5 Exercises to Ease and Prevent Shin Splints (Video)


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Are you currently suffering from shin splints? Or have persistent pain on your shin? Be sure to check out these 5 exercises from Dr. Marc Surdyka, PT, DPT, OCS.

“In the medical community, shin splints are referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) which is a fancy way of saying that the inside of your shin hurts,” explained Surdyka. “Although the exact nature of the condition isn’t well understood, rehab recommendations usually involve load management and activity modifications, resistance exercises, plyometrics, and/or running retraining as needed.”

Here are the 5 exercises that might be helpful in easing and preventing shin splints. Be sure to check out Dr. Surdyka’s video below on how to perform these exercises!

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1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squat (Perform 3 sets X 6-15 reps):

Start with your front foot elevated 4-8 inches off the ground by using a step, plate, curb, or some other object. Drive your front knee toward the wall in front of you until you can’t lower yourself down any further. If it’s too challenging, use your hands to help with balance.

2) Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL) with Knee Drive (Perform 3 sets X 6-15 reps):

Stand on one leg while keeping a slight bend in both knees, hinge at your hips until your trunk is almost parallel with the ground, and then bring your knee up toward the ceiling. Repeat this movement without touching your foot back to the ground. Once again, if this is too challenging, use your hands to help with balance.

3) Heel Raise (Perform 3 sets X 6-15 reps):

Stand at the edge of a step on one leg, rise up on the ball of your foot as high as you can, and then lower yourself down until you feel a stretch in your calf. If this is too challenging, use two legs or start on flat ground.

For the three exercises above, Surdyka said you should “aim for 3 sets of 6-15 challenging reps at a controlled pace and add weight as needed.”

4) Dorsiflexion (Perform 3 sets of 20 – 25 reps at a controlled pace):

Sit on a bench with your ankle hanging off the edge, attach a band or weight to your foot, and bring the top of your foot toward your face.

5) Standing Fire Hydrant (Perform 3 sets of 30 – 45 second holds per leg):

Stand on one leg with a band around your knees, spread the band by separating your knees, and remain as still as possible.

According to Surdyka, “You would ideally perform the exercises two times per week and keep pain to a ~2/10 or less. You can also perform non-weightbearing exercises such as leg extensions and leg curls if weightbearing exercises are not tolerable initially.”

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