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How to Prevent Shin Splints 2009-03-27 10:00:00

Ways to Prevent Shin Splints

Spring running often means increasing the intensity of your workouts, but this vigorous approach can lead to shin splints. Aside from following the 10 percent rule, here are a few things you can do to prevent that nagging lower leg pain.

  • Stretch your lower legs. Keep your calves, feet, and ankles flexible. Stretch them daily, even if you don't run that day.
  • Warm up with heel walks: Heel walks, which as the name suggests involve walking on just the heels, strengthen the shins and prepare the lower leg for running. I do this as part of my dynamic warmup.
  • Strengthen your lower legs: On non-running days, or after a run, you can strengthen your shin muscles with this simple dumbbell exercise. Doing weight training for the shin muscles before a run could tire them out and lead to the injury you're working to avoid.

Since most running injuries seem to occur when increasing weekly mileage, it is a good idea to be proactive and do what you can to prevent injuries. Take care of your shins and they will take care of you.

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Join The Conversation
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
Thanks fit. Don't have shin splints, but my shins were "sore" and take a bit to warm up when I'm running (well really jogging, I'm just starting to run!) I appreciate the tips.
Advah Advah 8 years
Shin splints are so freaking painful. One thing that also incredibly helped me is putting an insole in one of my shoes (one of my legs is about 1cm shorter than the other one, which I never thought would be enough to need an insole!).
Susanna Susanna 8 years
Also make sure you're wearing the right kind of running shoes. Rolling in is a common cause of shin splits, so if you roll in, you want to be sure you're wearing shoes designed for over-pronators.
ElleJay ElleJay 8 years
I have horrible shin splints right now!! Too bad I didn't see this article earlier. :)
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
I used to get shin splints all of the time, now not so much. In addition to the above, I have found that while I'm on the treadmill it really helps to have it at least at a two incline. That little bit not only stops the splints it also burns a few extra calories! :-)
Swedeybebe Swedeybebe 8 years
thank you!! total shin splint sufferer here.
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