Your shins include the anterior tibialis muscle, which is at the front of your lower leg. Its action is to flex the foot upwards. This muscle mostly gets a workout when running, walking, and in sports, like tennis, which have a lot of little sprints. It will begin complaining if you suddenly increase your amount of time or speed of running or walking, often to the point of painful shin splints.
Preventing and Treating Shin Splints
Standing Anterior Tibialis Shin StretchI like to call this the toe drag stretch.
- Standing, you may want to use a hand on a wall or other support for balance.
- Place the foot to be stretched just behind your other foot (which remains squarely on the ground), with the toe of the stretching foot touching the ground.
- Keeping your toe firmly on the ground, pull the stretching leg forward so you feel a stretch from the top of your stretching foot through your shins. It often helps to bend both knees slightly.
- Once you feel a good stretch, hold it for 15-30 seconds.
- Repeat with the other foot.
- Video: Stretches for Walkers: The anterior tibialis stretch is shown at the 3 minute mark.