The best way to avoid shin splints is with proper preparation, and one of the best ways to do that is to improve the flexibility of your lower legs, ankles and feet with effective shin splint stretching exercises.

To perform each stretch, place your body in the position described, push into the stretch until you feel tension (not pain) in the muscle group and then hold the position for 30 seconds. Concentrate on breathing deeply and letting your muscles and entire body relax.

Warning: The calves and Achilles are one of the most over-stretched muscle groups in the body. DO NOT apply excessive force when doing the following stretches.

Single Heel-drop Upper Calf Stretch:
Stand on a raised object or step. Place the ball of one foot on the edge of the step and keep your leg straight. Keep your toes facing forward and let your heel gently drop towards the ground. Repeat on the other side. Vary this stretch by turning your foot inwards at 45 degrees and then outwards at 45 degrees.
shin-splints-standing-calf-stretch
Single Heel-drop Achilles Stretch:
Stand on a raised object or step and place the ball of one foot on the edge of the step. Keep your toes facing forward, bend your knee slightly and let your heel gently drop towards the ground. Repeat on the other side. Vary this stretch by turning your foot inwards at 45 degrees and then outwards at 45 degrees.
shin-splints-standing-achilles-stretch
Kneeling Heel-down Achilles Stretch:
Kneel on one foot and place your body weight over your knees. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward.
shin-splints-kneeling-achilles-stretch
Front Cross-over Shin Stretch:
Stand upright and place the top of your toes on the ground in front of your other foot. Slowly bend your other knee to force your ankle towards the ground. Repeat on the other side.
shin-splints-standing-shin-stretch
Squatting Toe Stretch:
Kneel on one foot with your hands on the ground. Keep your toes of your rear foot on the ground, slowly lean forwards and arch your foot.
shin-splints-kneeling-foot-stretch

To learn more about how to prevent shin splints and shin splint pain, visit our comprehensive shin splints article for additional information.

Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.

Kind regards,
Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach

 

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