How Your Abdominals Help Prevent Foot Pain and Shin Splints By David Grisaffi
Every athlete has wondered how to prevent foot pain and shin splints during their workouts. Foot or shin pain can cause you to alter your stance and limit the weight and duration of your workouts. It also will set you back day, weeks or even months. Now if you are training for something important, even a single part of your training is of the utmost importance. Miss one....guess what....no first place finish. There are some simple, easy rules to follow to prevent foot pain and shin splints during a workout.
In order to achieve this you must have: - proper shoes - possibly some foot support if needed - good exercise form
But one the most important parts of your success is a stable core.
When you think about it, they are all inter-related. The proper shoes will help with support. Properly supported arches will help stabilize your foot, but if your pelvis is like Jell-o, unstable and very loose, your lower body will endure the pain. The energy from your movement has to dissipate somewhere.....if everything works correctly; the energy dissipates out of your body and into the ground. If not, it finds a place to hide, like joints, ligaments and tendons.
This is why I preach about abdominal and core conditioning. Getting your core working as I have mentioned many times in addition to good posture reduces many problems in your back, legs and feet.
So get that core going and add these extra ideas to your quest.
Shoes: Knowing what to look for in the proper shoe will help to prevent foot and lower back pain. Your shoes should have about 1/2 inch of room from the tip of your longest toe to the end of the shoe. Be sure to measure your feet often. Your foot changes with age. A good tip, shop for shoes at the end of the day. Your feet swell from daily work, just like they do during a workout. A shoe that fits at the end of the day will fit better during a workout.
I would suggest working out on softer surfaces whenever possible. Some gyms are equipped with floor mats (rubber), also grass works to help insulate your feet. Try your best to avoid concrete. Replacing your shoes every 300 miles walked or when the insole wears out will also help to prevent shin splints and foot pain.
The proper shoes will help you hold your body in good form throughout an exercise. If you have foot pain, your body will instinctively alter its stance to avoid that pain. Without you knowing it, your knees will twist or bend inwards, your hips will rotate and your pelvis can tilt forwards. All of these alter proper posture and human biomechanics and result in overuse potentially leading to foot, knee, and lower back pain.
You have to consider your arches when you look for the proper fitting shoes. You have to pay attention to the way your old shoes are wearing out. That will tell whether you feet overpronate or underpronate. Either of these can cause foot pain and improper form when exercising. There is a simple test to help you know which way your feet go. Look at the bottom of your shoes. The wear pattern will tell you what you need to know.
If your shoe shows the most wear on the inside of the sole, then you have low arches (flat feet) and tend to over-pronate. That means you roll your feet inwards. To avoid foot pain and improper form when exercising you will want a shoe with maximum support. You may want to see a podiatrist for an orthotic insert.
Additional Support: Should your shoes show the most wear on the outside, then you have high arches and tend to under-pronate (supination). You tend to roll your feet outward. To avoid foot pain with this condition you will want a shoe with a cushioned sole and a soft midsole. A podiatrist can give an orthotic to correct this condition also. However, his can be good and necessary and some times very bad. For example if you have a tight quadratus lumborm (a four sided muscle that holds your ribs to your pelvis you will could have one leg shorter then the other. If not evaluated, you could end up in a situation that will make you situation worse. I would suggest a good CHEK practitioner in your area (www.paulchekseminars.com) or a good Physical Therapist. Again, if you get inserts before a good evaluation you compound the problem.
Form and Exercise: Once you have your shoes with a proper fit and feel, then there are a few other things you will need to know to prevent foot pain and shin splints. Shin splints occur most often during walking or running, on a road or the treadmill. They develop due to a tight calf region. There are a couple of exercises that will help you to prevent, or overcome shin splints.
Strengthen and stretch your calf muscles. Toe raises and shin stretches will help you build shin muscles and improve their flexibility. If you already have shin pain then you should walk (or run) every other day. Ice your shins before and after working out. I have a complete flexibility and stretching e-book in my firm and flatten your abs e-book package for Free.
Do not over-stride: Over-striding is the major cause of shin splints. Keep your stride longer in back and shorter in front. Push off with your back leg to increase your speed.
Stay warm: Keep your legs warm during your workout. Stretch your legs before working out. Warm-up for 10 minutes before working out fast or heavy. Stretch again after warming up.
Follow these simple rules and tips and you will be able to avoid foot pain and shin splints. It is easier to maintain the proper form throughout your workout if you can avoid pain or discomfort. We all know that proper form allows you to workout better and stronger. Add all of this up and avoiding foot pain and shin splints will allow you to workout longer and stronger.
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