How to Prevent Shin Splints

Ouch.


Ouch
Ouch.
All athletes at some point have had shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome), especially high school athletes. When you run, hike, or walk for a long distance, your shins become tight. They can become so tight in fact that you think your legs are going to snap in half.
While there can be some complications if you do not treat them properly, you can treat them without stopping your training. The pain you feel on your shin bone which is the tibia bone is simply caused by over training the muscle tissue surrounding the bone. At first you will notice pain or tightness in your shin which may go away once you stop running or exercising. People who typically get shin splints are those who just started a running program and/or those who have flat feet and whom feet pronate inward while running causing the "shin splints".


First of all, you need to make sure you have the proper footwear when starting any type of running program. There are specialty stores where they will put you on a treadmill and have you run to see what your "gap" looks like while looking to see if you are running properly. To prevent shin splints you can do a few things. During your warm-up prior to your workout, walk for 50ft and back on your heels. When you're done with your workout while stretching, do it again. Once you are accustomed to doing this, you can add resistance. You can do this with a buddy or with a dumbbell. Attach a jump stretch band to the DB or have your buddy hold the band and sit on the floor with your legs stretched out all the way; wrap the bands around your feet; then flex your foot back towards you. Hold for a second and take it back to about a 45 degree angle and continue this for 5-8 reps. This will make your shins much stronger and your legs more resistant to injury. This will benefit your weight training while also strengthening your legs. Since you do calf raises, you should do shin flexes or toe raises. When training your quads you do the opposite motion by training your hamstrings, why not start training your shins.


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I encourage all of you to try this and see how your shin splints will go away and you can worry about your next PR, not if you're going to feel the pain in your shins.


Bill 'Body By Long' Long

Bill Long is the creator of Body by Long blog, a look at Tactical Training and many forms of grip work. Perfect.

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