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Stretching shin muscles?

Hi Folks

Hope everything goes well for everyone racing this weekend. Use the '220 Forum' force....

...anyway, i have a question regarding basic stretching. How do i effectively stretch the muscles down my shins? I've just been for a short run and have tightness down one shin, it's a pain because my general fitness seems to be getting better but my body keeps breaking! Can anyone offer any advice to get to these muscles?




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    GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    A foam roller up and down them usually does the trick.

    Good for IT bands also.

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    jacjac Posts: 452
    Slightly difficult to explain this one but i'll try..

    Sit on a chair, feet shoulder width apart and flat on the floor. Bend one leg back 45 degrees so the top of your foot is touching the floor. Press that foot gently into the floor and hold for 10 secs. Repeat on other leg and do that about five times.

    You could also massage the shin with some oil. Best to use a thumb to run it down the bone, trying to get rid of any scar tissue and sore areas.

    Could also try compression..and maybe give running a miss for a few days.

    Tight calves also contrubuted to mine so make sure they're well stretched too.
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    jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    I was given Stretching for Runners by Christopher Norris for Christmas which has some stetches in it I have found quite good, there is a section with stretches for various injuries in it including shin splints. It suggests a variation of what jac described.

    Kneel on the floor and then sit back on your ankles, pressing the front of the ankles to the floor. You should feel a stretch along the outside of the shin bone. It cautions that this can place a lot of stress on the knees, so support body weight on a stool if required. Hold for 30-60s and repeat 4-5 times after each run.
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I kneel on the floor, then lean back so the ligaments and muscles at the front of the leg are stretched out.

    Its good to get into a habit of doing this once a day for a minute or so, it will stretch those ligaments at the front of the ankle, so making your ankle more flexible increasing the whip during the kick, it will also loosen those shin muscles helping to prevent any tightness there. If your knees are bad put your hands on your ankles so putting pressure down without the need to sit on the ankles so causing an extreme bend of the knee,

    does that make sense?
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    garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    Thanks chaps......i did the sitting on my ankles one and although it worked to a degree i found it quite difficult, i'll try the sitting on a chair one tomorrow.

    Thanks again.
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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Gary - did you go to a physio? I'm a bit worried that you're overtraining without having found out about the problem you're having with your legs - I don't want to log onto here one day to find a post saying you got a stress fracture.......
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    garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    errr.....no.......i never did.......i know, i know.......i have no excuses at all, and if that day comes i'll have nowhere to look but the mirror.

    If i think about it some more, i think the problem is that the pain never stays in one place long enough for me to bight the bullet, if you recall, a few weeks back before a 10K it was my let knee, then - after going ahead with the 10k at a nice relaxed pace i found the last 2k painful, but it was my other knee giving me grief. Now, touch wood, knee's are feeling pretty good, its my shins that seem to be fragile!!!

    And because of this i think i have avoided going to the physio.

    I think its got a lot to do with all the changes i'm putting myself through. Before Christmas i was a regular gym goer splitting my time more or less between weights (65%) and gym bike (35%). And although this would keep the excess fat at bay it wasn't really keeping me properly fit. Since then i've become a tri-obsessed freak who runs two or three times a week, cycles the same and has become a semi-permanent feature of my gym pool. My little bod is in shock!

    I have my first tri next Sunday, another a month after, i will re-evaluate the situation thereafter. And touch wood all will be good [:D]
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    Ooooh do be careful with your shins - took me ages to get mine right and still not convinced.

    I can't explain my stretch I keep trying and realise it makes sense to noone but me. Essentially feet flat on floor, one just behind and beside the other (like standing normally, little step back). Keep feet flat to floor and bend knees - leaning forward helps (may need wall/door to lean on/into here)

    Did that make sense? Great stretch if it did. Oh and I was advised just general walking around without shoes on, scrunching toes to pick things up apparently helps too.

    Don't do what I did and try and "run through the pain" (well it always felt better when I'd warmed up). After about 6 weeks I had bady knackered shins and it still puts me off running "in case"

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    md6md6 Posts: 969
    @Gary, from what you've said it sounds like you may have a problem with your ankle/feet, which could be to do with your shoes. The fact the pain keeps moving makes me think that the problem is no with the area which hurts, but is more somewhere else causing bad biomechanics. I would suggest that you really do some streching and check that your shoes are still correct for your gait or that they haven't reached the end of useful life, Of course i might be wrong and all this could be nonsense (it's what happened to me anyway), but it is worth bearing in mind.

    As for streching your shins, if you sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, point your toes as far as you can and lean forwards slightly - it's how ballet dancers do it apparently.
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    garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    I really do appreciate everyone's feedback, it what makes this forum special (not getting too soppy), i will remain very careful and probably won't do much running before next Sunday now.

    On the plus side, went to my LBS this morning for a free bike fit [:D], saddle is 1 inch higher, bars are 2 inches lower - i've just taken her for a 25k spin to test and i'm happy, there can be no doubt i'm 100% more aero then before!! And my bike looks more of a demon! Which makes me pedal faster!

    Off swimming now (or as i call it - aquatherapy).

    Thanks again folks,,,,,
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