercise Consistently to Prevent Shin Splints
It is important for runners with shin splints to stretch on a regular basis. This includes stretches for the muscles surrounding the shins, as well as exercising through strength training. It is also important to remember that shin splints are common among runners, but they don't have to be! Following the tips outlined in this article will help you fight through your pain and prevent your shin splints from getting worse.
Don't Forget Your Rest Days
While stretching and exercising regularly can help prevent injuries like shin splints, it's also important to take a break every now and then. This will help your body recover and prevent you from getting overworked. So make sure to include a few rest days into your running schedule!
How to get rid of shin splints by foam rolling
Avoid Shin Splints by Exercising and Stretching
Shin splints are an extremely common affliction for runners, but they don't have to be. By exercising your lower body, including the muscles surrounding the shins, shin splint exercises can help strengthen them and reduce your chance of getting this painful condition! Stretching out the calves before and after exercising will also go a long way in preventing shin splints. So make sure to add these stretches into your daily routine if you're a runner!
If you're feeling pain in your shins, don't wait to start stretching! Shin splint exercises and stretches can help reduce the pain and prevent the injury from getting worse. Follow the tips outlined in this article to help keep your shins healthy and pain-free!
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