After countless hours on the treadmill at the gym, numerous miles on the sidewalk, and thousands of steps on the trail, runners can fall victim to shin splints. Even after buying new shoes, changing your running technique, and taking time off, shin splints can still persist. They’re painful and can take a while to heal.
I recently got some really bad shin splints, and I hate taking days off from cardio workouts. I bought some compression sleeves online, but while I’m waiting for them to arrive, I’m getting antsy about skipping so many days of cardio. Even with a week off from running, my shins still hurt after a day at work, when I go up stairs, and when I try to do high intensity interval training.
So for all you shin splint victims who hate to miss a day of cardio, I’ve got the perfect workout for you! These low-impact moves are sure to get your heart pumping while protecting your shins from causing you pain. When your shin splints heal, you can always modify these moves to make them higher impact for a greater challenge.
Do each move for 50 seconds, and rest in between each for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle 3 times for a 30 minute cardio workout. Try to go as fast as you can without compromising form.
Move #1: Lunge Jack
Begin standing with your arms raised overhead. Do a regular alternating forward lunge, bringing the arms down as your knees bend, and bringing them back overhead as you stand. Holding small dumbbells will make this more challenging.
Move #2: Plank Shoulder Touches
Begin in a regular plank position with your core contracted, legs extended, and feet hip-width apart. Quickly tap your left shoulder with your right hand, and then alternate, tapping your right shoulder with your left hand.
Move #3: High Knee Jack
Begin standing with your arms extended overhead. Bring your left knee up to your chest, and clap your hands under your left hamstring. Return your leg to the ground, and extend your arms overhead again. Alternate between raising your left and right knee to your chest, clapping underneath your hamstring each time.
Move #4: Side Lunge Jacks
Begin standing with your arms extended overhead. Extend your left leg to the side for a regular side squat, and touch your toes on your left foot. Push off with your left leg to return to standing, bringing the arms back overhead. Repeat with the right leg, alternating back and forth. Hold small dumbbells to challenge yourself.
Move #5: Squat Reach
Begin standing with legs hip-width apart and arm extended overhead. Squat down as low as possible, and bring your arms down into a shoulder-press position. Return to standing, bringing your arms back overhead. To make this more challenging, hold dumbbells in your hands to create extra resistance for your shoulder press.
Move #6: Skater Steps
Begin in a squat position with your feet together. Raise your arms overhead, and step your right leg behind your left leg, extending it as far as possible. Return your right leg to the squat position, and bring your arms into your sides. Repeat, bringing the arms up as you bring your left leg behind your right leg. Remember to stay as low as you can to get some extra toning benefits.
Move #7: Slow Burpee
Begin standing with arms overhead. Place your hands on the floor, and step back with your left leg, and then your right leg, to a plank position. Step your left leg back in, and then your right leg, and return to standing with your arms overhead. Each time you come down into plank, step back with the opposite foot.
Move #8: Speed Knee Raises
Begin with all of your weight on your left leg, keeping it slightly bent. Bring your hands overhead. Rapidly bring your right knee and your elbows to your chest, keeping all your weight in your left leg. Extend back out, bringing the arms overhead, and slightly touching your right toes to the floor. Repeat for 25 seconds, and switch legs for the remaining 25 seconds.
Move #9: Squats with Oblique Twist
Begin standing with legs hip-width apart, arms bent, and hands clasped in front of you. Squat down as low as possible, and then return to standing. Twist your obliques to the left, and squat back down. Stand back up, but twist your obliques to the right. Continue twisting back and forth with each squat.
Move #10: Slow Mountain Climber
Begin in a regular plank position with legs fully extended and core tight. Quickly step your left foot toward your chest, and then extend it back out. Do the same with your right foot, alternating back and forth. Make sure one foot always has contact with the floor to keep this move low-impact.