Your Bag(0)

Your cart is empty - let us help you get what you need.

Enhance Your Workout

10 Stretches for Shin Splints | Prevent and Treat Shin Pain

Anyone that has endured shin splints can understand the agony of dealing with this injury. On the bright side though, since shin splints are often not derived from an injury directly to the shin, stretches for shin splints can be a comprehensive solution to treat shin pain.

Today, we’ll investigate the causes of shin splints, how to prevent injury, and some stretches you can do to get rid of the pain today. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Causes of Shin Splints

Shin splints are a common injury in sports where you use your lower legs like martial arts and soccer. With the shins being located right between the ankle and the knee, it is much easier to point to common causes of shin splints. Since the shin is simply a slave to what the joints above and below the shin are doing, we can evaluate the potential causes of shin splints in a more localized fashion.

  • Lack of ankle mobility: When the ankle is tight, your shin cannot move freely without compensation.
  • Calf Tightness: If the calf muscles are unable to absorb load efficiently, the impact can go straight to the calf’s neighbor, the shinbone.
  • Poor running mechanics: Heel striking can initiate a ground-force reaction that contributes to the development of shin splints
  • Overpronation: If your foot is collapsing inward on every step you take, it will put excessive stress on the shin

How to Prevent Shin Splints

Taking proactive steps (as opposed to reactive steps) to prevent shin splints is the first key to staying injury-free. A strategic combination of strength and flexibility can help neutralize the development of shin splints before they arise. Below we will explore effective techniques to keep shin splints at bay.

10. Achilles Tendon Standing Stretch

The Achilles tendon is vital for walking, running, and any type of movement. Thus, keeping it flexible will enormously impact maintaining integrity in your shins.

Here are the steps:

  • Start standing on a curb or step
  • With the balls of your feet maintaining contact with the step, let the right heel come off the edge of the step.
  • Then, let your right heel drop down so the right toes are pointed up until you feel a stretch.
  • Use a wall for balance if needed.

5)   Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat both sides

9. Soleus Calf Stretch

The soleus is a deep calf muscle (compared to the gastrocnemius) that attaches to the shin. If the soleus is tight and starts to pull, it can put more stress on the shin, causing pain. Stretching out the Soleus will help.

Here are the steps:

  • Start standing about 12 inches from a wall, and place both hands on the wall for support.
  • Place your left foot about 6-12 inches behind your right foot.
  • Now, keeping your left heel firmly on the ground, start to bend that left knee until you feel a stretch in your lower calf area. If you are having trouble keeping your left heel on the ground, shorten the distance between your left and right foot.
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds and switch sides.

8. Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch

Even though the Soleus is a deeper calf muscle, the Gastrocnemius is a larger calf muscle, often making it a contributor to shin splints. If the Gastrocnemius is tight and unable to perform its functions efficiently, it can negatively affect your shin health.

Here are the steps:

  • Start standing about 12 inches from a wall, and place both hands on the wall for support.
  • Then, place your left foot about 12-18 inches behind your right foot.
  • Now, keeping your left heel firmly on the ground and your left knee straight, start to bend the right knee and lunge into the wall.
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds and switch sides.

7. Toe-Drag Stretch

The Toe-Drag stretch works to mobilize the anterior tibialis, which is on the front side of your lower leg. In order to prevent shin splints, the entire lower leg complex must stay flexible, necessitating this toe-drag stretch for an often-overlooked muscle.
Here are the steps:

  • Start standing with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Then, you will flip your right foot, so the top of your toes is curled under and making contact with the ground.
  • Now, place light pressure on that right foot to feel the stretch from the top of your foot up your shin.
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the left side.

6. Heel Walks

This exercise helps activate, strengthen, and mobilize the anterior tibialis. The anterior tibialis can be a neglected muscle to work on, and heel walks are great because you can do them anywhere.

Here are the steps:

  • Start in an open area and begin to walk at a normal pace
  • When ready, point your toes up and keep them lifted off the ground so only your heels are touching the ground.
  • Keep walking for 20-30 seconds without your toes touching the ground.

5. Hamstring Wall Stretch

The hamstrings are another posterior side muscle (along with the gastrocnemius and soleus) that can contribute to shin splints. Any compensation on the upper leg can create a downstream effect onto the shins, and potentially cause shin or knee pain and inflammation. Use this stretch to help mobilize the hamstrings.

Here are the steps:

  • Start lying on your back in a doorway, with your left leg through the opening in the doorway and your right leg up the wall with a straight knee. Your legs should form an L shape.
  • Then, make sure your butt is scooted up against the door so your legs are perpendicular and you feel a stretch in the right hamstring.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side

4. Toe Walks

Toe walks are a great shin splint injury prevention exercise, as well as a rehabilitation exercise often used by soccer players. Strengthening and stabilizing the calf muscles is just as important as increasing flexibility, and toe walks will help you achieve a more resilient lower leg.

Here are the steps:

  • Start in an open area and begin to walk at a normal pace
  • When ready, lift your heels and come onto your tippy toes and start to walk forward while maintaining your heels off the ground.
  • Keep walking for 20-30 seconds without your heels touching the ground.

3. Tibialis Anterior Muscle Stretch

This tibialis anterior stretch is a more passive alternative to the toe-drag stretch. Targeting the front side of the shin bone, this stretch with improve ankle and knee mobility, allowing your tibia to move more freely to prevent shin splints.

Here are the steps:

  • Start sitting in a chair with both feet making full contact with the floor.
  • Then, take your right foot and flip it over and curl your toes under so the topside of your foot is now making contact with the floor.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch feet.

2. Calf Raises

One of the most common culprits of shin splints is the calf muscles, and calf raises are a tried-and-true technique for lengthening the calf muscles. This exercise can load the affected muscles through full ranges of motion that keep the calves pliable and durable.

Here are the steps:


  • Start standing feet shoulder width apart and facing a wall, about 6-12 inches away from the wall.
  • Next, place your hands on the walls for support.
  • Then, rise onto your tippy toes, making sure you squeeze your calves at the top for a full range of motion
  • After that, slowly come back down to starting position, lowering your feet with control.
  • For additional load, try the calf raise one leg at a time with the other leg off the ground.
  • Repeat 10x

1. Seated Shin Stretch

Keeping the anterior shin muscles pliable with many different stretches is key to durability. The seated shin stretch is more passive, but it can still be very intense for the entire lower leg, from the top of the feet to the knees.

Here are the steps:

  • Start on all fours on your Yoga Strong Mat
  • Then, make sure your toes are untucked and start to lean back so you’re sitting back on your heels.
  • Next, start to sit upright with your butt sitting on your heels.
  • If that is too much tension and you need to pull back, stay hinged forward with your arms stretched out in front and palms on the ground.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds

Recovery Time for Shin Splints

Although recovery time can vary from a couple of weeks for mild cases of shin splints to 6-8 weeks for more intense cases, shin splints can generally be resolved with ample stretching, muscular release, and strengthening.

Stretches for shin splints are your best friend. A comprehensive approach that hits all the surrounding shin muscles, as well as up and down the kinetic chain (i.e., hip and foot) can assist in accelerating the recovery time.