The Essential Guide to Getting Rid of Shin Splints

Jump roping, box jumps, burpees, sprints… they can all lead to shin splints, a painful and incredibly annoying injury experienced by almost every single active person ever.

And while it’s often hard to pinpoint the direct cause, shin splints can be the result of a number of factors, including muscular imbalance, inflexibility, muscular overload and even biomechanical irregularities. And they’re one of those injuries that once you get them, they never seem to fully go away.

When I first started working out again after high school sports, I was constantly plagued by shin splints. They were frustrating, annoying, and painful, and prevented me from working out countless times.

And when I started getting into jump roping and HIIT workouts a few years later, they got even worse. My shins and calves hurt so badly it was often hard to walk. I remember several times when I took weeks at a time off of any jumping or running at all—and they still wouldn’t get any better.

And despite how common they are, shin splints tend to be one of those injuries that no one quite knows how to get rid of. Even the personal trainers I used to ask (before I became certified myself) would throw their hands up in the air and recommend little more than rest when I’d complain about shin splints.

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10 Warning Signs You’re Exercising TOO Much

10 signs you're exercising too much

While most people have trouble getting motivated to work out at all, there are some people—myself included—who have trouble taking even a single rest day.

And though it’s good to keep moving and working out on a near daily basis, it’s possible to overdo it sometimes.

Most people understand that rest is important—rest helps rebuild your muscles and allows them to grow back bigger and stronger—but there are times when we may try and push it too hard.

In the fitness world, this phenomenon of exercising too much is called overtraining, and most athletes of all levels have experienced it at some point in their lives (whether they know it or not).

Rather than helping you reach your goals faster, overtraining can actually send you backwards, resulting in symptoms such as unwanted weight gain/loss, lack of motivation to exercise, and fitness plateaus.

So how do you know if you’re exercising too much?

Here are 10 warning signs you might be overtraining:

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10 Essential Stretches for Athletes

If you’re anything like me, you don’t have much of a problem getting motivated to work out on a regular basis—but when it comes to recovery, that’s another story.

Maybe you do a good job at taking a rest day at least once a week. Maybe you even do some foam rolling here and there or book a massage as a reward after an extra tough workout.

But when was the last time you spent any time on your flexibility?

Yes, I know it’s time consuming. Yes, I know it’s not as exciting as working towards a strength or skill goal.

But as an athlete, no matter what your level, you need to properly take care of your muscles, or you’re putting yourself at risk for injury.

If you can take 10-15 minutes at least a few times a week to stretch, you’ll reap more benefits than you might expect, and allow your body to get stronger, healthier and fitter than you would be otherwise.

Plus, you’ll help yourself prevent getting injured—meaning you won’t be forced to take extra time off from your regular workouts.

Start with my 10 essential stretches for athletes below, and watch your flexibility and mobility improve over time!

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Rolling Away Your Injuries: How to Foam Roll Like a Pro

Want to improve your performance, flexibility, and reduce injuries?

Then it’s probably time you gave foam rolling a shot.

Because while it’s necessary to work out hard, it’s equally as important to make sure your body gets the recovery it needs. And stretching (including yoga!) just isn’t enough.

So whether you’re a hardcore athlete, or squeeze in a workout two or three times a week to keep the pounds off, a foam roll is a magical device that will make you wonder how you ever lived without one.

Read on for more on why foam rolling rocks:

Benefits of foam rolling

There are tons of reasons to love foam rolling. Here are the main ones:

Foam rolling prevents injuries. When you work out hard, your muscles end up tight and develop knots from constant stress. And unless you want to pony up the cash to get a full body massage once or twice a week, your best bet for staying injury-free is to foam roll on a near daily basis.

Foam rolling works by massaging away fascia buildup in your muscles, preventing those areas from becoming injury trigger points. And boy, does it work.

In fact, when I go a little too long without foam rolling, my upper back tends to get so tight I’ve actually had a rib pop out a few times—not fun. The moral of the story is that foam rolling will keep your muscles happy, so do it as often as possible.

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