A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise singles out tight iliotibial (IT) bands and weak hip abductor muscles as the culprits. The study, which followed college cross-country runners for two years, found that those prone to shin splints had less flexibility in their IT bands and only 66 percent of the abductor strength of their pain-free counterparts.
To stretch the IT band, stand with one foot crossed over the other, reach opposite arm above head, and bend and stretch in the direction of your front leg.
To beef up abductors, do monster walks: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a small resistance band around ankles, knees bent slightly. Step right foot to side, followed by left foot. Take 10 steps to the right, then 10 to the left. Do 3 sets.
If that doesn’t work, slow your roll. You might be running too far and too hard for your ability. Ease into your training plan.
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