Shin Exercise: Toe Flexes

Prevent Shin Splints

Shin Exercise - Toe Flex
Shin Exercise - Toe Flex. Wendy Bumgardner ©

This exercise builds the shin muscle, the anterior tibialis muscle, on the front side of your lower leg.

If you experience shin splints pain when walking or running, this is the muscle group that is complaining. The anterior tibialis muscle flexes the foot upwards. It complains mightily if you haven't been doing much walking or running and then suddenly increase your speed or distance. This exercise will develop the muscle to prevent shin splints pain.

What You Need for the Toe Flex Exercise

You can do toe raises anywhere, but it is good to find a stairway with a railing so your toes can go through a full range of motion. This is because the natural, relaxed position of the foot isn't the position it is in standing, it drops lower that that. By standing on a stairway, you will be able to let the foot dip into this relaxed position at the end of each raise.

How to do the Toe Flex Exercise for Your Shins

  • Find a step so you can stand facing away from the step, with your heels on the step and your toes hanging over the drop off.
  • Hold onto a railing or chair for balance.
  • Flex your toes up towards your shins as far as you can. Hold this for a second.
  • Release and lower your toes. Let your toe dip below the level of the step in natural full extension. This ensures that when you flex it you will be flexing it through the full range of motion.
  • Be sure to maintain your balance, this is why you want to be able to grab onto a railing.

More For Strengthening Your Shins

Shin Splint Exercises: This is a comprehensive set of nine exercises that can help you recover from shin splints or prevent getting them. Not only do these exercises work your anterior tibialis muscle, they also work on flexibility and strength in your calves, ankle and foot.

That can keep your whole lower leg muscles working better for you.

While You're On the Stairs - Turn Around for these Exercises

Now that you've worked on the front of your legs, the shins, you can turn around and to these two moves for your foot and for your calves. Keep in balance with your exercises. It is good to stretch and strengthen both the calves and the shins.

Step Stretch: This is a move to stretch your calves by standing facing up the stairway with your heels off of the stair step and dipping down for a stretch. It can help relieve tight calf muscles, which may contribute to plantar fasciitis.

Standing Calf Raise: In the same position as the step stretch, facing up the stairway, you raise yourself up on your toes without dipping your heels down off of the step. This is a good stretch for the calves that can be part of an ankle rehabilitation program.

While you are out on your walks, you might use these three moves when you come to a stairway. That can be a way to make them part of your walking workout so you won't forget to do them.

Be sure to use a rail for balance until you are confident with these moves.

Continue Reading