The best exercise for combating shin splints

If you do a lot of exercise such as running, walking or tennis, you may find that your shins start to hurt. This pain may take the form of a dull ache or a stabbing or burning sensation. This is known as shin splints.

It basically takes place when you over-exert the front of the shins when you’re regulating the speed of your movement or pulling back the foot towards the shin and comes about when you over-train.

Apart from resting and avoiding doing the exercise that fires up the pain, you can strengthen your shin “muscle” to avoid experiencing this pain.

I’ve personally experienced shin splints when playing two 3 hour sessions of tennis a week and only finally overcame the pain by doing the shin exercises off-season.

There are numerous ways of strengthening your shin muscle but the one that I’ve found to be most useful because it creates the greatest resistive force is to stand against a wall, then move your heels 12 inches away from the wall whilst keeping your hips touching the wall.

Now simply raise and lower your feet, pivoting on the heels. You can do this every day, repeating the exercise 10 times for 3 sets, resting in between each set. You should feel the “pump” as you work the muscle.

You can then move to doing them with one foot off the ground which puts more resistive force on the foot that’s still in contact with the floor.

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