"Stretches undo the damage that happens to the soft tissues with repetitive motion. It improves blood flow, lengthens the muscle, reduces the tension and returns the muscle to a more normal state." So, we know that stretches are pretty much needed for reducing pain and tension from body and in improving the body flexibility. Shin stretches are the stretches done to reduce the painful symptoms of shin splints or in general to reduce the pain in shin or the anterior tibialis muscles at the front of the lower leg. These shin stretches are most important for athletes, runners, sports personals etc. and also those who are into regular walking or workout. This current article will discuss on some of the best shin stretches and exercises to help you overcome the pain in shin.
An Overview on Shins and Pain in Shin:
Shins are actually the anterior tibialis muscle which is located at the front side of the lower leg and act in order to flex the foot upwards. This muscles usually encounters a lot of workouts during running, walking or while playing tennis, which have a lot of little sprints. The shins starts showing symptoms of pain and discomfort when you suddenly increase the amount of time spent or the amount of running, walking or any other sport which requires an action to flex the foot upwards.
Shin splints or the MTSS (Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) are the most common overuse injury experienced in the lower leg. They refer to the pain experienced along the inner edge of the tibia. An excessive running or walking generally lead to an inflammation of the tendons and the muscles attached to the tibia. Usually shin splints are caused with improperly fitting or worn out shoes, muscular imbalances, poor alignment of the body, too much intense exercising at the beginning of the fitness program, etc.
We will know about some of the most effective shin stretches and exercises to overcome pain in the shin; in the following array of our article.
Shin Stretches and Exercises to Overcome Pain in Shin:
"When you have got something to prove, there is nothing greater than a challenge." Below are some of the best known shin stretches and exercises which would help you overcome pain in shin or the symptoms of shin splints in the most effective manner.
Standing Anterior Tibialis Shin Stretch:
This is a shin stretch where you might make use of a hand on a wall or any other support for proper balance. Below are the steps explained to do the standing anterior tibialis shin stretch.
- The foot which requires a stretch must be kept just behind the other foot (remaining on the ground completely) with the toe of the back foot touching the ground.
- Now, with your toe firmly touching to the ground, pull the leg forward for feeling a stretch from the top of your stretching foot via your shins. This usually helps in bending both the knees slightly.
- Hold the position for at least 15 to 30 seconds once you feel a good stretch.
- Now, repeat the same with other foot for a stretch in the other foot.
Cross Over Shin Stretch:
This is one more stretch essential for getting over with the pain in shin. It must be noted that you can do the stretch with or without shoes. Here below we have explained the steps for doing the same.
- Begin the stretch by standing with your feet together.
- Next, cross your right leg in front of the left leg and place the pointed right toes tops on the ground firmly.
- Now, bend both the legs until you feel a stretch in the top of your right foot and shin.
- Repeat this 3 times on each foot and hold it for 30 seconds each time.
Kneeling Shin Stretch:
In order to stretch and lengthen the front of the lower leg, it is essential to do the kneeling shin stretch. Below are the steps to do this stretch.
- Kneel on the ground and place a rolled up towel under your feet.
- Now, feel a gentle stretch along the front of your lower leg by lowering the buttocks down in order to rest on your calves.
- Rest both your hands on the thighs.
- If you are not experiencing any hard strain or pain, hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
- Do this for three times for best results
You can help reduce the pain in shin splints by stretching your calves. Here below we have mentioned the steps for performing this stretch.
- Start by sitting on the ground with your both legs right in front of you.
- Now, loop an exercise band or a towel around the bottom portion of the feet and pull back gently.
- Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
- Repeat the same for at least two or three times
Manual Shin Stretch:
Manual shin is the stretching of your shin manually while sitting on a chair. Here below are the steps to do the same.
- At first cross your right ankle over the left leg's thigh
- Remove your shoes and place your right hand on the back of your right calf.
- Rest the top of your right foot against your left forearm and place the left hand on the top of your shin or the ankle.
- Now, press down with the help of your left arm until you feel a stretch in your top ankle and the shin.
- Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds.
- Repeat the same on other foot.
- Do this for three times on each foot.
Standing Toe-up Achilis Stretch:
One of the most effective stretches for safeguarding self from the shin splints is the standing toe-up achilis stretch. Below are the steps for doing this stretch.
- Stand with one foot on one step and place the other foot flat on the ground.
- Now, move the front foot backward in a way that just the ball of your foot is resting on the step.
- You can place your hands on your hips for balance and bend the front knee and slightly lean forward.
- Make sure you hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds and then release to normal state.
- Repeat the same on the other foot.
Wall Shin Raises:
This is one more exercise to reduce the pain in shins. Below we have explained the procedure.
- Start by standing with your back to a wall.
- While your body is resting on the wall, place your heels about one foot away from the wall.
- While your heels remain in contact with the ground, start to dorsiflex (bring toes up) both ankles.
- Stretch your toes up as far as possible.
- Now, lower both your feet back toward the ground.
- Try keeping your toes touching the ground.
- Repeat the same for 3 sets of 15 reps each.
Heel Step Downs:
This is one more effective exercise to prevent shin splints or shin pain. Below are the steps explained.
- Place both your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then, step your right foot forward and only touch your heel to the ground.
- Make sure you keep the ball of your foot about one inch off the ground
- Return your foot back to the normal position.
- Do the exercise for 3 times, 15 reps each.
Shin Resistance Exercise:
You can strengthen your anterior lower leg and aid you reduce the recurrence of shin splints or pain in shin with the shin resistance exercise. Look for the steps below.
- Sit on the ground and loop an exercise band around the front of your feet and other end of the band wrapped around any stationary object like a table for support.
- Dorsiflex your foot against the resistance.
- Do three sets of 15 reps each
- You can gradually increase the resistance with the use of heavier bands or doubling the reps to 30 on each set.
Theraband exercise makes use of a Theraband which can be purchased from the sporting good stores. We have explained the steps for performing this exercise below.
- Sit on the ground with your legs about hip-width apart from each other.
- Loop the end of the Theraband around the ball of your foot.
- Hold both the ends of the band with your hands
- Now, flex your foot and rotate your ankle in a clockwise direction and then do it in the anti-clockwise direction.
- You need to perform 15 rotations in each direction.
So, above were some of the most effective shin stretches and exercise to overcome pain in shin. It is essential for you to consult with your doctor before proceeding with the shin stretches. In case you are beginners to any exercise program, it is good to remain guided under your fitness coaches for doing the stretches and exercises in a proper manner and keep away from any further complications. It is also essential to know that rest is needed to reduce the pain in shins or alleviate the symptoms in shin splints.