Shin splints - those pains that run along the front of the lower leg - are a common malady for beginning runners and race walkers. In some people, shin splints are the result of over-pronation (rolling of the foot), a problem best resolved with shoe inserts known as orthotics.
But for the vast majority, shin splints happen because of a weak muscle (the tibialis anterior). Here are some simple exercises for strengthening that muscle:
- Sit down and write the letters of the alphabet in the air with your toes.
- Point and flex your foot repeatedly.
- Walk on your heels with your toes pointed skyward. You can start by doing 10 seconds sets in 4 or 5 repetitions. When you feel more comfortable, work up to 30-second intervals.