You love running but you had to stop. The pain down the front of your shins was too much. If you suffer or have suffered from shin splints then you might want to try this and see if it helps enough to get back to running.
Tibialis anterior. Another one of those neglected muscles. This muscle runs along the bottom part of your leg next to the shin bone. The tibialis anterior plays an important role in not just running but also walking, sprinting.
- Seated Toe Raises: This one is easy as most of us spend a fair amount of time sitting. While sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor comfortably. Now keeping your heels on the floor raise up your toes. Hold and contract for 5 seconds. To add difficulty try balancing a small dumbbell on your foot. Do this 10 – 12 times for 3 sets for each foot.
- Isometric Toe Press: Sitting, or lying down, put the heel of one foot on the front of the other foot. Now press upwards into the heal and hold for about 10 – 20 seconds. Switch it around and do the other side. Do this 10 – 12 times for 3 sets for each foot. Don’t let your foot you are working go below your heel.
- Sitting Toe Push: While sitting on the floor with legs straight out in front, grab a band with proper resistance and place under the upper part of your foot. The work in on the downward motion so while holding the band, bring your foot as close as you can towards you while keeping your legs straight. Now, push down on the band with your upper foot. Do this 10 – 12 times, for 3 sets on both feet.
The movements are all the same really, just different tools, or body positioning. The key is to understand that keeping the heal stationary and the lifting of the upper foot with resistance, or the pushing down of the upper foot with resistance is what works this muscle. Another key point is to not let the upper foot go below the heel. This will then activate your other calf muscles, the ones that may be strong enough already.
Work the neglected Tibialis anterior and enjoy the pain free running.
Yours in health,