How Do You Strengthen Your Shins?

It is very important for sportsmen and athletes to have strong shin bones for better performance at the field. People whose work involve heavy weight lifting, running walking for long hours are prone to shin splints. Therefore, it becomes important to strengthen the shin muscles to prevent fractures and full bone breaks.

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How Do You Strengthen Your Shins?

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Toe Raise To The Sky

Exercises are done that target in strengthening the shins and their surrounding muscles for better performance. Toe raises to the sky help in reinforcing the shin muscles. It targets the muscles on the front and sides of the shin .It is done by sitting with both feet on the ground and by keeping the heels on the ground and lifting the rest of the foot as much as possible, pointing the toes to the sky. Hold this position for a moment and then slowly bring the foot back to the starting position. It is recommended to start with 10-20 reps, and then gradually increasing to two- three sets as the strength of the muscles improve.

Standing On Your Toes

Another exercise is standing on your toes; this strengthens the calf muscles that lie behind the shin bone. In this exercise you start by standing with your feet shoulder- width apart. Then you raise your heels off the floor as much as you can; followed by returning to the normal position. It is also done in 10-20 reps per set and then increasing it to two to three sets. When you get hold of the balance then you can do it with one leg as well to put further stress on the calf muscle.

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Walking While Exercising

Walking while exercising is also helpful and it engages all the lower leg muscles at one time. It helps in better support of the bone and provides strength to it. With each step exaggeration of ankle movement is done so that the toes point up and heel is lifted upward at the end of each step. You can also alternate it by walking first 20 steps on toes first and then next 20 steps on your heels. This exercise should be carefully done with each movement controlled while walking to prevent any injury.

Weight Bearing Exercises

The next important part in building up the shins is building up the bone density. It can be done with weight bearing exercises where you force your body to work against gravity while remaining in upright position. It leads to stress on the bone where the dynamic impact positively forces the bone to strengthen or become dense to withstand the stress. Lastly the diet should be rich in vitamin D and calcium that help in building up strong bones.

Shin Muscles

Shin muscles form the anterior part of the lower leg and comprise of tibialis anterior, gastronemius, soleus, extensor hallucis longus, extensor digitorum longus and peroneus tertius muscles. These muscles help in flexion of your foot, pulling your toes towards your shin and are used actively while walking and running. The tibialis anterior muscle can be easily seen when you flex your foot. It runs along the tibial bone or the shin bone.

Since these muscles are actively used they are prone to weakness and overuse that might lead to fatigue of the muscles. Excessive use will in turn lead to cramping and tightness in the shin muscles that might eventually lead to shin splints. Shin splints is a painful condition in which there is excessive pain in anterior part of the lower leg (shin muscles) while walking and running. It is mostly due to an underlying inflammation of the sheath surrounding the tibial bone. It can also occur as a result of excessive force on the shin bone or overuse of the shin muscles and tissues surrounding the tibial bone. Over time if these shin splints are not treated they can progress into stress fractures (tiny cracks are form in the tibia). It is therefore important to pay attention to long term pain of the lower leg that gradually worsens overtime.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 19, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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