Shin splints seem to be dreaded by a lot of people in the running community. Either they say “I’ve tried to start running and I immediately got shin splints” or the fear keeps them from running at all. (I’ve had people I coached tell me they’d rather just walk because they don’t want to end up with shin splints.) So the fear is real for many. But frequently the issue can be fixed and prevented with some strengthening in the lower leg. Targeting those muscles is the hard part. But the ShinTekk is a solution for that, it can help work all those muscle groups in the lower leg that can be the cause of injuries such as shin splints or ankle sprains.
(FTC disclosure: ShinTekk was sent to me for free to test and review. Opinions are always my own! Links on this site are affiliate links and may lead to a small commission to help this site keep running.)
So, how does it work? It’s super simple… you apply a tension band, slip your foot under the bar and lift your toe. That small action engages the muscles that aren’t worked as often as the others in our leg yet are important in keeping our whole body functioning. The human body is truly extraordinary, it works together in such great harmony but it will also try to compensate if one area is weaker. And when those compensations start to occur, that’s when injury can reveal it self.
You can use the ShinTekk while you watch TV, while in the office, pretty much anywhere you have a few minutes to sit and stand. Lift your toe, repeat. Lift your toe, hold, repeat. Switch legs. Those are the basic moves needed to use the ShinTekk and they’re pretty easy to master. The tension bands are where you can start to progress and improve.
The lighter bands are for rehabilitation purposes, if you’re already injured and you are experiencing shin splints or ankle weakness. The stronger bands are for performance and advanced training. This can be used for prevention of shin splints in those who are prone, but also for anyone looking to improve their running performance. ShinTekk provides example workouts for the various users of the product… or for those who wish to work through the entire process of rehab to performance.
The lifting/lower motion of with your toes is called dorsiflexion and that is an important part of the running phase. Your foot needs to be flexible, your legs need to be strong and you need to be running in a smooth pattern to keep running strong. Going back to the compensation issue mentioned earlier, when we start letting some other muscle do the work for another (and often it’s our big muscles taking over for the small ones) we aren’t working in a smooth, efficient pattern. But when we get those muscles balanced, we are more flexible, more powerful and stronger… which will all translate to being better at our sport.
It’s meant to be a portable package, you can throw it in the backpack and have everything for this setup in a pretty small package. Take it with you on a run and crank out a few reps before/after getting some miles done. (Or if you’re in another sport, take it to the field/court with you.) It’s probably not the most portable for air travel, as it is a stiff plastic thing, so unless you don’t try packing as light as possible (which I do) it’s probably not going to that business conference with you. But maybe it is… your call.
The ShinTekk is designed and built in the USA. It came about as an invention of an athlete struggling with the same issues that many of runners do. I respect that they developed this after learning of so many others experiencing the same issues and a desire to help. It has been tested and recommended by coaches and physical therapists as a way to properly build strength in hard-to-target muscles.
There are a range of packages for purchasing a ShinTekk. Starting at $59.95 for the basic starter set up to $89.95 for more bands and the backpack. But you could also buy more bands down the road as needed, so the starter pack is a perfectly legit way to enter this training.