The actual cause of shin splints might arise from muscle tightness’s – which in turn cause improper running bio mechanics and loss of blood flow. Stretches for shin splints can aid in correcting the problem. Inadequate recovery from training may also be part of the cause of shin splints, but it can be boosted by use of proper stretching and massage techniques.
Stretches for shin splints and self massage can be helpful tools to aid both of these aspects of training. Reducing the tension and improving the blood flow in your body can have various beneficial health and recovery boosting effects.
Here are some of the basic stretches to reduce the tension on your shin and calf muscles, as well as few of the main muscle groups to avoid biomechanical dysfunctions when running.
The provided information is not meant to replace advice from a certified health care professional.
Lower leg and hip stretches for shin splints
Tibialis anterior stretch
Kneel on the ground and sit back on your heels. Stretch the front of your shins. Hold for 15 seconds.
For a stronger stretch, grab your feet with both hands and try to lift them up. Be careful not to feel pain on the knees.
Keep your knee straight and place your toes to the edge of a platform. Feel the stretch in the calf and the bottom of the foot. Hold for 15 seconds.
Follow the same steps and bend your knee to target the stretch to achilles and lower calf. Hold for 15 seconds.
Lunge stretch (hip-flexors)
Knee to chest stretch
Start by standing straight, bend your knee forward and step straight back to the ball of your foot. Keep your hips even and hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
Begin by laying flat on your back. Grab the right knee with both hands and pull toward the chest as far in as possible. Hold for 15 seconds.
Foam roll stretches and massage
Calf foam roll
Shin foam roll
Put your weight on both of your hands and the free leg. Move your calf back and forward on the foam roller.
Target the front of your shins, slowly add more weight. Roll back and forth on your own comfort level.
Hamstring foam roll
Quad foam roll
Place the weight of the foam roller on your hamstring and roll back and forth. Cross your feet for added weight.
Keep your body straight and move back and forth to massage your quads. You can adjust your body weight to target one leg at a time if needed.
Glute foam roll
It band foam roll
Cross your legs by placing your foot over the knee. Make a short rolling motion to target the glute muscle and stretch it at the same time. Do one glute at a time.
Move to a side plank position and roll your it bands. It is a great exercise to loosen them up, but can be painful at some cases. Stay at your comfort level.
Self massage for shin splints
Tibialis Anterior massage
Grab the tibilias anterior muscle with your fingers, apply pressure and dorsiflex your foot.
Hold the pressure on your muscle and plantar-flex your ankle straight. Move slowly and repeat the motion.
Tibialis Posterior massage
Start with your finger plantar flexed. Apply pressure behind your tibialis posterior.
Hold the pressure and slowly dorsiflex your ankle. Repeat the motion and adjust the position of your fingers slowly around the tibialis.
Use your thumbs to apply pressure to the calf muscle towards the knee. Have your foot plantar-flexed.
Keep the pressure and dorsiflex your foot. Switch the position of pressure, find tightness’s and repeat the process.
Plantar Fascia massage
Find the tender and tight spots on your foot. Apply pressure either with one or two thumbs. Move your toes up and down and keep the pressure on the muscles. Use a slow motion moving your toes.
Use a baseball or softball to roll the inside of your foot. Look for tightness’s and use a slow rolling motion to get rid of the tensions.
After learning the best stretches for shin splints, be sure to check out our exercise guide to relief the symptoms of shin pain, and our list high quality equipment to aid your recovery.