One of the most frustrating injuries athletes face is shin splints. Shin splints can be devastating to training because athletes are unable to get reps in at practice and they can also lead to more serious injuries. So, how do you defeat shin splints? Here are 4 exercises to fight shin splints: These first two exercises I recommend adding to your daily warm-up.
Ankling helps warm up the muscles and joints in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. This simple practice will ensure proper blood flow and warmth are in the muscles before activity. This will help prevent inflammation in the lower legs that lead to shin splints. I recommend doing one set of 30 secs or 30 revolutions with each foot.
Heel walks are similar to ankling, except they focus directly on the front muscle of your lower leg which is called the tibialis anterior. This exercise done daily helps strengthen the front of your lower leg which again prevents inflammation. Heel walks should be done at three different angles for around 12 reps per foot. 1) Toes forward 2) Toes inward 3) Toes outward
The next two drills can be incorporated into a weight training program.
Weighted Toe Raises
Weighted toe raises are similar to heel walks, except that you are adding weight to continue to strengthen your lower leg, specifically the tibialis anterior. These should be done at three different angles for 3x25 reps each way. 1) Toe forward 2) Toe inward 3) Toe outward
Bosu ball or balance mat stability
Stability on a Bosu ball or balance mat strengthens all joints, ligaments, and muscles from the knee down. As you can tell in this video, the athlete's body is constantly trying to find its balance on this balance mat. Balance is overlooked in many strength programs and certainly helps defeat shin splints, among other injuries. I recommend doing 3x30 secs.