8 Stretches That Can Help Relieve Shin Splint Pain

For runners, dancers, HIIT fans, and beyond.

Try these stretches for shin splint pain relief.


Shin splints typically refer to pain along the shin bone, says trainer Andrew Lenau. Also known as tibial stress syndrome, it’s often seen in runners, dancers, and people who do a lot of HIIT. While rest and compression can help, so will the right stretches for shin splints.



Shin splints are an overload injury that can happen when you run in poor-quality shoes, add too many miles to your run too soon, or if you have muscle imbalances, says Dr. Ronald Peacock, Jr., DPT. “This puts more demand on the small muscle than it might be ready for.


Plantarflexion Isometrics

Peacock suggests strengthening the muscles around the shins for added support.

- Stand barefoot on a level surface.

- Lift high up on toes, weight in balls of foot.

- Hold 45 seconds.

- Do 4-5 sets, 2 mins. rest between sets.

- Do 2-3x a day, 5x a week.

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Toe Drag

Lenau recommends a “toe drag” stretch.

- Stand up, slight bend in knees.

- Keep one foot flat on ground.

- Place other foot behind it, only toes on ground.

- Pull back foot forward.

- Feel stretch in shins and top of foot.

- Hold 20 to 30 seconds on both sides.


Gastrocnemius Stretch

YogaStrong co-founder Jason Deutchman says this move is effective for shin splints.

- Place hands on wall for support.

- Step right foot 12 inches in front of left.

- Bend right knee until you feel stretch in back calf.

- Hold 30 to 60 seconds per side.


Ankle Stretch

This increases the range of motion in the lower body to relieve pain, Deutchman says.

- Stand feet shoulder-width apart.

- Gently roll right foot out, sole of foot lifts up.

- Return to center.

- Roll right foot in, outside of foot lifts.

- Do 2 sets, 10x per foot.


Raised Foot Shin Stretch

Lenau says this stretch can relieve shin splints.

- Stand in front of a workout bench, feet shoulder-width apart.

- Place one leg behind you on bench, toes down.

- Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

- Repeat with other leg.


Soleus Calf Stretch

Peacock also recommends this one.

- Stand in front of wall, painful leg in front of other.

- Bend both knees, shift weight forward, front knee over toes.

- Feel stretch in back of front leg.

- Hold 60-90 seconds, shifting forward for deeper stretch.

- Do 34x.-


Kneeling Shin Stretch

StrechLab’s Kelsey Decker, NSCA, CPT likes this simple move to stretch the shins.

- Kneel with the tops of your feet flat on the floor.

- Sit back onto your heels.

- Feel a stretch in shins.

- Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.


Seated Stretch

Decker says this one’s easier on the knees.

- Sit in chair, back straight.

- Put left ankle on right knee.

- Right hand on toes, left hand on knee.

- Gently pull right hand back, straighten ankle for stretch along shin.

- Hold 10 seconds.

- Repeat 5x per leg.

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