Updated: Feb 23, 2019
Overview of the cause of your shin splints and two exercises to help eliminate them
What is the cause?
The cause of shin splints is typically due to a weak Tibialis Anterior. The function of this muscle is to dorsiflex the foot/ankle. This means that it is responsible for raising your foot upwards. If this muscle is weak then maintaining a toes up position when walking or running becomes difficult. As a result, your forefoot will slap the ground during the striking phase of your gait.
How to perform:
Elevate the back of your foot slightly to give you more range of motion
Raise your foot up and rotate your foot inwards so that your big toe is pointing to the ceiling
Curl your toes
Hold at the top for 4 seconds and aim for 12-20 reps.
You may do one or two feet simultaneously, whichever is the easiest to start. Curling the toes is an important step! This inhibits Extensor Hallucis Longus and Extensor Digitorum Longus from assisting in dorsiflexion which will help increase the activity of the muscle we are focusing on. These muscles extend the big toe and toes 2-5 respectively.
Progress the exercise by elevating one foot
To help increase the effectiveness of these exercises, stretch your soleus and gastroc before performing the exercises. Try these out for 1-2 sets at a time, a few days a week and see how things progress!